Solar lights really don't require much maintenance. As long as you check them for damage and clean the panels a few times a year, your lights will last 10 years without replacement. Deserts or areas with high pollen counts may require more frequent cleaning of the fittings. A dirty solar panel covered in dust and dirt can cost you 15% to 25% of your energy production costs. Fortunately, solar panels are easy to clean with a few tricks:
Contact the manufacturer of your solar panel or light first. They may have specific cleaning recommendations.
Solar panels get hot in direct sunlight, so try to clean them on relatively cool days, be it early morning or late afternoon.
A quick spritz with a garden hose is often enough to get the job done. However, if you have a lot of dust and dirt, fill a bucket or spray bottle with warm soapy water for a more thorough cleaning.
Do not use abrasives or cleaning products as you do not want to scratch the glass.
Clean the surface of the solar panel with a soft cloth or sponge. You can use a soft scraper without having to clean the wiring underneath.
A good rain can clean your solar panels. However, this method works best when the panels are pitched like a roof.
If you need to clean the panels on your roof, think safety first and consider hiring a professional solar panel cleaner.
The US Southwest has limited rainfall for several months of the year, allowing more dust or pollen to accumulate. In addition, solar panels installed near sources of pollution such as highways, factories, and airports may need more frequent cleaning.
Consider your season. Removing leaves and snow in the fall and winter can optimize the performance of your panels or fixtures.