How To Clean Solar Lights?

Are your solar lights glowing dimmer every day? How can you get the light back? 

Solar lights may accumulate a lot of dirt since they are placed outside. They, therefore, require constant maintenance.

As worried as you may be, cleaning solar lights is quite easy. Regardless of how many types of solar lights you have installed in your home, you do not need to call a solar lights expert. You can do the cleaning by yourself.

This article is aimed at helping you clean the solar lights system to get the lights back.

It will also provide life hacking tips on how to maintain your solar lights for years and minimize the periods between maintenance.

Parts to Pay Attention to When Cleaning the Solar Lights

It is important you pay attention to these three parts during the cleaning of the solar lights.

  1. Solar panels – the solar panels play the largest part in solar lighting. They receive sunlight and transform the energy into electricity. In time, they may collect dirt which in turn blocks the sunlight. They need to be checked from time to time.
  2. Batteries – the batteries could be the next reason your lights have become dimmer. When the batteries become oxidized, the quality of lighting becomes poor.
  3. Light covers – the plastic or glass covering the solar lights may become cloudy limiting the light emitted. These covers must be cleaned.

With that out of the way, how do you go about the cleaning process? Here is how to clean the above parts.

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How to clean the solar panels?

The solar cells ought to look clear. However, if the panel is white or cloudy, it does need cleaning.

Method 1

The first step involves wiping the panel using a dry but soft cloth. This is to remove any particles on the panels. The need to use a soft cloth is to avoid scratching the panel surface.

Next, dip a sponge or cloth in soapy water, wring the cloth and wipe the solar cell. Repeat this a few times till you achieve the desired result. Unfortunately, there will be times when the plastic may not become clear even after immense wiping with a soapy cloth. What should you do?

Coat the cloudy panel with clear nail polish. The clear nail polish helps restore the clear glow on the panel. Alternatively, you can use spray-on clear lacquer in place of the nail polish. 

It is vital that you cover all areas surrounding the plastic with painter’s tape before applying the nail polish or lacquer.

Method 2

In a spray bottle, mix two cups of water, half a teaspoon of liquid non-abrasive detergent and a quarter cup of vinegar. Spray according to the amount of collected dirt. Use a soft cloth to wipe off the dirt.

After the solar panel is clean, use a quality squeegee to dry off any water. Also, ensure the edges of the panel are dry.

When is the best time to clean the solar panel? This is when the panel is not hot, probably in the morning or evening at least once every month.

After cleaning the solar panels, consider the batteries.

How to clean batteries?

When exposed to humidity or lots of rainfall, the batteries become oxidized. A corroded battery is one with white powder on the metal surface. What should you do?

First, remove the battery from the housing then use a soft brush to remove the corrosion. The white powder ought to come off easily.

If the corrosion does not come off, use fine-grit sandpaper. The sandpaper will do away with the corrosion.

What happens if the battery is too corroded for any kind of cleaning? It is best you replace them. Batteries should be replaced every one to three years.

After the battery is clean, brush the housing of the battery with the fine brush or grit sandpaper.  Please ensure the housing is dry before replacing the battery. This will hinder further corrosions.

Lastly, let’s discuss on how to clean the solar light covers.

How to clean solar light covers?

Most solar lights are protected by either glass or plastic covers. The covers may collect dirt on the inside or outside. You can clean them the same way you did with the solar panel.

Firstly, wipe off the dirt with a dry but clean cloth. Dip a cloth in soapy water, wring it then wipe the light cover. Repeat this a few times until the cover is clear.

Ensure the cover is dry before using it. You can let it air-dry or wipe it with a soft, dry cloth.

Always ensure all parts are dry when re-assembling. This prevents further unnecessary maintenance.  Also, check the manual guide if you are worried about how to assemble any part.

Life hacks on how to minimize solar lights maintenance

Here are a few tips on how to intervals between cleaning the solar lights.

  • Store the batteries in a cool dry place. Electronics do not work well in humid conditions. Ensure the battery is in a cool place to avoid corrosions.
  • After heavy rainfall, check whether any raindrops got collected in the solar lights and dry them off.
  • Coat the plastic on the solar lights with clear nail polish when new. This will keep the covers protected from the intense UV light and prolong its shelf life.
  • Prune any trees or shrubs close to the solar panels. This will significantly reduce the dirt collected on the panels.
  • Check any cracks before cleaning. If soapy water or detergent runs on the solar panels, it will do more harm than good.

Wrapping up

A well-lit home speaks volumes. Whether it’s the garden area, the living room or any lit space, the atmosphere the lighting brings is calm and soothing. These pointers will help you get your solar lights back to achieve this effect.

The cleaning will consume minimal time compared to the time you will get to enjoy a well-lit home.

We hope this article proves helpful when cleaning your solar lights.

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