Cleaning solar panels

How to clean solar panels

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In this Canstar Blue guide, we explain how to clean solar panels safely. We also look at how regularly you’ll need to complete this task and if it is worth all the fuss.

Solar panels are an investment, both from an environmental standpoint and from the perspective of your energy bill. As a result, it makes sense that you want to take care of your investment, from ensuring that your solar panels are installed correctly through to checking that you’re on a decent feed-in tariff. But when it comes to solar panel maintenance, one task we may all be a little confused about is how – if at all – should we be cleaning solar panels? If you’re in this boat, never fear. We discuss how to clean solar panels on your roof below.


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Does cleaning solar panels make a difference?

Dirty solar panels

Yes. Cleaning solar panels can help to keep your system running in tip top shape by ensuring that dirt, grime, leaves or debris aren’t preventing the panel from collecting sunlight. If a solar panel has trouble capturing sunlight, then your system’s output may become affected, which could impact your bottom line when it comes to energy savings.

That being said, how much of a difference solar panel cleaning actually makes is dependent on a number of factors, such as the number of solar panels you have, how dirty they get and the general weather conditions of your area.

How to clean solar panels

Cleaning solar panels with brush

If you’re looking to clean your solar panels yourself, you can do so in a few simple steps, although it’s recommended that you take the proper safety precautions before getting up on the roof. To clean your solar panels, follow the steps below:

  • Step one: Turn off your solar panel system, and redirect the roof runoff away from rainwater tanks (if you have any).
  • Step two: Hose down the solar panels on a gentle wash, as this will generally take care of any dust.
  • Step three: Use soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to take care of any tougher stains or streaks.
  • Step four: Wipe off any excess water with another cloth or squeegee to prevent streaks and blockages on the panels.

Do I need to turn off solar panels to clean them?

Yes, you should turn off your solar panels, and any adjoining electrical equipment, before attempting to clean them. While solar panels are built to withstand the harsh Aussie climate, if you’re hosing your panels down some water may get on the underside of the panel, which could potentially cause issues and damage if you’re not careful. To turn off your solar panels, follow the process outlined in the owner’s manual. Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding your solar panel system, it is best to contact your installer.

Can you pressure wash solar panels?

It’s best to avoid using a pressure washer, scourers or harsh cleaning chemicals when it comes to cleaning solar panels, as they may damage the system or surface of your panels. And if you’re not sure about getting up on the roof, you can always get a professional solar panel cleaner to come clean your panels for you.

Compare solar energy plans

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

How often should you clean solar panels?

Most solar panel providers and installers recommend cleaning your solar panels at least once every 12 months, but this is dependent on several factors, such as how dirty the panels get and how much rainfall your area gets.

If your solar panels are installed on an angle and there’s plenty of rainfall year-round nature may be able to take care of most of the cleaning process for you. Those with solar panels on a horizontal surface however, may want to look at cleaning more regularly. If you are going to clean your solar panels, then it is recommended to clean earlier in the morning when the panels are a bit cooler to touch.

How much does it cost to clean solar panels?

You can expect it to cost a few hundred dollars to have a solar panel cleaner come and clean your panels. These costs however, may differ significantly depending on how many panels you have, how easy it is to get onto your roof and the call out fees for tradespeople. You may be able to get a quote from a cleaner before booking a service, but if you don’t know where to start, get in touch with your solar installer and see if they offer a cleaning service.

Is it worth cleaning solar panels?

Professional cleaning solar panels

Cleaning solar panels can be thought of as home maintenance, such as cleaning the gutters or washing the car. But whether it’s worth doing comes down to a variety of individual circumstances, including how many solar panels you have, how much rainfall you generally get, and how much time and effort you’re willing to spend to potentially save a few dollars on your energy bill.

If you’re really looking to cut your energy costs, check out our ratings for solar providers to see what other options are out there, or our guide on energy savings tips to see what else you can do around the house before jumping on the roof and cleaning your solar panels.

Best-Rated Solar Installers

Picture credit: Thep Photos/shutterstock.com, TS2017/shutterstock.com, Africa Studio/shutterstock.com, Lev Kropotov/shutterstock.com

Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

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