Solar lights are essential items that you can have in your backyard. Not only are they much better for the planet than your typical disposable lightbulb, but they also are very low maintenance until it comes time to clean them!
The solar panels on your garden lights can be dirtied for various reasons, but you need to know how to clean them when they do get dirty. There are several different ways to clean your cloudy solar lights, and this article is going to outline some of those tips and tricks. Once you get your lights clean again, then they can resume soaking up the sun!
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What Are The Parts of A Solar Light?
Most solar lights come with three specific parts that can require maintenance at one stage or another. The parts are the batteries, the solar panels, and the covering of the lights. You can easily replace batteries every few months once you notice the lights starting to become less effective, but the panels and coverings might be harder to detect.
It’s a good practice to always check your solar lights after a rainstorm, snowstorm, or another large weather event. Even lights that are advertised as durable and waterproof can still get damaged or take on water, so you want to get out ahead of any damage and clean the lights every few weeks or so.
This should drastically improve your solar lights’ life and allow you to keep them running for much longer.
How To Clean the Solar Panels
The solar panel is the most important part of the solar light, so keeping it clean is of the highest priority. Cleaning a solar panel isn’t that difficult, and in most cases, you don’t even have to remove the solar panel from the light source!
You can take a damp paper towel or cloth and gently wipe down the solar panel. Solar panels are very fragile, so you want to make sure that you aren’t applying too much pressure that could cause any damage. Wipe the surface clean and make sure to remove any debris on the panel.
After the first wipe down is finished, you can pour a small amount of dish soap or other mild detergents onto the solar panel and wipe it down again. Get the soap on the panel and then use a second paper towel to remove any excess. Dry the solar panel off thoroughly to ensure it won’t get damaged by moisture.
Cleaning With Vinegar
Another common household item you can use while cleaning solar panels is cleaning vinegar. It’s not the stuff that you use in your kitchen, but white vinegar is a powerful cleaning tool that can have your solar panels shining like new. It is also a natural ingredient and is designed to clean both metal and glass.
You need to combine 2 cups of water, a half-teaspoon of soap, and a quarter cup of vinegar into a spray bottle. Then spray the mixture onto your solar panel and start wiping them down. Vinegar is an acid and even diluted in the water, it still retains enough acidity to be a very effective cleaner.
It can eat away at all the dust and filth on top of your solar panel, removing it without any hassle or trouble. Try it just once, and then see if you go back to another cleaning object!
Be Careful With the Panel
As you are wiping down the solar panels, make sure to treat them with the utmost care. Too much pressure and the panel can break or have its insides damaged. That can be very expensive to replace, and it is undoubtedly a mistake you should be kicking yourself for!
Treat the solar panels with respect, and you should be able to clean them off without worrying about breakage. Soon being gentle with them is going to become second nature!
Cleaning the Covering
Most solar lights have a light covering on them that surrounds and protects the light fixture and the solar panel. If you’ve noticed these coverings starting to become dirty and grimy with time and age, you can clean them off using the exact same procedure. A few damp towels and possibly some dish soap can remove the stains and allow your outdoor lights to shine!
Cleaning your solar lights is an important part of garden and lawn maintenance. While it might seem like a major chore, if you take the time to keep your garden clean, then it can look and perform better when your company arrives. Plus, it always feels good to see your solar panel lights doing their job and shining away with efficiency. No one likes seeing a dirty light, especially in a pathway of otherwise fully lit ones!
Keeping your solar panels clean means that you get bright lights, and the planet has one more person looking out for it with solar energy on the horizon!