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Cleaning Solar Panels: Why You Should Hire a Professional.

Solar panels are an excellent investment for harnessing renewable energy, reducing electricity bills, and contributing to a greener planet. However, to maintain their efficiency, regular cleaning is crucial. Dirty solar panels can lose up to 20% of their efficiency, meaning that keeping them clean is key to maximizing your return on investment. While it might be tempting to grab a ladder and a hose or call the nearest power washing company, it's important to understand the dangers involved and why hiring a professional familiar with solar systems is the best choice.

The Importance of Clean Solar Panels

Solar panels accumulate dirt, dust, pollen, bird droppings, and other debris over time. This grime creates a layer that blocks sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic cells, reducing the panels' efficiency. Regular cleaning ensures that your panels can absorb as much sunlight as possible, translating into more energy production and greater savings on your electricity bill.

Dangers of DIY Solar Panel Cleaning

Cleaning solar panels might seem like a simple task, but it comes with several risks:

Physical Hazards:

  • Falls: Solar panels are typically installed on rooftops or high structures. Climbing onto these surfaces without proper safety equipment can result in serious injuries or even fatalities.

  • Electrical Shocks: Solar panels generate electricity whenever exposed to light. Cleaning them involves working close to live electrical components, posing a risk of electric shock if not handled correctly.

Damage to Panels:

  • Scratches: Using abrasive cleaning tools or rough materials can scratch the surface of the panels, permanently damaging them, reducing their efficiency, and voiding the warranty.

  • Water Damage: Spraying water directly onto the panels can cause water to seep into the electrical components, leading to potential short circuits or long-term damage.

Inadequate Cleaning:

  • Improper Techniques: Without proper knowledge, you might miss spots or use cleaning methods that are ineffective, leaving your panels only partially clean and still underperforming.

Why You Shouldn't Use Power Washing Companies

While power washing companies excel at cleaning exterior surfaces, they are not the best choice for solar panel maintenance for several reasons:

Excessive Pressure:

  • High-Pressure Damage: Power washers use high-pressure streams of water that can crack or dislodge solar panels, break seals, and force water into sensitive components.

Lack of Solar System Knowledge:

  • No Specialization: Power washing companies typically lack the specific training required to handle solar panels. They may not understand the delicate nature of solar cells and the electrical risks involved.

Inappropriate Cleaning Solutions:

  • Harmful Chemicals: Some power washing companies might use strong cleaning agents that can damage the protective coatings on your solar panels, leading to reduced efficiency and voiding the warranty.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Solar Panel Cleaner

Professional solar panel cleaners offer several advantages:

Expertise and Safety:

  • Specialized Training: Professionals are trained to handle solar panels safely and efficiently. They know how to navigate rooftops securely and use the right equipment to avoid falls and injuries.

  • Electrical Safety: They understand the electrical aspects of solar panels and take necessary precautions to prevent electric shocks and other hazards.

Proper Equipment:

  • Gentle Cleaning Tools: Professionals use soft brushes, squeegees, and purified water to clean panels without causing scratches or damage.

  • Safety Gear: They have access to safety harnesses and other protective equipment to perform the job securely.

Effective Cleaning Techniques:

  • Thorough Cleaning: Professionals ensure that every part of the panel is cleaned effectively, maximizing sunlight absorption and energy production.

  • Maintenance Checks: During cleaning, they can also inspect your panels for any signs of damage or wear, helping you address potential issues before they become serious problems.


While keeping your solar panels clean is essential for optimal performance, attempting to do it yourself or hiring a power washing company can lead to accidents and damage. By hiring a professional with experience in solar systems, you ensure your panels are cleaned safely and effectively, maintaining their efficiency and longevity. Investing in professional cleaning not only protects your solar panels but also safeguards your health and maximizes your renewable energy benefits.


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