How to Clean Solar Panels: Do's and Don'ts

Posted on Sept 21st, 2023

Solar panels are a valuable investment that allows you to harness the power of the sun to generate clean energy for your home or business. 

To ensure your solar panels operate at their peak efficiency, regular cleaning is essential. 

However, not all cleaning methods are safe or effective. 

In this post, we will explore the do's and don'ts of cleaning solar panels, including the best cleaning products and why professional cleaning is often the safest choice.

The Importance of Cleaning Solar Panels

Regular cleaning of your solar panels is more than just a matter of aesthetics; it's crucial for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your clean energy system. 

Here's why keeping your solar panels clean is so important:

  • Maximize Energy Production: Solar panels absorb sunlight to generate electricity. When dust, dirt, or debris accumulate on the panels, they block sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic cells, reducing energy production. Regular cleaning ensures your panels can capture as much sunlight as possible, optimizing energy output.
  • Extend Panel Lifespan: Solar panels are designed to last for decades, but neglecting proper maintenance can shorten their lifespan. Dust and grime can deteriorate the protective coatings on the panels, making them more susceptible to environmental wear and tear. Cleaning your panels helps preserve your panel's longevity.
  • Maintain Warranty Compliance: Many solar panel manufacturers require regular cleaning as part of their warranty terms. Neglecting cleaning could void your warranty, leaving you responsible for any repairs or replacements.
  • Environmental Benefits: Utilizing solar panels for clean energy reduces your carbon footprint. By keeping your panels clean and efficient, you're actively contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy source.
  • Reduced Maintenance Costs: Clean solar panels are less likely to develop issues that require costly repairs. Routine cleaning reduces the risk of damage, such as scratches or corrosion, which can occur if contaminants are left unattended.
  • Energy Bill Savings: The cleaner your solar panels, the less you rely on conventional grid electricity. This can lead to lower energy bills and potentially even allow you to sell excess energy back to the grid.
  • Improved Aesthetics: Clean solar panels look better, both to you and potential buyers if you decide to sell your property. A well-maintained solar panel system adds curb appeal and can enhance the overall value of your home.

Now, let's dive into the do's and don'ts for cleaning solar panels.

Do's – Effective Solar Panel Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your solar panels, following the right practices is key to maintaining their efficiency. In this section, we'll explore the essential do's of effective solar panel cleaning, ensuring that your clean energy system performs at its best.

1. Use the Right Tools

When it comes to cleaning your solar panels, using the right tools is crucial. Here's what you'll need:

  • Soft Bristle Brush: Choose a soft brush with nylon bristles that won't scratch the surface of the panels.
  • Squeegee: A squeegee helps remove water and cleaning solution effectively.
  • Hose or Bucket of Water: You'll need water to rinse the panels after cleaning.
  • Mild Soap: The best cleaner for solar panels is a simple solution of mild, non-abrasive soap and water. Mix a small amount of soap with water, apply it gently to the panels, and use a soft brush to scrub away dirt and grime. Rinse with clean water using a hose or bucket.

2. Use Low-Pressure Deionized Water

Consider using low-pressure deionized water for cleaning your solar panels. This pure and gentle water type minimizes mineral buildup, ensuring a streak-free finish while being environmentally friendly. Professionals often use this method for effective and eco-conscious solar panel cleaning.

3. Follow a Routine Cleaning Schedule

Regular cleaning is essential for optimal performance. How often you should clean your solar panels depends on your location and the surrounding environment. In Central Florida, with its sunny and sometimes humid climate, cleaning every 3-6 months is a good starting point. However, areas with more dust, excesive pollen, or pollution may require more frequent cleaning.

4. Start Early or Late in the Day

Cleaning your solar panels when they're cool, such as early in the morning or late in the evening, is ideal. Cleaning hot panels, especially with cold water, can shock the glass and potentially lead to damage.

5. Test a Small Area First

Before applying any cleaning solution to the entire panel, test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn't cause damage or streaking.

Don'ts – Common Mistakes to Avoid

Not all cleaning methods are safe or suitable for solar panels. In the following section, we'll highlight the common mistakes you should avoid when cleaning your solar panels. Steering clear of these pitfalls will help you protect your investment and avoid potential damage.

1. Using Abrasive Materials

Avoid abrasive materials like steel wool, harsh brushes, or abrasive cleaning pads. These can scratch the surface of the panels, reducing their efficiency and lifespan.

2. Using Harsh Chemicals

Never use abrasive or corrosive chemicals, such as bleach or abrasive cleaners. These chemicals can damage the protective coating on the panels and lead to permanent damage.

3. Pressure Washing

Pressure washing may seem like a quick solution, but it's not recommended for solar panels. The high-pressure water can penetrate the seals and damage the electrical components.

4. Ignoring Safety Precautions

Safety should always be a priority. If your solar panels are installed on your roof, exercise caution and use proper safety equipment when cleaning them. If you're uncomfortable with heights or rooftop work, consider hiring a professional.

5. DIY Cleaning

Attempting to clean your solar panels without the necessary training and equipment can lead to more harm than good. Climbing onto your roof or accessing the panels without the right safety precautions can be dangerous. Additionally, using the wrong cleaning materials or techniques may result in scratches, streaks, or even panel damage. 

Moreover, without the expertise to spot potential issues, you might miss early signs of damage or wear that a professional could identify during a routine inspection. For your safety and the longevity of your solar panels, it's advisable to leave the cleaning to trained professionals who can ensure a thorough and safe cleaning process.


Clean solar panels are not only more efficient but also offer a longer lifespan, ensuring you get the most out of your investment in clean energy. In this guide, we've explored the do's and don'ts of solar panel cleaning, emphasizing the importance of using the right tools, following a regular cleaning schedule, and avoiding abrasive materials and harsh chemicals.

While DIY cleaning is an option, it's essential to exercise caution and prioritize safety. Hiring a professional for solar panel cleaning offers expertise, safety, efficiency, and longevity benefits that can't be overstated.

At Solar Soft, we understand the value of your solar panel investment. Our team of experts is ready to ensure your solar panels shine bright and continue to power your world sustainably. Request a free quote for our professional solar panel cleaning services now!

For enquiries, reach out to us at (855) 925-3267 or [email protected]. Let us help you maintain the efficiency and performance of your solar panel system, so you can enjoy clean and reliable energy for years to come. Don't wait; contact us today and experience the Solar Soft difference!

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