Van Life Gear

How To Clean RV Solar Panels

By Emily Lawrence

Solar panels are a fantastic invention and have helped many people supplement their power usage. They are being built lighter and more portable all the time.

However, if the panels get too dirty, they can lose some of their efficiency. This is why it's a good idea to know how to clean RV solar panels.

Let's go over the step-by-step process for cleaning off your RV solar panels. They'll be as good as new after this treatment!

Solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight, so they can get pretty hot during the peak of the day.

Choose a Cool Time to Clean


Most RV solar panels are attached to the roof, but others may be portable models that can be arranged on the ground. You'll usually have to find a way to climb up and clean them. 

Access the Panels


Take a cloth or towel and gently sweep off the surface of the panels. There's no need to dampen it yet because that part will come later.

Do a Surface Sweep


Once the loose dirt has been removed, you may notice that there is dried bird poop or sap on the solar panels. 

Focus on Problem Areas First


You can tackle them with warm water and a soft cloth. Sometimes it sticks firm though.

Focus on Problem Areas First


In these cases, you can use a bit of dish soap, rubbing alcohol, or diluted window cleaner (only one at a time though!). Scrub until these stains are completely gone.

Focus on Problem Areas First


Now it's time to move on to the general cleaning. A standard garden hose is the best tool to use. Just spray the panels with low or medium-powered streams. 

Spray Panels With a Garden Hose


Never use a pressure washer to clean solar panels. These are much too powerful and can get into the interior wiring. 

Spray Panels With a Garden Hose


Next up, wipe down the panels with a soft cloth or a dishwashing sponge. Never use anything abrasive to treat your solar panels.

Apply a Minimal Amount of Soap


Give the RV another quick spray with the garden hose; then finish up with a rinse of de-ionized water. This will prevent any spotting or hard water stains from forming after the cleaning. 

Finish Up With a Rinse of De-Ionized Water


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