Cleaning Solar panels

I quoted a bid on cleaning a metal roof with solar panels on back. Any info on what type of chemical to use on the solar panels? Will be using low pressure to clean them.

I clean them with a waterfed pole.House wash mix on/off should be
fine. DO NOT scrub them with anything abrasive, they can scratch!

Thanks for the response Bill.

When you say a house wash mix, what chemicals are you referring to ? A mild detergent, outdoor bleach, or simple green?

12.5% bleach mixed 50:50 with water. I add 1 ounce elemonator
per gallon of mix. What normally works for me. Search forum for
house wash. Everyone tweaks a bit for their preference.

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I can’t really seem to find very much info on the three different post’s that are about solar panels. I have several jobs in line for solar panels to be cleaned. There are a couple that we just did and what I’m finding is that most of them have a very thick layer of grime on them. I tried using the waterfed pole with both a boars hair brush and white Tucker scrub pad and after they dry it looks like nothing happened. I can run my finger over 1/2” of length and my finger turns black. I tried one small area using the Green tip and turned the water to about 125 deg (pretty much the same temperature as the solar panel was) and it worked to get the grime off. I’ve been reading however that you don’t want to use high-pressure. I found this product on WCR that is specifically designed for cleaning solar panels and I’m going to buy it try it out but I wanted to know if I can use up to a certain psi to rinse off after to help remove the grime. On the instructions on this product it says you can rinse off with a power jet which kind of sounds like a Pressure Washer. Is it safe to use a 1000 psi tip on solar panels? Or does anyone have any experience using this product (or other safe soap) that can confirm it will just dissolve the heavy grime using a soft brush or non abrasive pad?

thinking maybe @dcbrock or @Steve might have input from the window world!

Have you checked the window cleaning threads ?

Yes only ads for products.

this is what we use with a waterfed pole system, works great.

Cracks me up, something like this is so simple.

Call the panel manufacturer and find out what they suggest. Last thing you want to do is use something that voids the warranty.

Case in point, I learned years ago you can’t put a ladder against gutters with gutter helmets, they cancel the warranty.


Good point.

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I called Tesla, they said to use “soapy water” lol

Soapy water and agitation, went through this 2 months ago with a genuine Tesla roof, if your after customer service forget about it.

A few more options. Soap on an applicator, then wfp. Hot water helps and is cheap on wfp compared to pw. I tend to run my wfp hot even if I don’t think I need it as I just like how its better at cleaning and runs down the glass faster, and dries faster. (Less drips) you could rig up a pump sprayer and have it spray a solution from the top of the brush, if the jobs are big enough to warrant taking the time to rig this up.

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How do you heat the water for that?

i asked someone that cleans solar panels what their process is and they said they soft wash with a window cleaner, low pressure rinse off… not sure if that’s right at all since i haven’t REALLY looked into anything involving windows/glass cleaning, just passing along the answer i got. best of luck

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I’ve heard of this before, I WFP too but I’m interested in knowing more about hot water WFP’ing

Point of source propane heater, after the filtration and before the reel. Camping heater like this

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We only use our water fed pole system.

Thread revival. I’m hoping there’s some newer info or products out there for this job I have coming up.

This home is brand new and is currently having all of the landscaping installed. Sod, trees, shrubs, etc., so I have about a month before I could even do it and I figured I’d ask this stuff now to give me time to get my ducks in a row.

Obviously, being new construction, there isn’t really any organics to speak of but everything is covered in concrete dust, mortar splatter, red dirt and mud. I’ve got all that handled but the homeowner wanted a quote on cleaning the solar panels. I’ve only cleaned solar panels one time. They were on the ground and just had some grass flecks and a light layer of dust on them so I just did as suggested above and hit them with some soapy water and rinsed with my lowest pressure tip. They cleaned up fine. My concern with this job is the concrete dust on the panels. I know these panels are somewhat delicate and I certainly don’t want to scratch them by agitating.

So any ideas or products y’all would recommend? Anyone done a million of these and have it all perfected?

Sorry, no pics of the panels. Couldn’t get to them with all the machinery and workers running around.

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Vast majority of solar panels are made of tempered glass, basically heat or chemically treated for strength and scratch resistance, scratches cast micro shadows reducing efficiency, you’d be doing well if you manage to scratch them. Soapy water, do the dwell, agitate and rinse is how I do them. No dramas.

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