How to Clean Solar Panels: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sparkling clean solar panels are key to keeping your renewable energy system running at peak efficiency. Over time, dust, dirt, and grime can accumulate on your panels, blocking precious sunlight and reducing your energy output. Wondering how to clean solar panels? Don’t worry—with a few simple tools and techniques, you can have your panels looking as good as new in no time.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll walk you through cleaning your solar panels like a pro. I’ve got you covered from gathering the right supplies to safely accessing your roof. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in and get those panels shining bright!

Key Takeaway: 

Keep your solar panels sparkling with regular cleaning to boost their efficiency and extend their lifespan. Use simple tools like a soft brush, plain water, or mild soap solution for an eco-friendly clean. For tough jobs or hard-to-reach areas, consider hiring professionals. Don’t forget safety first.

How to Clean Solar Panels: Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Solar Panels

The steps to clean solar panels includes athering tools and materials for solar panels cleaning, follow safety precautions before cleaning, applyin the solution to panels then rinsing and drying solar panels.

Tools and Materials for Solar Panel Cleaning

Alright, so you’re ready to get your clean on. But before you start scrubbing away, let’s make sure you have the right tools for the job.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

When it comes to cleaning solutions, less is more. You don’t need any fancy chemicals or expensive products – in fact, using the wrong stuff can actually damage your panels. Stick with plain old water, or a mild soap solution if your panels are extra dirty.

“Soap and water can be used to clean solar panels, but it is not the best or most effective way to do so. It may take longer to get the panels clean and could result in damage to the panels’ surface.” – Powered by Daylight

As for tools, a soft brush or sponge is your best friend. Avoid anything abrasive that could scratch the surface of your panels. A squeegee can also help remove excess water and prevent streaks. And, of course, don’t forget about safety. If you’re cleaning panels on a roof, ensure you have a sturdy ladder and someone to spot you. And if you’re uncomfortable with heights, there’s no shame in calling in a professional.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Options

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, consider using a water-fed pole system. These nifty devices use purified water to clean your panels from the ground, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals or risky ladder climbs. Plus, they’re gentle on your panels and the environment.


Safety Precautions Before Cleaning

Okay, you’ve got your tools and your cleaning solution. Now it’s time to get down to business.

First things first: safety. Before you start cleaning, make sure your panels are cool to the touch. If they’re too hot, the water evaporates too quickly and leaves mineral deposits behind. Always wear gloves and eye protection to avoid any accidental splashes or scratches.

“Shut off your solar panel system – this will help ensure your safety and that equipment is not damaged.” – Bob Vila

Next, prepare your cleaning solution. If you’re using plain water, great. If you’re using a mild soap solution, mix a few drops of dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Avoid using too much soap, as it can leave a residue on your panels.

Applying the Solution to Panels

Now, it’s time to apply the solution to your panels. Use your soft brush or sponge to gently scrub away any dirt or grime. Start at the top of the panel and work your way down, using light pressure to avoid damaging the surface.

If the panels are hard to access, high-pressure hose nozzle with an attachment that holds the cleaning solution may work. These can be found at a local home maintenance store. Find a safe place to stand, spray soapy water on the panels and then thoroughly rinse them off. It’s really that simple.

Rinsing and Drying Panels

Once you’ve scrubbed the panels, it’s time to rinse them off. Use a hose or a water-fed pole to spray down the panels, starting at the top and working your way down. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Finally, use your squeegee or a soft cloth to dry the panels. This will help prevent water spots and ensure that your panels are ready to soak up the sun.

When to Hire a Professional for Solar Panel Cleaning

Now, I know some of you are probably thinking, “I can handle this myself. Why would I pay someone else to do it?” And in many cases, you’re right. But there are some situations where hiring a professional is the way to go.

Situations Requiring Professional Assistance

If your panels are located on a particularly steep or high roof, or if you have a large array of panels, it may be safer and more efficient to bring in the pros. They have the equipment and expertise to get the job done quickly and safely.

The best way to clean solar panels is by using a professional solar panel cleaning company. They will have the experience and equipment necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Professional cleaners also have access to specialised equipment, like water-fed poles and high-grade cleaning solutions, that can make the process faster and more effective. And because they do this for a living, they know how to spot potential issues with your panels that you might miss.

Choosing a Reputable Solar Panel Cleaning Company

Of course, not all solar panel cleaning companies are created equal. When choosing a provider, look for one with experience, positive reviews, and a commitment to eco-friendly practices. And always get a quote upfront so you know what to expect.

Before you decide to wash the panels on your own, you should see what your solar service provider covers. With many leases, the cleaning is free of charge, and if you own, you need to make sure you don’t use tools or cleaning practices that void your warranty.

Why Clean Your Solar Panels

Solar panels are a game-changer. They’re the key to unlocking a world of clean, renewable energy that can power our homes and businesses without harming the environment. But here’s the thing: if you want your solar panels to keep performing at their best, you must show them love and attention. And that means regular cleaning.

Benefits of Regular Solar Panel Cleaning

Think of your solar panels like the windows to your soul – or at least, to your energy supply. When sparkling clean, they can soak up every ray of sunshine and convert it into sweet, sweet electricity. But it’s like trying to see through a foggy windshield when they’re covered in dirt, dust, and grime. Your panels can’t absorb as much light, which means less power.

“Regularly cleaning your solar panels is essential for maximizing efficiency and preserving lifespan.” – EnergySage

I’ve seen it happen repeatedly: homeowners install solar panels with the best intentions, but then they let them get so dirty that they might as well be decorative. The truth is that even a thin layer of dust can reduce your panels’ efficiency by up to 7%. And if you live in an area with heavy pollution or frequent sandstorms, that number can climb even higher.

Importance of Maintaining Solar Energy System

But here’s the good news: by committing to a regular solar panel cleaning routine, you can keep your system running like a well-oiled machine. Not only will you maximise your energy production, but you’ll also extend the lifespan of your panels. It’s like giving your car an oil change or your teeth a good brushing – a little bit of maintenance goes a long way.

How Often Should You Clean Solar Panels

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But how often do I need to clean my panels? Can’t I just let the rain take care of it?” Well, my friend, it’s not quite that simple. The frequency of your solar panel cleaning depends on a variety of factors, like your location, the angle of your panels, and the surrounding environment. If you live in a dry, dusty area, you might need to clean your panels more often than someone in a rainy, temperate climate. And if your panels are tilted at a steep angle, they’ll accumulate less dirt than panels that are lying flat.

Recommended Cleaning Schedule

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend cleaning your panels at least twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. This will help you keep on top of any buildup and ensure that your panels are always working at their best.

Consider using a garden hose first. But if grime and dirt have built up on your equipment, it’s time for a thorough cleaning.

Signs Your Panels Need Cleaning

Of course, there may be times when your panels need a little extra TLC. If you notice a sudden drop in your energy production, or if your panels are looking particularly grimy, it’s probably time for a cleaning. Trust your gut – and your eyes. If something looks off, it probably is.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Solar Panels

Alright, you’ve cleaned your panels and they’re looking good as new. But how do you keep them that way? Here are a few tips for maintaining clean solar panels:

Preventive Measures to Reduce Soiling

First, consider installing a solar panel cover or screen. These handy devices can help keep debris from accumulating on your panels in the first place, reducing the need for frequent cleaning.

Use a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove light dust build-up from solar panels. Be sure to use the brush attachment and avoid getting the vacuum cleaner too close to the panel, as this could damage them.

Next, keep an eye on your panel performance. If you notice a sudden drop in energy production, it could be a sign that your panels need cleaning. Many solar monitoring systems can alert you to potential issues so you can address them before they become a bigger problem.

Incorporating Cleaning into Regular Maintenance Schedule

Finally, make solar panel cleaning a part of your regular maintenance routine. Just like you schedule annual check-ups for your car or your HVAC system, set a reminder to clean your panels at least twice a year. It may seem like a small task, but it can make a big difference in the long run.

Regularly cleaning your solar panels is essential for maximizing their efficiency and preserving their lifespan.

So there you have it, folks—everything you need to know about cleaning your solar panels and keeping them in tip-top shape. It may not be the most glamorous task, but trust me—your wallet (and the planet) will thank you. Now get out there and show those panels some love.



Cleaning your solar panels doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools, techniques, and a little bit of elbow grease, you can keep your panels in tip-top shape and ensure they’re always performing at their best.

Honestly, taking time for regular maintenance does wonders – boosting what you get from your solar energy and giving its lifespan a good stretch. So, don’t let dirt and grime stand in the way of your renewable energy goals. Roll up your sleeves—it’s pampering time for your panels.

Happy cleaning and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re making the most of your solar investment. Your sparkling clean panels will thank you!


About the Author


Charite Leta

Managing Director Solar Square

Charite Leta is a current PhD Economics Candidate with a specialised focus in environmental and energy economics. Their academic journey has been marked by a deep commitment to understanding the complex interplay between economic systems and environmental policies. With a keen interest in renewable energy sources and sustainable economic development, the author's research primarily investigates the economic impacts of environmental changes and energy policies.

Their work aims to contribute significantly to the formulation of more effective and sustainable economic strategies, particularly in the context of climate change and renewable energy adoption. As an emerging scholar in the field, the author combines rigorous economic analysis with a passion for environmental stewardship, aiming to provide insights that support the transition towards more sustainable and economically resilient communities. Through their research, the author seeks to bridge the gap between economic theory and environmental policy, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

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