Solar panel cleaning – what to do, and what NOT to do!

Solar panel cleaning – what to do, and what NOT to do!

Why do solar panels need cleaning?

The importance of regular cleaning for your solar panels cannot be overstated.

Solar panels are designed to be self-cleaning to a degree, thanks to their tilted installation which allows rainwater to wash away some of the dirt and debris. However,  During dry spells, dust, bird droppings, and other forms of pollution can accumulate on the panels. This build-up can obstruct sunlight and hinder the panels' ability to generate electricity effectively.

Additionally, if your solar panels are installed near trees, especially deciduous ones, there's a likelihood of leaves falling onto the panels. These leaves, along with bird droppings attracted by the trees, can create shade and further reduce the efficiency of your solar panels.

The accumulation of dirt, leaves, and other debris can have a noticeable impact on each solar panel's electricity generation capability.  Any form of dirt or debris can block sunlight and reduce their effectiveness. Therefore, to ensure that you're getting the most out of your solar power system, it is imperative to adhere to a regimen of consistent solar panel cleaning.

For those looking to invest in high-performance solar panels, OUPES offers a range of cutting-edge solar panel solutions. OUPES portable solar panels are designed to maximize energy absorption, with an efficiency of up to 22%, ensuring you get the most out of your solar system.

How often should I clean my solar panels?

It's wise to clean your solar panels twice a year as a routine. However, if you experience severe weather conditions like wildfires, strong dust storms, or continuous heavy rain, you might need to engage in solar panel cleaning more frequently. 

Locations that may require more frequent cleaning

If your home happens to be located near a busy road or amid a construction site, the amount of airborne dust and particles is likely to be higher, necessitating a more frequent and thorough solar panel cleaning routine for your solar panels. 

Similarly, homes in coastal areas, like those picturesque villages in Shoalhaven, need to be extra cautious about the build-up of salty sea spray.

Such accumulations beget a tenacious film upon your solar arrays, compelling a more assiduous approach to their cleansing. It is of paramount importance to maintain the unblemished state of your solar panels, as this directly correlates with their efficacy in harnessing the sun’s bounty.

OUPES  portable solar panels are designed with advanced anti-dust and anti-pollution technology, with an IP67 waterproof rating reducing the frequency of cleaning required. Their resilient surface prevents the accumulation of debris and ensures consistent energy production.

How to clean your solar panels

Plan for safety first

Before embarking on the ascent to your rooftop, laden with cleaning apparatus and good intentions, it is paramount to prioritize your safety. In essence, venturing onto your roof devoid of a secured safety harness or the protective embrace of a hard hat is ill-advised. 

Pro Tip: Opt for a temperate day to ascend to your roof for cleaning, as rooftops typically retain copious amounts of thermal energy, potentially exacerbating the arduousness of your task.

Safe solar panel cleaning

If you're considering cleaning your solar panels yourself, you can easily find the necessary materials at home. To ensure the best results without risking damage to your solar panels, follow these steps:

Necessary Implements:

  • Aquatic Fluid
  • Delicate, non-scouring fabric or sponge
  • Water blade or soft leather cloth
  • Eco-conscious, non-toxic cleansing agent (if deemed necessary)

Purification Methodology:

  • Initiate by dousing your solar panels with water to dislodge any superficial sediment and detritus.
  • Tenderly polish the panels using a delicate, non-scouring fabric or sponge to eradicate any lingering filth or grime. Eschew materials that might etch the surface.
  • For more tenacious stains or avian excrement, a gentle cleaning solution, akin to that utilized for dishwashing, may be employed. Ascertain its eco-friendliness and absence of harmful chemicals to prevent any detriment to flora or fauna in case of runoff.
  • Lavishly rinse the panels with pristine water to eliminate any remnants of the cleansing agent.
  • To avert the formation of watermarks and streaks, employ a waterblade or soft leather cloth for drying.

Advisory Tips:

  • Opt for a nebulous day or the twilight hours of morning or evening for this task, as direct sunlight can hasten the evaporation of water, resulting in residual spots.
  • Regularly conduct inspections to ascertain that no excessive dirt or debris has accumulated on your panels.

Professional Purification Services:

Should doubts arise regarding your ability to cleanse the panels, or if they necessitate more thorough maintenance, contemplate engaging experts skilled in solar panel purification. Regular upkeep and cleansing not only enhance the efficacy of your solar panels but also maximize their energy production capacity. Nevertheless, prioritize safety when ascending your roof, and in instances of uncertainty or discomfort, seeking professional guidance is prudent.

When should I call in the professionals?

In the aforementioned context, the customary speck of dust shall be effortlessly eradicated through the agency of rainfall, rendering it unnecessary to engage the services of professional cleaners.

Nevertheless, it may be judicious to contemplate summoning their expertise under certain circumstances:

  1. Residing within an urban locality beset by severe pollution or within proximity to a coastal region.
  2. The presence of deciduous arboreal specimens in close vicinity to your solar arrays.
  3. The discernment of a particularly stubborn accumulation on your photovoltaic panels, such as avian excrement.
  4. Confronting the constraints of age or an inherent reluctance to ascend to the rooftop.

Pro Tip: To obviate the necessity of ascending a ladder to assess the state of your solar panels, you may wish to consider the installation of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera that is strategically oriented towards the panels.

What NOT to do

To prevent harm to your solar panels during the cleaning process, it is imperative to employ the appropriate cleaning materials. Avoid using:

  • Astringent cleansing agents like potent detergents or cleansers are imbued with chemical compounds, as these can induce corrosion upon the surface of your solar panel assembly.
  • Abrasive cleaning implements like coarse textiles, sponges possessing rough textures, or bristled brooms with pronounced teeth, for these can inflict abrasions upon the surface of your panels.

Furthermore, it is an unequivocal directive to refrain from placing any weight upon your solar panels, as such an action may precipitate their fracturing.

In addition to these precautions, it is incumbent upon you to periodically inspect your solar panels. This scrutiny should encompass not only the quest for fractures or impairment but also the detection and removal of avian and rodent nests, which are known to be established in proximity to solar panel installations.

Conducting regular assessments of your solar panels to ensure maximum absorption of solar energy will have the salutary effect of reducing your electricity expenditures.


Ensuring the pristine condition of your solar panels through regular solar panel cleaning is paramount for optimal functionality. Layers of grime, avian excreta, atmospheric contaminants, and arboreal remnants like foliage can drastically hinder their efficacy. The imperative for purification fluctuates based on your geographical locale and the prevailing environmental elements.

When embarking on the purification of solar panels, prioritizing safety is of utmost importance. Employing suitable cleansing agents and techniques is critical to avert any impairment to the panels.

 Should trepidation or uncertainty arise during the cleansing procedure, it is prudent to solicit the expertise of professional custodians. Through meticulous maintenance of your solar panels, you amplify the rewards of your commitment to sustainable energy.

Related latest articles

10 Off-Grid Living Communities You Should Consider

10 Off-Grid Living Communities You Should Consider

Related products

Back to blog