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Solar Panel Cleaning 101: Things You Need To Know

As solar energy continues to gain popularity as a renewable and sustainable power source, more and more homeowners are investing in solar panel systems. These systems harness the power of the sun to generate electricity, reducing both carbon emissions and energy costs. However, to ensure optimal performance and efficiency, regular solar panel cleaning is essential.

If you have decided to install solar panels to enjoy the benefits of energy savings, read on to learn how you can truly optimise your system’s performance.

Why Clean Solar Panels?

Solar panels are designed to generate usable electricity by capturing sunlight. However, dirt, dust, leaves, bird droppings and other debris accumulate on the panels over time, hampering their ability to absorb sunlight effectively. The presence of dirt can reduce the panels’ efficiency, leading to a decrease in energy production. Keeping your solar panels clean can help you maximise their output and prolong their lifespan.

How to Clean Solar Panels

  • Safety First: Before you begin cleaning your solar panels, prioritise safety. Ensure that you have a sturdy ladder, appropriate personal protective equipment (such as gloves and safety glasses) and a spotter to assist you if necessary.
  • Consult the Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Different solar panel manufacturers may have specific cleaning recommendations. Check the user manual or reach out to the manufacturer to understand any specific instructions or precautions for your panels.
  • Check the Weather: It is best to clean your solar panels in the morning or late in the evening when the panels are not hot. Cleaning them when they are cool minimises the risk of damage due to thermal stress.
  • Rinse with Water: Start by spraying your solar panels with water using a garden hose or a low-pressure hose attachment. This will help remove loose dirt, dust and debris.
  • Use a Soft Brush or Sponge: For stubborn dirt or bird droppings, you can gently scrub the surface of the panels using a soft brush or sponge. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh cleaning chemicals that could damage the protective coating on the panels.
  • Clean Thoroughly: After scrubbing, rinse the panels again with clean water to remove any remaining residue or cleaning solution. Make sure there are no streaks or soap residue left on the panels.

Common Questions About Solar Panel Cleaning

Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?

Yes, solar panels require regular cleaning to maintain optimal performance. Factors, including your location, weather conditions and the presence of nearby trees or bird populations, can impact how often you should clean your panels.

Do I Need to Turn Off Solar Panels to Clean Them?

In most cases, you don’t need to turn off your solar panels to clean them. However, it is essential to follow safety precautions and avoid spraying water directly into electrical connections or exposed wires. If you are unsure or uncomfortable, consult the professional team at Coughran Electrical Services.

How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?

The frequency of cleaning depends on a variety of factors. Generally, it is advised to clean solar panels at least once or twice a year. However, if you live in a dusty area or notice a significant decrease in energy production, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.


Maintaining a regular cleaning routine can not only help you optimise the performance of your solar system but also contribute to a sustainable future. Each sun-soaked day becomes an opportunity to generate clean, renewable energy, reducing reliance on traditional fossil fuels and mitigating environmental impacts.

Furthermore, as you start regular solar panel cleaning, you may develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the technology that powers your home. Take a moment to observe the transformation as your panels gleam under the sun’s embrace, a visual reminder of your commitment to sustainable living.