How to Clean Your Solar Panels in Australia

How to Clean Your Solar Panels in Australia

By Renogy marketing team
Renogy marketing team
renogys blog Jun 1st 2023

How to Clean Your Solar Panels in Australia

Australia's abundant sunshine makes it an ideal location for harnessing solar energy.

With nearly 1 in 3 homes adopting solar power in the country, it is crucial to ensure the efficiency and longevity of solar panels.

One of the crucial maintenance tasks for solar panel owners is regular cleaning to optimize their performance. However, cleaning solar panels requires specific knowledge and techniques to prevent damage and maximize energy generation.

Now, we explain how to clean solar panels in Australia, helping you maintain their effectiveness and get the most out of this renewable energy source.

In this article, we will discuss:

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Solar Panels?

The benefits of cleaning solar panels extend far beyond maintaining their aesthetic appeal. Regular cleaning is crucial in ensuring optimal energy production and overall solar system efficiency.

Enhanced Energy Generation

Solar panels accumulate various types of dirt and debris over time, such as dust, pollen, bird droppings, and tree sap. These elements create a layer that obstructs sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic cells, reducing.

Improved Return on Investment (ROI)

Solar panel installation is a long-term investment, and maximizing efficiency is essential for a better ROI. Regular cleaning helps maintain the panels' performance, ensuring they operate at their total capacity.

Prolonged Lifespan

Solar panels are designed to withstand various weather conditions, but the accumulation of dirt and debris can lead to potential damage over time. Regular cleaning helps prevent corrosion, scratches, and other forms of degradation, thereby extending the lifespan of your solar panels.  

Environmental Impact

Keeping solar panels clean contributes to a greener environment. When panels are dirty, they produce less electricity, resulting in a higher demand for power from traditional sources, such as fossil fuels. 

How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?

How often Australians will need to clean their solar panels will depend on several factors, including the location, climate, and environmental conditions.

Dust and Pollution Levels

If you live in an area with high levels of dust, pollution, or industrial activity, we recommend that you clean your solar panels more frequently. These factors can lead to a faster buildup of dirt and debris on the panels, hindering their performance.

In such areas, cleaning every three to six months may be necessary.

Rainfall Patterns

Rain can naturally wash away some of the dirt and pollutants from solar panels. The panels may require less frequent cleaning if you reside in an area with regular rainfall.

However, Australians should keep in mind that rain alone may not completely remove stubborn residues, so periodic cleaning is still recommended.

Surrounding Vegetation and Wildlife

If your property is surrounded by trees, shrubs, or a significant bird population, you might need to clean your solar panels more often. Bird droppings, tree sap, and fallen leaves can accumulate on the panels, affecting their performance.  

Regular inspection and cleaning every few months may be necessary in such cases.

Visual Inspection

Regularly inspect your solar panels for any visible signs of dirt, grime, or obstructions. If you notice a significant buildup or reduced energy production, it is a clear indication that cleaning is required, irrespective of the time passed since the previous cleaning.

The Best Way to Clean Solar Panels?

Maintaining clean solar panels is essential to make sure optimal energy production. Regular cleaning is crucial whether you have solar panels installed at home, on an RV, or on the roof.

Here's a step-by-step guide on the best way to clean solar panels in different scenarios:

How to Clean Solar Panels at Home?

1. Safety First: Before you begin, ensure the solar panels are cool and not exposed to direct sunlight to prevent potential burns. Also, use a stable ladder or platform to reach the panels safely.

2. Gather Supplies: You'll need a soft brush or sponge, a bucket of warm water, and a mild detergent (preferably non-abrasive and eco-friendly).

3. Cleaning Process: Dip the brush or sponge in soapy water and gently scrub the surface of the panels. Rinse with clean water and let them air dry. Remember to avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that could damage the panels.

How to Clean RV Solar Panels?

1. Safety Precautions: Before cleaning, make sure your RV is parked on a level surface, and the solar panels are cool to the touch.

2. Supplies: Gather a soft brush or sponge, a bucket of warm water, and a mild detergent suitable for use on RV surfaces.

3. Cleaning Procedure: Wet the brush or sponge with soapy water and gently scrub the panels. Rinse the panels thoroughly with clean water and allow them to air dry. Pay attention to any stubborn dirt or stains.

How to Clean Solar Panels on the Roof?

1. Safety Measures: Cleaning solar panels on the roof can be more challenging and potentially hazardous. Consider hiring professionals if you're uncomfortable with heights or lack the necessary equipment.

2. Professional Services: Roof-mounted solar panels are best cleaned by trained technicians who have the appropriate safety gear and tools. They can ensure a thorough cleaning without compromising your safety.

How to Clean Solar Panels from the Ground?

1. Cleaning Tools: Use a long-handled soft brush or a telescopic pole with a soft brush attachment to clean the panels from the ground.

2. Water Delivery: Connect a garden hose with a gentle spray nozzle to a water source. Adjust the nozzle to create a fine mist that will effectively rinse the panels without excessive pressure.

3. Cleaning Technique: Gently brush the panels back and forth to remove dirt and grime. Rinse thoroughly with the misting water, ensuring all soap residue is removed. 

Remember to consult the manufacturer's guidelines for any specific cleaning instructions provided with your solar panels.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will help you maximize energy production and prolong the lifespan of your solar panels, ensuring they continue to harness the sun's power efficiently.

Tips on Cleaning Solar Panels

Regardless of the type of solar panels you have, there are some essential cleaning tips on how to clean solar panels in Australia.

1. Timing: Clean solar panels early in the morning or late in the evening when cool to prevent water from evaporating quickly and leaving streaks.

2. Gentle Approach: Use soft brushes, sponges, or non-abrasive cleaning tools to avoid scratching the panel surface.

3. Water Quality: Use clean, filtered water to prevent mineral deposits and residues from accumulating on the panels. 

4. Safety Measures: Prioritize safety by following proper ladder usage, wearing appropriate footwear, and ensuring cleaning stability.

5. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect for damaged wiring, loose connections, or signs of wear and tear, and address any issues promptly.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean Solar Panels?

The cost of cleaning solar panels in Australia can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the system, location, accessibility, and local market rates.  

On average, professional solar panel cleaning services in Australia can range from $10 to $20 per panel. However, it's important to note that prices may differ between regions and service providers.

DIY cleaning methods using basic supplies like water, mild detergent, and a soft brush can be a cost-effective alternative.

Regardless of the chosen method, ensuring the cleanliness of your solar panels is crucial for maintaining their efficiency and optimizing energy production.

What Should You NOTDo When Cleaning Solar Panels?

When you clean solar panels, it's crucial to avoid certain practices that could potentially damage the panels or pose safety risks. Here are a few things you should not do when cleaning solar panels:

1. Use Abrasive Materials: Avoid using abrasive materials such as steel wool, stiff brushes, or harsh cleaning chemicals. These can scratch or damage the surface of the panels, affecting their efficiency.

2. Clean Hot Panels: Do not clean solar panels when they are hot or exposed to direct sunlight. The sudden temperature change caused by water can potentially crack or damage the panels.

3. Apply Excessive Pressure: Do not apply excessive pressure when cleaning the panels. Excessive force can lead to cracks, breakages, or dislodging of components. 

4. Use Hard Water: Avoid using hard water or untreated tap water, as it can leave mineral deposits or residues on the panels, affecting their performance. Instead, use clean, filtered water for rinsing.

5. Neglect Safety Measures: Always prioritize safety. Avoid accessing rooftop panels without proper safety equipment and training. If you're unsure or uncomfortable with heights, consider hiring professional cleaners.

Tips for Maintenance of Solar Panels

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your solar panels. Here are some essential tips for maintaining solar panels:

1. Regular Inspections: Perform visual inspections of your solar panels to check for any signs of damage, loose connections, or debris accumulation.

2. Keep Panels Clean: Regularly clean the surface of the panels to remove dirt, dust, bird droppings, and other debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the panels. 

3. Trim Surrounding Vegetation: Trim any overhanging branches or vegetation that may cast shade on the panels to reduce their exposure to sunlight.

4. Monitor Performance: Keep track of the energy production of your solar panels using monitoring systems or software provided by the manufacturer.

5. Check Inverter Operation: Regularly check the inverter's functioning and indicators for any error messages or faults. Consult a professional if you encounter any issues.


Below are some of Australia's most-asked questions about solar panel maintenance:

Q: Do I need to turn off solar panels to clean?

A: Turning off your solar panels while cleaning them is generally optional. However, it is important to prioritize safety and follow proper precautions. Ensure that the panels are cool, avoid spraying water directly onto electrical connections, and exercise caution when accessing rooftop panels.

Q: Can I hose down my solar panels?

A: While hosing down solar panels can be a quick and convenient method, it is important to use caution. Opt for a gentle misting or a low-pressure stream of water to rinse away loose dirt or debris. Avoid using high-pressure jets or harsh sprays that may damage the panels or their components.

Q: Can I use washing liquid to clean solar panels?

A: Using mild detergents or washing up liquid to clean solar panels is generally safe. However, it is crucial to use a non-abrasive and eco-friendly detergent. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, which can damage the panel surface and reduce efficiency. Additionally, rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue.

Q: When should I ask for help from solar cleaning professionals?

A: While homeowners can often clean solar panels, there are situations where professional assistance is recommended. Professional cleaners can ensure a thorough and safe cleaning process. Seek help from solar cleaning professionals if you are uncomfortable with heights, lack the necessary safety equipment, or have a large or complex solar panel system that requires specialized knowledge and expertise.

Related articles:

Solar Panel Efficiency In Australia: Complete Guide

Portable Solar Panels - From Orange To The Outback

Mount Solar Panel To Roof Rack | Complete Guide

What Size Solar System Do I Need In Australia?

What Are Solar Panels Made Of?