How to clean your solar panels


To find out the benefits of cleaning your solar panels and the best ways to get them gleaming, have a read of our handy guide.

Will my energy bills go up if I don’t clean my solar panels?

Since solar panels convert light into power, it’s important that your panels are clear enough to allow a good amount of light through. Dirty panels can contribute to a reduction in your potential savings, so it’s well worth keeping on top of your cleaning. How often you should clean your solar panels depends on a few factors (for example, if you live in an area with a lot of birds, you may find you need to clean your panels more often), but as a general rule, once a year is recommended.

Solar panels – how do you keep them clean?

Solar panels are an extremely worthwhile addition to your home that can save you money on your energy bills while having a positive impact on the environment. Being on the roof, however, makes them trickier to clean than other parts of your home. They’re also prone to getting mucky from tree sap and bird mess.

While it sounds like a challenge, there are simple ways to clean your solar panels.

Use a telescopic sponge

The easiest (and safest) way to clean your solar panels is from the ground. It also means you don’t need to buy or store a huge ladder.

A telescopic sponge is an extendable pole with a sponge on the end, which allows you to access difficult to reach areas.

If you can’t access your panels from the ground, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to go up there for you and get the job done safely.

Clean your solar panels on a sunny day

The ideal time to clean your solar panels is on a sunny day with no clouds in the sky. If the weather is overcast, your panels won’t dry as quickly and may be left streaky and smeared. This could hinder their efficacy.

Do your dew diligence – start early in the morning

The best time of day to clean your solar panels is early in the morning. That way, you can make the most of any dew that’s settled on the panels. This added layer of moisture will help to soften any grime that’s become caked on.

Choose a non-abrasive sponge and warm soapy water

Your sponge should always be a non-abrasive one, otherwise you run the risk of damaging the top layer of the panel. Scratch marks caused by an abrasive sponge can lead to light blockages, which again will have a negative impact on your potential energy savings.

Warm soapy water is the best for removing dirt and debris. If you’ve got a lot of bird mess up there, it’s better to use a hose as your first line of attack. A high-pressure hose is ideal, as you’ll be working from the ground. Once the impact of the water has dislodged the mess (this may take a few attempts), use your soapy sponge to get a perfect finish.

Moss on your solar panels is a job for the professionals. A specialist roof cleaner will be able to get up there and remove the moss more effectively at close range. To avoid moss growing again in future, it might be worth upping how frequently you clean your solar panels.

Only clean the top of the solar panels

It’s important that you only clean the top of the panels, as cleaning underneath will damage the wiring. While the underside of the panels is still built to withstand the weather, applying soap and water directly to it is likely to cause expensive, unnecessary damage.

If you don’t fancy doing the job yourself, there are various companies around that will do it for you. As long as you avoid the vulnerable electrics and clean your panels safely from ground level, however, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Speak to the solar panel installation experts

For more information about installing and maintaining solar panels, please get in touch with our experienced team today.