Can I Pressure Wash Solar Panels? Cleaning Tips to Know

August 16, 2023

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If you’re a property owner asking, can I pressure wash solar panels, you’re not alone! This is a common question asked by solar owners and those considering investing in solar. After all, cleaner panels absorb more sunlight, so they create more power. On the other hand, you don’t want to damage those panels either.

Solar panel manufacturers typically do not recommend pressure washing. This process might damage the panels and electrical components. However, you can use low-pressure rinsing and cleaning products designed for solar panels if needed.

To find out more about keeping your solar panels clean and working effectively, keep reading. Also, remember to discuss your panels with a solar installation contractor near you. They can offer added expertise when it comes to ensuring your panels are in good condition.

can I pressure wash solar panels

Can I Pressure Wash Solar Panels?

Pressure washing solar panels is generally not recommended by manufacturers and installers. Power washing can risk damage to the panels and their attached electrical components.

Also, note that solar panels are designed to be weather-resistant and self-cleaning to a certain extent. In fact, rain offers natural cleaning for solar panels. However, if you find that your panels are particularly dirty and you want to clean them, note some guidelines to follow after your solar panel installation:

Manufacturer's Recommendations

Check the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for cleaning your specific solar panels. Some manufacturers might provide instructions on how to clean their panels safely. This might include a gentle brushing or using certain products designed for solar panels.

Gentle Cleaning Methods

If you need to clean your solar panels, opt for gentle cleaning methods. Use those that don't involve high-pressure water. For instance, you might opt for a hose with a gentle spray nozzle or a soft brush with a long handle. These can help remove dust, debris, and light dirt.

Biodegradable Soap

If there are stubborn stains or dirt buildup on the panels, use a mixture of water and a mild, biodegradable soap. Apply the mixture with a soft cloth or sponge and rinse with water afterward. You can even use a small squirt of dishwashing liquid in water. However, ensure it doesn’t include added lotions or other oily products.

Warm Water

If your panels are in a shaded area or the weather is cool, consider using warm water. Warm water can help dissolve dirt and grime. This doesn’t mean hot water as this can potentially damage glass panels. You also don’t want to waste power heating water when it’s not necessary!

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaning chemicals on solar panels. These can damage their surfaces and interfere with their efficiency. Some harsh chemicals and products can also run off to the property’s roof, risking damage to shingles and tiles.

Remember that the goal of cleaning solar panels is to ensure they are operating at their optimal efficiency. If you're unsure about the best cleaning approach, consult with a professional who specializes in solar panel maintenance.

residential solar panels

Is It OK to Hose Off Solar Panels?

Hosing off solar panels with a gentle stream of water is a good way to clean them. Using a gentle hose is even needed if the panels have accumulated dust, dirt, or debris. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind even with a garden hose:

  • When hosing off solar panels, use a gentle stream of water rather than high-pressure water. High-pressure water can damage panel surfaces or compromise the integrity of the seals and connections.
  • If your water source has a high mineral content or is hard water, be cautious about leaving water spots on the panels after rinsing. These spots can reduce the panel's efficiency over time. If possible, use filtered or deionized water to minimize mineral deposits.
  • It's generally recommended to clean solar panels early in the morning or in the late afternoon. This is when they are not producing their maximum amount of electricity. This minimizes the risk of electrical shock and helps prevent thermal shock to the panels.
  • Ensure that you have safe access to the panels. If the panels are on a rooftop or in a difficult-to-reach area, consider hiring a professional.

What Should You Not Do When Cleaning Solar Panels?

When cleaning solar panels, avoid certain practices that could potentially damage the panels. Also, you don’t want to reduce their efficiency or compromise their safety. Here's a list of things you should not do when cleaning solar panels:

  • Avoid using high-pressure water, such as pressure washers, to clean solar panels. High-pressure water can damage the surface, scratch the protective coatings, and even dislodge important components.
  • Do not use abrasive materials like scrub brushes, steel wool, or abrasive cleaners. These can scratch or damage the glass surface of the panels.
  • Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaning chemicals. Chemicals like ammonia, bleach, or acidic solutions can harm the panel's protective coatings and affect their performance.
  • Do not scrape or scratch the panels to remove dirt or debris. This can cause irreparable damage to the glass and anti-reflective coatings.
  • Avoid cleaning solar panels when they are hot, especially in direct sunlight. Rapid temperature changes, such as applying cold water to hot panels, can cause thermal stress and potentially crack the glass.
  • Do not walk on the solar panels. Panels are fragile and can be easily cracked or damaged by excess weight.
  • Avoid cleaning solar panels during the peak production hours of the day when they are generating the most electricity. This can pose a risk of electric shock.
  • If using tap water to rinse the panels, be cautious about water spots from mineral deposits. Use filtered or deionized water if possible.
  • If you remove the panels' junction box cover for cleaning, avoid overloading electrical connections and wires while reassembling it.

A Quick Word From Our Solar Crew

Go Solar New Jersey hopes that we answered the question, can I pressure wash my solar panels? If you’re in the state, call our New Jersey solar panel installation technicians for your FREE quote. We’re happy to explain all the benefits of clean, green solar power for your property.


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