Surprisingly Effective: Clean Solar Panels with Toothpaste!

One of the tips to ensure your solar panels work well over time is to regularly clean it. This ensures no dust and debris can cause the panels to get less sun exposure. 

Certain water and sponges can clean them well. Still, there may be situations when you need something stronger to remove heavier stains. Since toothpaste is regularly used to clean glasses, can you clean solar panels with toothpaste?

You can use toothpaste to clean solar panels. It has fine grit abrasives that will help you to dislodge heavier stains, but at the same time, not too rough on the protective film on the solar panel. The key is to use toothpaste, not those made from gels.

This article explores if you can clean solar panels with toothpaste and how you can do that. It will also look at using other cleaners to help clean your solar panels.

Can You Clean Solar Panels With Toothpaste?

Toothpaste has a very fine grit, which helps to provide adequate yet gentle enough cleaning power for your solar panels. Toothpaste will work much better than tooth gels.

Generally, cleaning solar panels does not require any special cleaning agent. Water and a sponge are all you usually need to clean them. 

However, since solar panels are placed outdoors all year long, there may be chances it picks up stains that are harder to clean. Some harder stains could be tree sap, bird droppings, dead bugs, or general caked-up dirt that refuses to dislodge.

You may be tempted to use a pressure washer and blast at the stain. However, this is a bad idea, as the high pressure may damage the solar cells, reducing the power generation capability of your panels. 

This means you need some abrasive cleaning agent that is hard on the stains yet gentle enough on the protective film on the panels. 

Fortunately, there is no need to pick up more cleaning agents from the hardware store. All you need is a humble toothpaste to do this job.

Toothpaste generally has very fine grit abrasives to help us clean our teeth. This means we can easily use it to help provide some abrasive cleaning capability to help us clean the solar panels. 

At the same time, since they are very fine grit abrasives, they should be gentle enough on the thin films or glass on our solar panels.

The key is to ensure that you use toothpaste, not gel. This is because some tooth gels may not have the right abrasive compound to help you perform the cleaning work. 

Suppose you need help to tell the two apart. In that case, tooth gels generally look a little transparent, and toothpaste usually does not. 

How To Clean Solar Panels With Toothpaste?

Cleaning solar panels with toothpaste is a simple, straightforward job. Apply some toothpaste over your solar panels, using wet fingers in a circular motion to help spread it all over. Pick up a clean microfiber cloth, and buff away, focusing on the stained area. Use a soft brush if needed. 

Fortunately, cleaning solar panels with toothpaste is simple and straightforward. The key is to do it properly and not apply too much pressure and force. Solar panels can be a sensitive surface to work on.

Prepare the following:

  • Toothpaste
  • A soft brush (if needed)
  • Several pieces of clean microfiber cloth
  • Rubber gloves (if needed)

To clean solar panels with toothpaste, follow this method:

  1. Start by wetting the surface of the solar panels. 
  2. Squeeze some toothpaste, and spread it over your hands, much like a lotion. 
  3. Apply the toothpaste over the solar panel in a circular motion. If the panels feel dry and need more water, add more water to help spread the toothpaste more evenly.
  4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the surface is covered well. 
  5. Leave for a few minutes. 
  6. Take out your clean microfiber cloth, and buff away at the panels. Use a circular motion to wipe up toothpaste.
  7. On the stained area, put a little bit more effort into buffing. Use a finger and buff down in a circular motion with a little pressure. 
  8. If the stain remains, consider using a soft brush and brush at the stained area, adding more toothpaste if necessary.
  9. Ensure all toothpaste has been buffed away from the solar panel. 
  10. Rinse the solar panel with water, and wipe dry with a dry microfiber cloth. 

Enjoy your shiny, clean solar panel, free from stains!

Are There Other Things I Could Use To Clean Solar Panels?

Aside from toothpaste, you can also use some generic home cleaners to clean solar panels. This includes, but is not limited to baking soda, isopropyl alcohol, window cleaner, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

Aside from toothpaste, there are many other household cleaning products that you can use to clean your solar panels. 

Baking Soda: Baking soda may be a good replacement if you do not have toothpaste. It functions similarly to toothpaste, containing mild abrasives that can help you dislodge stains.

Isopropyl Alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol is a good cleaning agent on glass and can help to remove oil stains exceptionally well. However, they can be hard on your skin, drying it out quickly. Ensure you have alcohol-resistant gloves when using this.

Window Cleaners: Window cleaners like Windex are also good options, especially if your solar panels have dirt or oil stains that need cleaning. Instead of microfiber cloth, consider using a squeegee instead when using window cleaners. 

Vinegar: Vinegar is also a great cleaning agent for solar panels. However, it may smell a little bit when you use it, so it may be a good idea to wear a mask and do the cleaning in a well-ventilated area.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful cleaning agent and can work well without agitation, such as brushing. The key is to not overuse this cleaning agent.

Final Thoughts

Toothpaste is an effective and safe way to clean solar panels. It is easy to use and helps to restore a solar panel’s efficiency.

With the right materials and a few simple steps, toothpaste is a great way to remove dirt, dust, and grime from your solar panels.

By following this guide, you can ensure that your solar panels are clean, efficient, and operating at the highest level.

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