One of the most common misconceptions about solar panels is that there is no reason for cleaning them. After all, there’s always rain. And this is true in most cases. Furthermore, you might not even be familiar with any of the ways to clean your solar panels and are afraid you will damage them in the process. However, bird droppings can stain the panels as well as misty rain, not to mention that cleaning the panels is a requirement if you leave in an area prone to droughts. Dirt and sand will not damage your panels but they will make them less effective over time. Professional cleaners at Peak Services Las Vegas advise cleaning the panels every few months or so. Even if rains, occasionally scrubbing the panels will do them only good. If you decide to clean the panels, there are some easy ways you can do this by yourself.
Required tools and materials for cleaning
Before you do anything, check your user manual or do an online search to determine if there are any special instructions for your solar panels. Generally, you can clean most panels in the same way. However, if you’re doing this for the first time, it’s a good idea to get cleaning recommendations, and even some tips and tricks. For example, the amount of pests and birds that can damage or dirty your panels is surprising. Because of this, you might not even be prepared to deal with them during the cleaning. After consulting written texts or professionals, it’s time to gather tools and materials.
- The sponge is your best ally in cleaning so be sure to choose one that is soft so you don’t risk damaging the protective coating on solar panels. Also, consider choosing a large sponge, so you’ll be able to cover as much surface as possible.
- Soap should not be overused or be too strong. There are no shortcuts in solar panel cleaning if you opt for the strongest cleaning supplies. Instead, choose a gentle detergent, one that you might even use for washing your car.
- A ladder is an essential tool if you can’t reach your solar panels easily. Just check if they’re sturdy enough for the procedure.
- A rod, preferably a telescopic kind, will help you reach the high solar panels more easily. It also speeds up the whole cleaning process.
Another thing to never forget is proper safety equipment, especially if you will be climbing your roof to clean the panels. Always prepare a hardhat and a safety harness. One of the most important things is to turn off the panels before cleaning, and never to touch the underside. Clean only the upper panels.
1. Don’t hesitate to hire qualified cleaners
It’s better to avoid the roof if it’s too high, slippery, or steep. So if you don’t think solar panel cleaning is a job for you, don’t be afraid to reach out to the professionals. Additionally, you might be afraid that you will accidentally damage the panels while cleaning. However, with cleaning experts, you can rest assured they’ll properly assist with residential solar panel cleaning and give them a new shine. They are also a better option if the condition of your panel is too complex for simple scrubbing.
2. A good brush will keep solar panels clean without effort
Not every cleaning process needs to be a tedious activity. Occasionally brushing your solar panels will do wonders for their quality. As with the sponge, choose a brush with soft edges. Gently move over the surface of the panel to remove dirt, sand, or leaves. This way you can remove small debris without washing the panels. And if you have a telescopic rod, you won’t even need to climb the roof.
3. Soap and sponge are one of the best ways to clean your solar panels
However, the most efficient way to clean the solar panels is with a good combination of soap and water. If you have a hose, use it to rinse panels a bit before applying the soap. This is mostly done so the soap doesn’t stick to the panels afterward. Avoid using abrasive detergent so you don’t damage the panel while cleaning. A simple detergent soap will do the trick. But even then, be cautious of the amount you apply. Too much and you also risk damaging the glass. Furthermore, water and extreme heat don’t mix well. Choose a cloudy day or evening to clean the solar panels. This will minimize any potential glass cracking as the water dries.
4. Or use vinegar instead
Vinegar might not be considered a good cleaning option at first, but it’s easily one of the most productive ones. Many people actually claim that vinegar should be the only choice when cleaning solar panels. And it’s not a surprise why. Vinegar is an acidic substance, but unlike its harsh chemical alternatives, it is completely safe for solar panels. It also breaks up grease and grime more easily than any other product. However, even domestic vinegar is too strong to use without dilution. You can mix it with detergent soap, or for even better results, with de-ionized water.
Despite everything, cleaning solar panels on your own might prove a bit challenging if you have a whole field of them. Not to mention the time it would take you to even wash them all. So if your office or workplace is using solar energy, you might want to think about hiring professionals. And the best part is that commercial solar panel cleaning is guaranteed to do more than cleaning. They will also inspect the area and fix and secure everything to keep the integrity of the glass.
5. Leave it to the power of nature
As a last option, you can always rely on rain. It is the most natural option, and requires no effort or time on your end. However, even the best drizzle can’t scrub everything. So if you notice that the energy production is not what it used to be, it might be time to do some cleaning.
No matter which one of the five ways to clean your solar panel is the best for you, don’t forget to be gentle. Panels are durable, but also fragile. Therefore, applying pressure on them is not advisable. Even if your panels are installed in such a way that you can walk on them.