How to Safely Clean Your Solar Panels

October 21, 2022

Keeping your solar panels clean is essential to allowing them to properly function. To many, solar systems may seem like fragile pieces of innovative technology that are not to be tampered with.

BlueSel is here to help, we want to make sure that you feel as though you are aiding your panels with proper and timely cleaning. Below we have provided an easy and thorough guide to help you feel more comfortable when cleaning your solar panels. 

When Should I Clean My Solar Panels? 

In general, it is recommended that you clean your solar panels every six months to a year to maintain basic function. Obviously, as we are residents of New England, we experience more intense season changes and especially being nearer to the coast line, experience more rapid winds and debris in general. 

Be sure to monitor your panels regularly and clean them when there is any visible debris buildup, such as after a storm or during a heaving leaf shedding period. It is worth noting that debris must be somewhat heavy to cause significant performance degradation and an unacceptable coating may reduce the expected performance by more than five to ten percent. 

Your system’s built in monitoring provides the necessary diagnostic information over time and BlueSel works with customers and their data to determine if fouling should be addressed. If you are recommended to clean your panels, keep reading to find out how to properly carry out this process. 

How Do I Clean My Solar Panels? 

The ways in which you go about cleaning your panels depend on a number of factors. We should note that cleaning your panels in a DIY manner should be reserved only for normal cleanings and if you suspect that your panels have been damaged or are severely dirty we recommend hiring a professional to clean and inspect them. 

If you are simply wanting to give them a slight clean because you’ve noticed they have not been functioning as efficiently or they seem to have a slight covering of debris, a simple spray with a garden hose can do the trick. Before spraying, dust off any dirt, leaves, dust, or debris with a soft-bristled brush. Once cleared, you can go ahead and gently spray the water over the surface of the panels. Just be sure to not let the water get on the underside of the solar system. 

For more thorough cleans, it is best to start with the garden hose method again, to initially cleanse the panels. Follow up with a non-abrasive soap, such as dish detergent and a soft cleaning cloth or sponge to target any stubborn spots. Be sure not to use any harsh bristles or materials that may scratch the glass on your solar panels, and of course be sure not to put any excessive weight or pressure on the panels. 

After cleaning, take care to rinse any residual soap. We recommend cleaning your panels on cooler, more tepid days so as to prevent the glass from cracking as water dries. 

Overall, regularly cleaning your solar panels allows them to function at their highest efficiency. Just as with any other device in your home, some TLC can significantly further the life of your panels. It is important to remember, however, that your solar system is a fragile piece of technology and keeping this in mind can ensure proper handling when cleaning. If you ever suspect that your system is damaged or too filthy to clean yourself, it is best to hire a professional to come out and do a thorough evaluation and cleaning.