Solar Panel Cleaning: What You Need to Know

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There’s a multitude of reasons why a growing number of homeowners are investing in solar panels. With home energy efficiency becoming an increasingly important priority, a solar energy generation system is a great option for homeowners who want to significantly reduce their carbon footprint while also boosting the value of their property.

man cleaning solar panel

However, while solar panels have definitely become more efficient and affordable, they still require proper maintenance to deliver optimal performance and efficiency—and that includes periodic solar panel cleaning.

Why It’s Important To Get Solar Panels Washed Periodically

As they’re directly exposed to atmospheric conditions and weather elements, solar panels can get quite dirty. Therefore, regular maintenance and cleaning is recommended by all solar panel manufacturers. In fact, it is estimated that dirty solar panels experience a total efficiency drop of 35%, or more.

Environmental pollution, dust, bird waste, snow, and other types of wind-borne debris are just some factors that negatively impact efficiency and output.

How Often Should You Get Solar Panels Serviced?

This depends on a number of factors, including the type of panels, their angle of inclination, their proximity to vegetation, and various other climatic and atmospheric conditions. With that being said, most manufacturers recommend that you get solar panels cleaned once every six months.

Should You Wash Solar Panels Yourself?

Although washing solar panels may appear to be a simple and straightforward task, it’s far more nuanced than you may think. Many a homeowner has ended up scratching or damaging their panels by washing them with a high-pressure water attachment or an abrasive sponge, while others end up ruining them by stepping or putting weight on them. It’s also critical to ensure that no soapy residue is left on the panels as it can impact their effectiveness.

Therefore, when it comes to solar panel cleaning, it’s best to hire professionals for the job. For instance, here at Smiling Windows, we always use a soft brush and a purified water system to clean solar panels. We also avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasives, as both can create ‘rough spots’ on the panels, where dust and dirt can accumulate.


At Smiling Windows, we’re proud to be one of the leading window and solar panel cleaning service providers in Chicago. You can check out our seasonal deals here, or get in touch with us by calling 773-641-2849.

Solar Panel Cleaning: What You Need to Know