While you don’t always need to clean them, it is important to know how to clean solar panels for those rare occasions when you’ll need to.
Because these energy capturing rock stars are kept outside, nature’s shower (aka rain) will help take care of this.
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But, if your birds are particularly evil or digestive, you may want wash your panels.
How To Clean Solar Panels
Before you start any cleaning on your solar panel, check with the company that installed your solar panels for any specific guidelines or instructions.
They may also have hired services available that will clean your solar panels for you. However, if you’re looking to save money, cleaning them yourself is great option.
The easiest and most effective way to clean your solar panels is with a good old fashioned hose and bucket of sudsy water. If you’ve ever washed your car at home, you’ve already got the background knowledge you need to clean your solar panels.
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When choosing a soap, be sure that it’s mild. Most dish washing detergents are an excellent choice. Laundry soaps or other harsh chemical cleansers should be avoided.
You will want to avoid scratching your panels as this can cause lasting damage and reduce their efficiency. If you feel you need to use another cleaning tool to scrub off the panels, opt for a soft, non-abrasive sponge.
This will help scrub off that pesky bird poo without damaging your solar panels.
It’s also important to note that you should never, ever use high pressure water or water sprayers when cleaning your panels. So no pressure washers or high-pressure nozzle attachments for your hose for this job. High-pressure attachments can cause damage to the solar panels.
When To Clean Solar Panels
It should go without saying that solar panels attract sunlight (kind of their job, right?). So, choose an overcast, cooler day to tackle this project. This is for two very important reasons.
First, you can get burned from the panels themselves by learning up against them if they are too hot. Protect your skin and wait until its shady out.
Secondly, if it’s a hot, sunny day, the water and soap mixture will evaporate fairly quickly. This can leave a residue on the surface of your solar panels, which will then negatively impact their effectiveness.
As for how often to clean solar panels, wait until you notice there is a significant build up of gunk or dirt on your panels, or if you’re currently experiencing a drought. Rain is going to take care of most of the debris. Let nature do the job for you.
Should I Just Hire Someone Instead?
Listen, solar panels just don’t need to be cleaned that often. And when they do, you probably have all the tools you need to do the job yourself. Save some money and clean them off yourself. You won’t have to do it that often, and as long as you’re being safe, it really won’t be much of a hassle.