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Solar Panel Cleaning

Solar panels usually need to be cleaned every couple of years

Cleaning your solar panels will keep them working at maximum efficiency

A professional cleaning costs £100-£150

Once you’ve paid solar panel prices to invest in your future, you’ll want to make sure they last a long time and work as efficiently as possible.

That’s where solar panel cleaning comes in.

So if you want to know the best ways to clean your solar panels, read on. We’ll explain the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of solar panel cleaning, and break down the cost of a professional clean.

Not got solar panels yet? We can help. Just fill in this form with some details, and our network of specialist solar panel installers will reach out with their best prices.

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a dirty solar panel with

How to clean your solar panels

So, how do you actually do it? Do you wipe them down with bleach? Turn on a high-powered leaf blower? Cast a spell? Read on to find out.

How to clean solar panels on a roof

We wouldn’t recommend climbing on a roof yourself to clean solar panels, since it’s far too dangerous. To do it, you need to have been trained to work on a sloped surface, several metres up in the air, next to expensive, breakable solar panels.

If you accidentally fall on them, you’ll both suffer – and you could also fall off the roof. No-one wants that.

So if your solar panels are on the roof, clean them from the ground. Get a hose, a high-pressure stream of water, and a nozzle that can handle that power – then take aim.

You can then wipe off this cleansing stream with a squeegee.

Make sure your squeegee has a plastic blade on one side, and a non-abrasive sponge on the other – and of course, it needs to come with a lengthy extension, so you can reach the panels.

If there’s no way you can reach the roof, get an expert to do the job for you. It’ll be worth it.

Top Tips

1. Use soapy water

2. Wipe with a non-abrasive sponge to avoid scratches

3. Do not clean the wiring underneath

4. Clean on an overcast day so you don’t get smears

5. Early in the day is ideal, as dew will soften the grime and make cleaning easier

6. Clean your panels from the ground

7. If you can’t from the ground, don’t go on the roof – hire a professional instead

solar panels being cleaned with a brush and water

Why do you need to clean solar panels?

Obviously, you want your panels to be spotless – it keeps them working at full strength, which will lead to more savings, making the upfront cost of the solar panels worth it.

But the rain will clean them, surely? Unfortunately, no. Rain may wipe away some of the dust and debris, but your panels need a proper clean – particularly as your solar energy generation is only as strong as your weakest cell, if you’re using a string inverter.

If you abandon your panels to the ways and whims of nature, they’ll end up defaced and blighted by leaves, dust, pollen, and other particulate matter – not to mention bird droppings. Even the best solar panels on the market won’t be able to power your home efficiently with bird droppings all over them.

That’s because dust and other debris prevent your panels from receiving as much direct sunlight. In fact, dust and particulate matter can reduce a solar array’s production by as much as 25% according to American Chemical Society.

Dirty solar panels will also look bad to you and your neighbours, and feel worse – especially when you receive your energy bill. 

The occasional clean will keep your solar array looking wonderful, and working at peak efficiency.

If you want an eco-friendly roof that’s supposed to have animals on it, why not consider a green roof?

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How much does solar panel cleaning cost?

Professional solar panel cleaning costs around £100 to £150 for the average three-bedroom house with 10 solar panels.

However, the total cost will depend on several factors. The more solar panels a house has, the more it costs to clean them, since it will take more time. For that same reason, particularly dirty solar panels also cost more to clean.

And lastly, the higher up the panels are, or the more difficult they are to access, the more expensive they will be to clean, since cleaning them will required trained experts, and more material.

How often should you clean your solar panels?

Manufacturers generally recommend that you clean your solar panels twice per year.

If that’s beyond you, that’s fine – but your panels will usually still need to be cleaned every couple of years.

If you wash them at the beginning of summer, you’ll ensure you have a fully functioning solar array for the peak solar season.

You’ll also maintain the advantage that you gain over other properties the moment you go solar. After all, 69% of people are likely or very likely to buy or rent a property with solar panels on it, according to our National Home Energy Survey.

For free solar panel quotes from local experts, just fill in this form.


Yes, most manufacturers recommend that you turn off your solar panel system before cleaning it. This is less to protect the panels and more to eliminate the risk that you might be electrocuted.

You can find instructions on how to turn off your solar panel system in the manual you should have received from your installer. This will also include instructions on how to turn it back on.

You shouldn’t pressure wash solar panels, because there’s a risk the high pressure will scratch or damage them. The best way to clean solar panels is gently, with a non abrasive sponge and soapy water.

Yes, you can clean your solar panels with a regular garden hose if they are low enough for you to reach them with it. Just make sure not to use high pressure water, since this might damage the solar panels.
Written by:
josh jackman
Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.
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