how to clean solar panels on garden lights

How to Clean Solar Panels on Garden Lights: An Simple Guide

These days, everyone is looking for cleaner and cost-effective ways to light up their outdoor space. One excellent and recommended way to do so is by using outdoor solar lights. These ensure that your garden, patio, driveway, or pathway stay lit at night at low to no cost.

However, for solar lights to work effectively and for long, you must maintain them regularly. Knowing how to clean solar panels on garden lights will ensure your outdoor is always illuminated and make the lights last longer.

If you are looking to know how you can do so correctly, we are here to help. We will talk at length why you should clean the solar panel on garden lights and provide you with an easy and detailed step-by-step guide.

Why Clean the Solar Panels on Garden Light?

Outdoor solar lights are exposed to the environment, which means that they will need constant maintenance for them to continue to work at their best. These lights get dirty quite quickly since they are outdoors, and over time, they accumulate all the debris. This ultimately reduces the solar panel’s ability to capture the sunlight.

Outdoor solar lights, especially solar path lights, often tend to have dim or limited output at nighttime as they tend to get dirty the quickest. Cleaning the lights regularly will keep these and several other issues at bay and will also help in extending the light’s lifetime. Furthermore, it will also reduce the time needed in order to have the lights replaced.

Three Main Parts to Maintain

In every outdoor solar light, three main parts require constant maintenance for it to work well. These are:

  • Solar Panels: As mentioned earlier, these get dirty over time and end up obstructing its ability to capture sunlight.
  • Batteries: Batteries tend to oxidize over time due to moisture collected within these lights. These should be checked every two to three months. The frequency should be higher if you live in a place with a humid climate with lots of rainfall.
  • Light Cover: All solar lights come with a glass or plastic that protects the light from the outdoor environment. Over use and time, these tend to get cloudy and can reduce the amount of light produced at night. You must keep this cover clear so that it provides enough light.
how to clean solar panels on garden lights

How to Clean Solar Panels on Garden Lights

Cleaning solar panels on garden lights is a simple process and involve the following steps:

  • Disassemble the Solar Light

Refer to your solar light manual and disassemble the parts correctly. By doing so, you will have access to the solar panels inside it. Make sure you are doing this carefully, especially when you are removing the lights since they are fragile.

  • Clean the Battery

After disassembling the lights, you will be able to find the solar battery. Make sure that you take this out of the unit before you start cleaning it.

As mentioned, take a look at the battery, too, for you to check if there is any oxidation where the cell pack and plastic make contact.

If there is any oxidation, just take an old soft toothbrush and clean it. In most cases, oxidation is dry and will fall off easily. Ensure that you are also cleaning the areas of contact with the light fixture.

In case the battery has been used for over a year, and there have been some issues with it for some time, you may need to replace it, especially if it continues to malfunction even after you clean the oxidation.

  • Clean the Solar Panel

Now you have to move on to cleaning the solar panel. Make it a point to clean it at least every fortnight.

Since these lights are placed outdoors, dirt, dust, and bugs have easy access to the solar panel. Do not ever brush down the panel as it is a delicate piece.

To clean the solar panel properly, use a lint-free, damp cloth and wipe the collector panel down gently. Carefully remove any dirt, dust, or grime that has accumulated over time. After cleaning the solar panel, wipe it down with a dry cloth.

  • Clean the Outer Surface and Reassemble the Unit

After following and finishing the steps mentioned earlier, you have to pay attention to the outer shell of the solar light that you disassembled in the first step. Simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth or just wash it in a sink if they are made of plastic or glass.

If they are made of glass, they will be fragile, so make sure that you carefully dry them before you reassemble the light. Once you have cleaned everything, follow the instructions to assemble your solar light to use it again.


We are certain that you now know how to clean solar panels on garden lights. Ensure that you are following these steps to the T as some of the parts are fragile and can break if not handled properly.

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