A Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Your Solar Lights

Are your Solar lights getting dimmer and less efficient? Are they accumulating dust, debris and grime? I am sure you want to clean them but don’t know how to do it. My friend you are at the right place.

Solar lights are a perfect addition to your outdoor lighting. They don’t need any external electric source. You just need to place them in your garden, backyard or pathway and they will operate on solar energy.

Solar lights are hassle free solution to your outdoor lighting but they do require some cleaning and maintenance.

Why Should You Clean Your Solar Lights and Their Panels?

Outdoor solar lights are exposed to different conditions like rain, snow, and dust. They start accumulating grime, dirt, and debris. Without proper cleaning, the solar lights become faded and hazy and the layer of grime reduces the efficiency of the solar panel on the light.

In this guide, you will learn the step-by-step method to clean your solar lights and restore them to function properly.

So let’s get to work!

Preparing to Clean Your Outdoor Solar Lights

Before cleaning the solar powered lights turn them off and remove their batteries. See the solar light’s user manual and take the required safety measures.

Cleaning Solar Light and Its Panel with Soap and Water

Step 1: Prepare the Mixture

  • Mix half teaspoon of soap or some mild detergent with 2 cups of water to make a mixture. Don’t use heavy chemical which can damage the materials used in the light.

Step 2: Detach the Light to Clean it

  • Remove the top cover of the solar light which contains the solar panel.
  • Dip the sponge in the mixture and gently rub it on the cover. Don’t use rough side of sponge.
  • After that rinse it with water and prevent water from entering the electronic parts which are under the cover.
  • Wash the globe and bottom of the light with water.
  • Dry the light with a towel so that no water drops are left behind.

Step 3: Restore the Cloudy Solar Panel

  • Apply tape on the borders of the solar panel to protect the metal or plastic on borders from sandpaper.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water on panel and sandpaper. We will first use 400 grit sandpaper. Now rub the sandpaper on panel with low pressure and sand away the grime.
  • After that we will use 2000 grit sandpaper. Apply water in a similar way and rub the surface of the panel to make it smooth. Clean the dirt with dry cloth.
  • Lastly wipe the panel with little bit of alcohol to remove any leftover dirt and oil.
  • Now apply clear coat on solar panel to protect it from damage. Before applying a clear coat cover the surroundings of the solar panel to protect them from spray. Spray clear coat with short bursts to avoid thick and heavy coat.

Your solar light is shining just like brand new!

Step 4: Clean Battery Terminals

If you see white sand around the batteries, this means they need to be cleaned.

  • Remove the batteries from the light if you haven’t yet.
  • Clean both terminals and battery with vinegar. Vinegar neutralizes and dissolves the corrosion.
  • Use a tooth brush to rub the terminals.
  • If some corrosion is still left over the terminals, then use fine grit sandpaper to clean it.
  • Now install batteries and see if they are working fine.
  • If not, then see the user manual and buy new batteries for your outdoor solar light.

If You Prefer Video Tutorial

Tips for Maintaining Solar Lights

Outdoor Solar lights are a great alternative to regular lights. They are the Eco-friendly solution for your garden, backyard, pathway or parks. With such convenience comes some responsibility.

Solar panels on solar lights need sunlight to work efficiently. But with time a layer of grime accumulates on the panels and blocks the sunlight. Follow these steps to maintain your solar lights.

1. Trim the Shrubs and Trees

Keep the area around your light clean. Regularly cut nearby trees or shrubs which may block the solar panel’s exposure to direct sunlight. Solar panels also work in indirect light but their efficiency is reduced. With direct sunlight, they work at their maximum level.

2. Clean Solar Light

Clean your solar lights once per month. It is very important to clean the layer of grime caked over the surface of panel and light.

3. Clean the Fixture

Clean the fixtures and globe with soapy water. It will remove the dirt and light will look brighter and visually appealing.

4. Check Batteries

Check the batteries for any damage. Solar lights store the energy in batteries for use at night. These batteries last for a long time but they do have an expiry date. Check for corrosion which is like white sand around batteries. Clean the corrosion around your batteries. If your light is dimmer or its battery life is decreasing than change the batteries.

5. Check Wires

Check the wires for damage and fix them. Solar lights are not connected to electric supply but they do have some wires which connect their panel and internal components. Wildlife or pets can chew those wires. So you need you check them and repair them if necessary.

6. Adjust Fixture Position

Adjust your fixture position to get the most sunlight. Surely you have placed them in best position while installing to get the most light. But your pets or wildlife might have hit them and moved them from their position. · If you don’t intend to use your solar lights for a long period of time, then remove their batteries to avoid corrosion.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Solar Lights

Cleaning and maintaining solar lights increases their life and saves you money. But improper cleaning can have negative effects and can damage your lights and their panel.

Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when cleaning solar lights.

1. Don’t Over Clean

It is most common mistake while cleaning them. Applying more pressure can scratch the panels and damage your light.

2. Don’t Neglect Safety Precautions

Always protect yourself and environment while cleaning solar lights. Turn off the solar lights and remove batteries before cleaning them. Read used manual before cleaning them.

3. Don’t Use Abrasive Materials

Abrasive materials can scratch and damage your solar lights. Use soft cloth or soft brush to clean lights and their panel. Don’t use dangerous chemical like acid or bleach which can damage the material of your light.


To increase the longevity of your household appliances you need to clean and maintain them. Same is the case with solar lights and their panel. Follow the points mentioned above to keep them in perfect condition. Clean your solar lights and avoid common mistakes while cleaning them.

I hope your solar lights are illuminating your garden, backyard and pathway as bright as they can!

Hyder Ali is a writer from Pakistan who writes well researched articles on different topics. He has been writing on Medium and other platforms for a long time. He tries his best to write correct information and help his readers solve their problems.

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