As an Amazon Associate this post may contain affiliate links which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through links.
After spending a significant amount of money on solar panels, the last thing you want is for them to become covered in dust and bird droppings. While there are specific cleaning products designed for solar panels, you may be wondering can you clean solar panels with Windex?
Windex can be used to clean solar panels that do not have a protective layer over the glass panels. It’s strong enough to remove baked on grime and bird droppings, yet safe on solar panel glass. However, Windex may damage the protective film applied on some solar panels.
Some manufacturers apply a thin top film to solar panel glass to protect from dust, grime, and bird droppings. Unfortunately, Windex is not the recommended cleaner in this instance because it could damage the top protective layer and seriously effect the photo-voltaic efficiency.
The good news is, there are a slew of cleaners designed specifically for all types of solar panels. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about cleaning solar panels with Windex or other cleaners designed for solar panels.
Is Windex The Best Cleaner For My Solar Panels?
While Windex or other similar glass cleaner might just do the job, it’s not the ideal cleaner for solar panels. While the ingredients that make up glass cleaner: Ammonia, Isopropolamien and Hexoxyethanol are great at removing grime, grease, and bird droppings, it’s not environmentally safe.
In fact, the chemicals in Windex can be detrimental to plant life and harm anywhere there are plants.
Additionally, spraying large amounts of glass cleaner may irritate your eyes and skin.
Bottom line here is, can you clean solar panels with Windex – yes but only in certain circumstances. If you only need to clean a small portable solar panel then Windex will work just fine. However, if you have rows and rows of solar panels then choose a cleaner designed for solar panels. We’ll get into some cleaner recommendations next.
What Do You Clean Solar Panels With?
Cleaning your solar panels is easy and can be done at home or by a professional. The best way for most people will depend on what how many solar panels you have, and where the panels are located.
Mild detergent, such as Dawn dishwashing liquid or Simple Green, can be used to clean solar panels safely. Apply soapy water using a non-abrasive sponge, then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose to remove any dirt.
You should also avoid using a pressure washer, as it can damage the solar panels and void your warranty. A garden hose will have just the right amount of water pressure to get the job done.
What Should You Not Clean Solar Panels With?
Never clean your solar panels with anything abrasive, waxy or corrosive, as it could damage the coating on the panels.
Ideally, it’s recommended that you use either a mild detergent or a solar panel cleaner when cleaning your solar panels. Solar panel cleaners are best as they are specifically designed to be gentle on all types of solar panels and will remove any build-up of grime, dust, or debris.
Do Solar Panels Need To Be Turned Off Before Cleaning?
Before cleaning your solar system, be sure to turn it off. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally damage any of the components while cleaning.
If you’re not sure how to turn them off, consult with your solar panel installer. They will be able to tell you exactly what needs to be done in order to deactivate the panels.
Always remember when working with electricity, safe first!
How Often Should You Wash Your Solar Panels?
Solar panels should be cleaned on average once every six months in order to maximize their efficiency. However, cleaning more frequently may be necessary if the panels are located in an area with a lot of dust or pollen.
Because solar panels work by converting sunlight into electrical energy, a clean solar panel will be more efficient in converting sunlight into electrical energy.
Can I Spray My Solar Panels With A Hose?
You can use a garden hose to clean your panels, but be careful not spray them with high-pressure jets or using a pressure washer. After you are done, let everything air dry and enjoy the increased efficiency!
Do Dirty Solar Panels Work?
Dirty solar panels will continue capturing the sun’s energy, but just not as well. In fact, as dust and debris slowly build up over time, it prevents sunlight from hitting your solar modules. And as a result, your system could see as much as a 10% decrease in energy production.
When Is the Best Time To Clean Solar Panels?
Spring is the best time of year to clean solar panels, as during peak summer months they can get extremely hot. Additionally, the best time of day to clean them is early morning or early evening when the panels are cooler. In fact, during peak summer months solar panels can reach temperatures as high as 149°F!
Solar panel cleaning is an important part of owning solar panels, and it’s crucial to use the right cleaner. Windex might be a great cleaner for glass and even on small solar panels, but it’s not ideal for larger solar setups.
Be sure to use a specifically formulated solar panel cleaner to clean your panels safely and keep them running at their best.