You can pressure wash solar panels if you like, but I can’t guarantee there won’t be damage. Soldiers Elite Pressure Cleaning, who provides Pressure Washing in Marietta, GA, tells us that pressure washing should be left up to other tasks. With the cost of solar panels and the great asset they provide to your home or business, I wouldn’t run the risk of damage. There are better ways to clean them.
Should You Clean Solar Panels?
The first question you should ask yourself when it comes to solar panels is, should they be cleaned? Normally rain will wash away any dust that lands on them. For the most part, they are really low maintenance. There are a few factors you should take into mind when cleaning your panels.
- Do you live in a dusty area?
- Does it hardly rain in your area?
- Do you live in a windy area?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may need to clean your solar panels. I will break down each reason.
- Dust settles on the panels making it hard to absorb the sunlight.
- If it hardly rains in your area, the solar panels will not likely wash off like they should.
- Wind causes debris like leaves, straw etc. to pick up in the wind. These could land on your solar panels.
CleanEnergyAuthority.com has an excellent debate on the choice of cleaning solar panels or not. It is great to check out. I would hate for you to waste time and money doing something that may not need to be done.
What if They Do Need to Be Cleaned?
Sometimes they do. Now the question is; how to clean them and with what? Washing them is as simple as cleaning your house windows. Solar panels are safely encased in glass, so the electrical guts are not going to get wet. Here are a couple ways to clean them without the harm of a pressure washer.
A Handy Broom and Bucket Will Do!
If you have a soft broom you can gently clean your solar panels with ease. The great thing about this is you don’t have to go and spend money on something that really wasn’t needed to get the job done. Take these easy steps below:
- Remove any debris that may scratch the surface of your panels.
- Wet the solar panels with regular water.
- Take the broom and swish the panels. Make sure the broom has soft bristles.
- Rinse with soft water. A jug of deionized water will work if you don’t have a water softener.
Hose Them Down!
This may sound a little too easy, but it really works. I don’t want to give you hard ways to clean your solar panels, only easy and effective. See the keyword there, effective. This does work great. Since solar panels don’t have to be cleaned often, this acts as an extra, more focused rain. Follow these steps:
- Remove any rocks or debris that may scratch the surface just like above.
- Take the hose and watch the dirt wash away.
This works great on panels that are positioned in either way.
Time to Break Out the Soap.
Sometimes stains will not come off your solar panels. This is a good sign to turn to soaps and detergents. These are great for loosening up any stuck-on stains without having to scrub hard into your solar panels leaving scratches. Simply find a soap you would like to use and gently wash away then rinse.
Here are some Solar Panel Soaps.
- Winsol Solar Brite
- Polywater Solar Panel Wash
- One Shot 1S-SPC Solar Panel Cleaner
- SOLAR PANEL CLEANING SOLUTION by HELIOTEX
What About the Deionized Water?
The importance of deionized water is to prevent a mineral and limescale build up. Regular well water has a lot of minerals and iron oftentimes that can build up on the solar panel. You can certainly wash your panels with this water, but I highly recommend deionized water. It is free of those minerals and such.
Where Can You Find It?
Deionized water can be bought and filled up locally for a decent price. Soft water systems produce the same effect. You only need to rinse your panels off with this. Treat it as a rinse after a rinse with regular water so you’re not using a whole lot. Collect rainwater in buckets if you don’t have access to soft water.
- Remember to put a screen over the bucket so you are collecting water without debris and bugs like mosquitoes.
Some Last Thoughts
Always wash safely and use chemicals that are biodegradable. These are good for you, your pets, plants and overall environment. Never attempt to go on rooftops or climb a ladder if you have any conditions that may make you lose your balance. Also, you can check out a how-to video here.