Solar panels need to be cleaned. This is the first thing that needs to be recognised because in the past solar panels have been miss-sold under the guise of being “self cleaning”. The vast majority in the UK are not.


Having clean solar panels can increase efficiency by up to 30%. It is recommended by solar panel installers that you should have your solar panels cleaned by professional cleaners every 6 months. As panels face upwards there are any number of types of dirt and debris that can cover their surface. Most of the dirt will not be visible from the ground, which is why many homeowners/businesses do not realise they are dirty. Pollution, dust, tree sap, pollen, soot, salt and other fine particles build up an opaque layer of grime on the panels reducing efficiency.

It is not recommended by solar panel manufacturers to use chemicals to clean your panels. Tap water and rain water will not sufficiently clean solar panels to keep them running at maximum efficiency. Using detergents to clean solar panels leaves a sticky microscopic film on the panel, which actually attracts dirt and grime, again this will lead to your solar panels not running efficiently.

Only a pure water system such as one that uses a water fed pole with a soft brush and de-ionised water should be used. A water fed pole system removes the chance of panels being damaged by any weight being placed upon them. A soft brush needs to be used so that the glass surface is not damaged in any way. The water fed pole system produces de-ionised water which remove water spots that can be caused by hard water on the surface of the panel.