How to clean solar panels in six easy steps — plus how often they need cleaning

clay roof tile with solar panels on top being cleaned
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Knowing how to clean solar panels is key to making sure your technology keeps working at full capacity. Dirt, bird mess and other debris not only will make your panels look shabby but it can impact their efficiency and how much energy they generate for your home.

The majority of solar panels in the UK are actually self-cleaning, which means that they have a hydrophobic coating that protects the panel surface by preventing water droplets from sticking to them. This prevents the gradual build-up of minerals on the solar cells, because when droplets of rain fall from the sky they bring particles of dirt with them. 

A headshot of Katharine Allison
Katharine Allison

Katharine is the Independent Advisor's energy saving expert. She is an advocate for sustainability, in particular solar panels, double glazing and renewable energy technologies. She has over 10 years of experience in the eco sector and has worked with the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Robin Whitlock
Freelance journalist

Robin is a freelance journalist based in the South West of England, UK. He specialises in environmental issues, climate change and renewable energy, with other interests in transport and green motoring. He is a regular daily correspondent for a renewable energy website, writing news articles and interview pieces on all the main clean energy technologies. He has also written widely for numerous magazines on these topics, as well as writing white papers and web content.

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