How Much to Clean Solar Panels: The Complete Guide In 2023

Do you have solar panels put on your property in the United States?

Congratulations! đź‘Ť

You’re already contributing to developing a more sustainable and clean future.

Are you trying to increase how effective your solar panel system is? Because dirty solar panels can have a 30% reduction in production and efficiency,

Therefore, it’s crucial to clean your panel regularly. So, let’s get information about how much to clean solar panels.

This article explores the factors influencing solar panel cleaning costs.


How Much To Clean Solar Panels In the USA đź’¦

Solar panel cleaning costs in the USA typically range from $150 to $300 for a 2,000 sq ft home. The price depends on panel size, tilt, accessibility, and local labour rates.

You must first be aware of all the possible cleaning methods for solar panels to have complete information on how much to clean solar panels.

There are two different cleaning procedures you can use on the solar panels.

  1. DIY Solar Panel Cleaning
  2. Professional Solar Panel Cleaning

Here’s a breakdown of estimates, materials, and costs for professional and DIY solar panel cleaning:

1. DIY Solar Panel Cleaning

To know how much it costs to clean solar panels, you need to know how much DIY solar panel cleaning costs.

Cleaning your solar panels yourself can save you money on professional cleaning services.

Here’s an overview of the costs associated with DIY solar panel cleaning:

If you choose to clean your solar panels yourself, you must purchase a few essential instruments and supplies.

Here is a breakdown of the materials and costs associated with solar panel cleansing on your own:

DIY Solar Panel Cleaning Estimates

Tools:
  1. Soft-bristled brush or sponge ($15 – $30)
  2. Bucket ($10 – $25)
  3. Hose or pressure washer ($60 – $180)
  4. Extension pole ($30 – 80)
Cleaning Solutions:
  1. Distilled water (around $1 per gallon)
  2. Soap or detergent (around $7 – $14 per bottle)
  3. Rubbing alcohol (around $7 – $14 per bottle)
  4. Vinegar (around $5 – $7 per bottle)

My recommended tools and materials products below.

Solar Panels Cleaning MaterialsDescriptionSee on Amazon
Soft-bristled brushTeravan 10″ Flow-Thru Bi-Level Wide Scrub BrushClick Here
Microfiber ClothAmazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning ClothsClick Here
Cleaning solutionOne Shot 1S-CSPCClick Here
BucketGoderewild Collapsible BucketClick Here
LadderTelescoping Ladder A FrameClick Here
GlovesNEOTRIL Safety Work Gloves MicroFoam Nitrile CoatedClick Here
Eye ProtectionSupermore Anti-Fog Protective Safety GogglesClick Here
Squeegee or soft brushTelescoping Ladder A-FrameClick Here
Table 1: Tools and Materials for cleaning solar panels

DIY Solar Panel Cleaning Process

Here are some general steps to follow for DIY solar panel cleaning:

  • Step 1 Weather forecast: Clean solar panels in clear, sunny weather to avoid streaks.
  • Step 2 Safety First: Wear gloves, safety glasses, and non-slip footwear first and foremost.
  • Step 3 Turn off Panels: Before cleansing your solar panels, turn them off.
  • Step 4 Remove debris: Use a soft-bristled brush or leaf blower to remove leaves and twigs from solar panels.
  • Step 5 Rinse with water: Rinse solar panels with a garden hose, starting at the top and going down.
  • Step 6 Soap and water: Use a soft sponge or towel to gently clean your solar panels with a mild soap solution and water. Abrasive cleaning solutions can damage panels.
  • Step 7 Rinse again: Rinse again to eliminate soap residue.
  • Step 8 Dry the panels: Dry the panels with a squeegee or dry cloth.
How To Clean Solar Panels | Like a Pro!

DIY Solar Panel Cleaning Pros and Cons

The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of performing your solar panel cleaning:

Pros:
  • Cost-effective: DIY solar panel cleaning can save money.
  • Convenience: You can clean your solar panels whenever you want without an appointment or waiting for a professional provider.
  • Control: Cleaning solar panels gives you full control over the process and ensures your pleasure.
  • Satisfaction: Cleaning solar panels yourself can be rewarding.
Cons:
  • Safety concerns: Cleaning solar panels on your roof can be risky if you’re not used to heights or need the necessary gear.
  • Risk of damage: Using improper cleaning materials or methods can harm your solar panels, reducing their effectiveness and costing you extra.
  • Time-consuming: Cleaning solar panels, especially large systems or extremely filthy panels, can take a long time.

Due to a lack of specialized equipment and cleaning chemicals, DIY cleaning may be less successful than professional cleaning.

Always follow the manufacturer’s advice and any specific cleaning tips for your solar panel system.

DIY Solar Panel Cleaning Safety Precautions

The safety of anyone cleaning your solar panels should come first. Here are some things to remember regarding safety:

  • To access your solar panels, use a strong ladder or scaffolding.
  • To avoid falls, put on slip-resistant shoes. Use a safety harness or ask someone to hold the ladder for increased stability.
  • Before cleaning, turn off your solar panels to prevent electrical shock.
  • To stop the solar panels from being scratched, use a soft-bristled brush.
  • Avoid employing corrosive substances or abrasive cleaning equipment.

2. Professional Solar Panel Cleaning

There are several reasons responsible for estimating professional solar panel cleaning in the United States, such as:

  • What size is your solar panel system?
  • What type and amount of waste is accumulated on the solar panel system that you have to remove and
  • In which location you have fitted the solar panel

Below are some approximate prices of professional solar panel cleaning, which are just an estimate.

Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Estimates

Type of ServiceEstimated Cost Range
Basic cleaning (no significant debris buildup)$150 – $350
Heavy cleaning (significant debris buildup)$400 – $600
Annual maintenance cleaning$200 – $300
Table 2: Estimates for Professional cleaning solar panels

Once more, these expenses are merely estimates and could change depending on a variety of variables.

Your best option is to have a professional maintain your solar panels. Even if your warranty agreement does not cover annual maintenance, it is still worth the money.

An expert has a better chance of spotting repair problems before they become more serious.

Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Pros and Cons

Professional solar panel cleaning has advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:
  • Thorough cleaning: Professional solar panel cleaning can boost energy efficiency and panel lifespan.
  • Safety: Cleaning solar panels is dangerous, especially on steep roofs. Professionals are trained and equipped for safety.
  • Time-saving: Hiring a professional to clean your solar panels saves you time and energy.
Cons:
  • Cost: Professional solar panel cleaning can be expensive, especially if you have a large array or reside in a high-labor-cost area.
  • Scheduling: Booking an appointment in advance may be troublesome if you need your panels cleaned immediately.
  • Quality of service: Research and hire a reputable and experienced professional solar panel cleaner to ensure high-quality service.

Comparison of Professional and DIY Solar Panels Cleaning

Comparison of Professional and DIY Solar Panels Cleaning

Certainly! Here are some estimated costs for solar panel cleaning services in the United States, broken down by low, average, and high ranges:

Service TypeLow Range CostAverage Range CostHigh Range Cost
Professional Cleaning$10 – $15 per panel$15 – $25 per panel$25 – $40 per panel
DIY Cleaning$0 – $5 per panel$5 – $10 per panel$10 – $20 per panel
Table 3: Comparing Professional and DIY Solar Panel Cleaning

11 Factors Affecting Solar Pnales Cleaning Cost

11 Factors Affecting Solar Pnales Cleaning Cost

Specifically, Here’s a detailed breakdown of 11 factors affecting solar panel cleaning costs in the USA, including data and tables where applicable:

  1. Size of the Solar Panel System
  2. Frequency of Cleaning
  3. Location of the Property
  4. Accessibility of the Panels
  5. Type of Solar Panels
  6. Professional vs. DIY Cleaning
  7. Materials and Equipment
  8. Condition of the Panels
  9. Warranty and Maintenance Agreements
  10. Roof Steepness and Height
  11. Labour

1. Size of the Solar Panel System

System Size of the Solar Panels The cost of cleaning increases with the size of the solar panel system.

HomeAdvisor estimates that cleaning a solar panel system costs $150–350 for 6–8 kW systems and $300–550 for systems over 8 kW.

Residential and business solar panel installations cost this much.

As the scale of the system grows, the cost per panel lowers, as indicated in the table below:

Solar Panel System SizeCost Per Panel
2 kW$30 – $60
4 kW$25 – $45
6 kW$20 – $35
8 kW$15 – $30
10 kW$12 – $25
Table 4: Solar panel size and cost per panel

2. Frequency of Cleaning

The price per cleaning will decrease the more frequently you clean your solar panels.

Solar Cleaning Professional estimates that a one-time in-year cleaning costs $170 and a monthly cleaning $30 per panel.

Consider setting up a regular cleaning schedule to reduce costs since some solar panel cleaning firms offer discounted rates for frequent cleanings.

3. Location of the Property

Live in an area with high levels of pollution, dust, or other environmental variables that can cause your panels to become dirty more rapidly. The cost of solar panel cleaning may be higher.

Regional variations in solar panel cleaning costs exist in the USA. The cost of cleaning a solar panel system on average by region is displayed in the table below:

RegionAverage Range Cost
West Coast (CA, OR, WA)$25 – $30 per panel
Southwest (AZ, NM, NV)$15 – $25 per panel
Rocky Mountains (CO, UT)$25 – $30 per panel
Midwest (IL, IN, MI, OH)$25 – $30 per panel
Northeast (CT, MA, NJ, NY, PA)$25 – $35 per panel
Southeast (FL, GA, NC, SC, TN)$20 – $30 per panel
Table 5: Region and average range cost

4. Accessibility of the Panels

Professional solar panel cleaning costs may depend on your solar panels’ accessibility.

Solar panels on flat or low-slope roofs may be cheaper to clean than those on steeply pitched roofs or in hard-to-reach places.

Suppose your solar panels take a lot of work to reach. In that case, the cleaning service may need specialized equipment or more workers to clean them, increasing the cost.

However, if your solar panels are accessible, the cleaning service may be able to finish faster and with fewer resources, lowering the cost.

To get accurate solar panel cleaning quotes, submit details about your solar panels’ location and accessibility.

5. Type of Solar Panels

Cleaning cost depends on their types.

The cost of hiring a professional service to clean your solar panels will change according to the specific solar panels installed on your roof.

Certain solar panel types could need more expensive or specialist cleaning tools or techniques.

For instance, more careful cleaning techniques might be necessary to prevent damage if your solar panels are thin-film, often made of a different material than conventional crystalline silicon panels.

Like solar panels, textured surfaces may need specialized cleaning equipment to remove waste effectively without scratching them.

To ensure that bids for expert cleaning services are accurate, it’s crucial to consider the sort of solar panels you have.

6. Professional vs. DIY Cleaning

Employing a professional cleaner or cleaning the solar panels yourself can affect the cost.

Hiring a professional may be best if you need more time, resources, or experience to clean.

You may save money if you clean yourself and have all the supplies.

The equipment needed for cleaning solar panels can run you $400 to $500, but it will continue to serve you for four to five years, saving you money.

But DIY cleaning may yield different results than professional cleaning.

This may affect solar panel efficiency and longevity.

Ultimately, personal preferences and living circumstances determine whether a person hires a professional cleaner or cleans their solar panels.

7. Materials and Equipment

Your solar panel array may require specific cleaning supplies.

You’ll need a pressure washer or window cleaner to clean a glass-panelled system. Brushes can also remove tenacious material between panel cells. These goods increase your cost.

The cost may also vary depending on the supplies and tools used to clean solar panels.

Some companies that clean solar panels could employ specialized cleaning agents, brushes, or other equipment that raises the cost of cleaning.

The expense of DIY cleaning might be increased by buying or renting tools like a pressure washer or squeegee.

8. Condition of the Panels

The cleaning price may also depend on the condition of your solar panels.

Suppose your panels are heavily soiled or have accumulated debris or another buildup. In that matter, it may take longer to clean them, which can boost the cost.

Your panels could need to be fixed or replaced rather than cleaned, which is more expensive if they are seriously damaged.

Regularly inspect your array to solve any possible faults before they worsen and cost you more money.

9. Warranty and Maintenance Agreements

Warranty and maintenance agreements affect solar panel cleaning costs.

Solar panel warranties may be voided if the panels are not properly maintained, including cleaning.

Some solar panel cleaning companies also provide maintenance agreements for a set charge.

These agreements can help keep solar panels in good condition but may increase solar panel ownership costs.

To understand coverage and costs, thoroughly analyze warranty and maintenance agreements.

10. Roof Steepness and Height

Solar panel cleaning costs depend on roof steepness and height.

The cleaning personnel may take longer to clean solar panels on steep roofs.

This may increase labor expenses and demand specialized equipment for worker safety.

However, if the roof is accessible and the solar panels are low, cleaning may be faster and cheaper.

Discussing solar panel accessibility with the cleaning service and if steep or high roofs incur additional charges is crucial.

11. Labor

Another important element that significantly influences the entire cost of cleaning solar panels is the cost of manpower.

The cost of labor might change based on geography, the accessibility of skilled people, and additional elements like standard wage rates and regional labor laws.

The estimated average hourly pay for a solar panel cleaning technician in some US states is shown in the table below.

StateAverage Hourly Wage
California$20.94
New York$20.24
Massachusetts$19.83
Washington$19.75
Oregon$19.60
Colorado$19.25
Texas$18.84
Florida$17.92
Georgia$17.61
North Carolina$16.54
Missouri$15.92
Arizona$15.39
Oklahoma$15.02
Mississippi$13.87
West Virginia$13.54
South Carolina$13.45
Table 6: State-wise labor cost

Note: The above table estimates 2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Solar panel cleaning companies differ in location and pay.


Average Cost of Solar Panel Cleaning Services | How Much Is It To Clean Solar Panels

We get an estimate of the service cost of cleaning solar panels

Solar panel cleaning costs vary depending on system size, location, and dirt buildup. The average US solar panel cleaning cost is:

National Average Cost: Residential solar panel cleaning costs $150 to $600, with $10 to $15 per panel.

Solar panel cleaning costs vary by region. The table below estimates US solar panel cleaning costs by region.

RegionAverage Cost per PanelAverage Total Cost
Northeast$10-$20$300-$800
Midwest$8-$15$250-$550
South$7-$14$200-$450
West$10-$17$300-$650
Table 7: Region average cost per panel and total cost

Benefits of Solar Panel Cleaning

Benefits of Solar Panel Cleaning

Knowing how much to clean solar panels along with its benefits. Solar panel cleaning has many benefits:

  1. Improved Energy Efficiency
  2. Longer Panel Lifespan
  3. Higher Resale Value of the Property
  4. Better System Monitoring
  5. Reduced Harm Risk
  6. Environmental Benefits

Improved Energy Efficiency:

Dirty solar panels can reduce energy efficiency by 30%, affecting the effectiveness of your solar panel system.

Clean solar panels can boost energy production and cut energy expenditures.

Longer Panel Lifespan:

Solar panels endure decades, but dirt, debris, and pollution can damage them.

Cleaning your solar panels regularly might help them last longer and produce electricity efficiently.

Higher Resale Value of the Property:

Maintaining your solar panels to ensure they add to your home’s value.

A home with a well-maintained solar panel installation can fetch a higher price.

Better System Monitoring:

Clean solar panels are easier to monitor and identify concerns.

Dirt and dirt on panels can make it harder to analyze their performance and identify potential issues, limiting energy production and increasing maintenance expenses.

Reduced Harm Risk:

Hail, wind, and rain can harm dirty solar panels.

Cleaning your solar panels frequently reduces damage and ensures their long-term functionality.

Environmental Benefits:

Solar energy is clean and sustainable, and cleaning your solar panels regularly can boost their performance and lower your carbon footprint.

Use eco-friendly cleaning products and procedures to limit your environmental effects further.


How Often Should Solar Panels Be Cleaned?

Cleaning your solar panels thoroughly at least once a year is strongly suggested by solar specialists. Increasing the frequency to twice a year, if possible, would be ideal.

How Often Should Solar Panels Be Cleaned

The frequency of solar panel cleaning depends on several aspects, including your property’s location, dirt and debris buildup, and solar panel type. However, solar panels need to be cleaned annually.

Solar panel cleaning frequency depends on several factors:

  • Location: Properties in high-pollution, dusty, or other environmental conditions may need more frequent cleaning.
  • Weather: Solar panels may spontaneously clean themselves in rainy situations.
  • Angle & Tilt: Solar panels at a steep angle or tilt may require less cleaning due to dirt and debris buildup.
  • Type of Solar Panels: Consult the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for individual solar panels.

This table shows how often solar panels should be cleaned depending on dirt and debris buildup:

Level of Dirt/DebrisCleaning Frequency
LowOnce per year
ModerateTwice per year
HighThree times per year
Table 8: Level of dirt and cleaning frequency

In addition to these considerations, it’s crucial to maintain your solar panels for dirt and debris buildup, which can reduce efficiency and lifespan.

Schedule a professional cleaning if energy output or performance decreases significantly.


How Do You Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Panels?

Choose a non-abrasive, solar panel-specific cleaner. Choose an eco-friendly, residue-free product. Harsh chemicals and abrasives can damage panels and limit efficiency.

How Do You Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Panels

1: Determine Your Panel Type: Different panels require different cleaners. Aluminum panels need a particular cleaning, while glass and ceramic panels need a gentler one.

2: Carefully read the label: Many cleansers are made for certain surfaces. By reading the label, ensure any cleaner you use is safe for your panel type.

3: Test a Small Area First: Before applying a new cleaner on a whole panel, test it first to be sure it won’t damage or discolour it.

4: Choose an Eco-Friendly Cleaner: Many eco-friendly cleansers are developed to protect solar panel coatings.

5: Follow Manufacturer Instructions: Even with eco-friendly solar panel cleaners, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow any cleaning instructions or warnings.

6: Clean Safely and Smartly: Use common sense when cleaning solar panels. Avoid fluids on your panel by using gloves and a mask.


When Should You Clean Your Solar Panels?

To keep solar panels productive, efficient, and effective, clean them every 6 months to a year. Cleaning may be done more regularly, depending on your location and pollutants.

In some cases, cleaning is required if certain things happen, which are as follows.

  1. After a major storm or extreme weather event
  2. After a heavy dust or pollen buildup
  3. Once every six months, regardless of weather conditions
  4. When you notice a decrease in energy production from your solar panel system 
  5. Before and after any home maintenance work that could result in debris on the panels 
  6. After any construction near the solar panel array

Conclusion

Finally, cleaning solar panels is crucial to their performance. At least twice a year, but more often if they are in dusty places.

Solar panel cleaning costs depend on system size and frequency.

As for how much to clean solar panels, the annual cost should be less than $500 in most cases. A clean solar panel produces more electricity and maximizes your solar energy system.


Faqs

Q1. Can you clean solar panels with soap and water?

Yes, Soap and water can clean solar panels, but use a mild soap and soft-bristled brush to avoid damage. Rinse soap residue thoroughly with clean water. Cleaning solar panels safely requires following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Q2. Is it safe to use a pressure washer on solar panels?

Pressure washing solar panels can harm fragile components and reduce their efficiency. Water pressure can remove protective coatings and chip glass, reducing performance and safety. To preserve solar panels, use a soft-bristle brush and mild washing solution.

Q3. How long does solar panel cleaning take?

Solar panel cleaning time depends on system size, dirt buildup, and cleaning method. Professional cleaning takes 1–4 hours, whereas DIY cleaning takes longer. To avoid damaging the panels or roof, allow enough time to clean them properly.

Q4. How much does it cost to clean solar panels in the US?

Location, accessibility, and condition affect US solar panel cleaning costs. Professional solar panel cleaning costs $8–10 per panel or $200–650 per system. Cleaning solution and tools cost $20–50 for DIY cleaning. When assessing cleaning costs, consider energy efficiency and panel longevity improvements.

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Kevin Smith

Hi, I am Kevin Smith; I promote solar energy’s limitless ideas on our Solar Energy Tip Company's different Platforms. Solar Energy Tip is your definitive solar resource! I provide expert advice, product recommendations, troubleshooting solutions, and in-depth talks about the fantastic world of solar energy.

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