4 Pro Tips to Clean Solar Lights! Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space

outdoor solar light

Have you ever walked on your lawn or in front of your main door on a dark, scary night?

It would not be very comforting, for sure. You won’t have to experience ghostly moments thanks to outdoor lights.

If you are doing the cleaning for the first time, try to keep a Product User Manual with you. It will come in handy as you disassemble and reassemble the solar light before and after your cleaning session.

Outdoor lights illuminate our home outdoors brilliantly and require regular maintenance for a longer lifetime, avoiding costly repairs, especially for outdoor solar lights. Sadly, most YouTube videos on how to clean outdoor solar lights are either too complicated or don’t perform well.

That’s why I researched the topic and sought the most convenient way to clean and maintain solar lights.

And guess what? It worked brilliantly. My solar light panels are clean and illuminating, like a new one.

I thought this would be beneficial for many people like me. So, I am putting it up here.

Basics Of Parts of Solar Lights

As we all know, solar lights aren’t a single unit. These lights are made of three necessary different components that combine.

As we discuss the solar light cleaning process, we mean cleaning and maintaining all three parts.

Let’s check the parts for a better understanding of how they work and what cleaning they require.

→ Solar Panels

Solar panels often look cloudy due to the plastic cover on them. Furthermore, when you remove the plastic covering, it will automatically collect both dust and dirt on it. These leave the solar panel dirty, and consequently, it faces a blockade to collecting solar energy properly.

You should check the solar panel at least once a month to ensure that it remains free from dust collection and consumes solar energy without artificial blocks.

dirty solar panel
dirty solar panel

→ Batteries

Sometimes it may well happen that the solar panel will collect overdue moisture, especially during rainy days. These extra moistures, managed by the solar panel, will then oxidize the battery. It might affect the lifetime and performance of the solar cell.

Hence, you should check the battery condition at least once in three months. However, if you live in a high-rainfall area with high humidity, I strongly recommend you check your battery more frequently. It is because, in high humid areas, moistures tend to collect more regularly than in cold conditions.

→ Cover Of The Solar Light

Solar lights are generally covered with either glass or plastic protectors to keep these safe from external damage. Over time, due to slow dust collection, these covers become cloudy.

Thus, these lights will emit much less light than the new ones at night. It is a significant setback. So, to ensure the correct and accurate emissions from the lights, you should clean the solar light cover to get your expected lighting.

Cleaning Preparation of Solar Lights

I can assure you that cleaning the solar lights is a pretty straightforward process. You won’t have to think about many unnecessary things due to the straightforward cleaning steps.

Although many people assume that solar light cleaning is time-consuming, in reality, it takes only about 20 minutes. Additionally, you will need the following things.

  • A towel to wipe out the light
  • A screwdriver
  • A soft brush
  • A small container with water.

That’s it. Once we are ready with all these, let’s focus on cleaning the solar lights process.

Oh yes, one tip for you.

If you are doing the cleaning for the first time, try to keep a Product User Manual with you. It will come in handy as you disassemble and reassemble the solar light before and after your cleaning session.

1. Solar Panel Cleaning Guideline

I have seen a lot of clumsy reviews that claim vaguely that solar lights don’t require much attention and cleaning once you install them. That’s the biggest lie I have seen circulating on the internet today.

Don’t be a fool!

Solar lights need regular cleaning to help them operate properly. In this case, solar panels may require more attention than any other parts of the light. The panel is usually covered with protective plastic.

Over time, it collects dust and becomes cloudy. Thus, it can’t receive daytime energy properly, which results in weak nighttime light emission. That’s when you need to clean and maintain the panel.

Solar panel cleaning
Solar panel cleaning

The cleaning procedure is, however, incredibly comfortable.

  • First, use a cloth or a hard brush to remove all the debris from the plastic surface.
  • Then, take a dump towel or paper cloth and wipe out the rest of the debris.
  • If the cloudiness is extreme, you may use a block of dishwashing soap. Gently apply the dishwashing soap with minimum water on the surface.
  • Wait for a few minutes until the soapy water softens the debris.
  • Now, use a cloth to wipe out the soapy solution and debris.
  • Lastly, use a clean cloth and remove any remaining soap or dust from the protective plastic.


Your solar panel is clean and all ready to perform like the beast it was before.

2. Battery Cleaning Guideline

Solar lights, especially their batteries, will malfunction like any other electronic device if exposed to high moisture or humid conditions. That’s the most common reason why all most electronics manufacturers suggest their customer store their devices in a cool and dry place.

This helps the device function better for an extended lifespan. Most solar light manufacturers claim that their devices are waterproof. Yet, overexposure to humid conditions or rainfall may cause moisture accumulation inside the panel on the batteries.

This will lead to the malfunction of the batteries. Hence, it will reduce the overall performance and lifetime of the solar lights. Therefore, it is crucial that you check the battery so that it operates appropriately.

  • Accumulating the white powder on the batteries’ metal surface indicates that corrosion occurs inside the cell. That’s when you need to maintain it.
  • To clean the battery, carefully remove it from the housing.
  • Make sure that your primary connection or switch of the solar panel is off at this moment.
  • Now, use a soft brush to remove the white powder from the battery slowly.
  • If, however, the powder still remains in its position, you may use sandpaper.
  • Rub the sandpaper mildly on the white powder until the battery looks fresh.
  • Either use grit sandpaper or a clean and dry cloth to clean the battery housing.
  • You must ensure that there’s no moisture inside the battery housing to prevent further corrosion.
  • You may use a dryer to remove extra moisture from the housing.
  • Lastly, replace the battery in its position and turn on the switch.

That’s it- your solar batteries are all new again.

3. Cleaning Guideline For The Solar Lights

Solar lights are generally wrapped under a plastic cover to protect them from the outside environment. Over time, dust collects on it and makes the cover cloudy. So, you will get less emission from the light. To avoid such an inconsistency of the light, cleaning the cover once a month is vital.

  • Take a brush or towel to remove the dust first.
  • Now, gently soak the paper towel in a bar of dishwashing soap and apply it on the cover.
  • Allow the soap to react with the dust for a few minutes.
  • After a while, use a clean towel to remove the remaining soap to get a fresh solar light like the new one.

The process is as easy as you will get. So, there’s nothing to worry about in the process. Just keep the fundamental right.

Note: As you clean and maintain the outside solar lights system, the disassembly and reassembly process must be right. For better understanding, go through the user manual once. It will lessen your workload as well as make it effortless. 

4. Cleaning Guideline For Lights’ Cover

Regularly cleaning your solar light covers can significantly impact their brightness

wiping the cover
wiping the cover

Here are the simple steps necessary to keep them shining brightly.

  1. Start by wiping the cover with a damp cloth or sponge.
  2. Use mild soap and warm water to remove any dirt or dust.
  3. Use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to scrub away the residue for tougher dirt or grime.
  4. Rinse the cover with clean water and wipe with a dry cloth.
  5. Finally, use a polishing cloth or light wax to give the cover a shiny finish.

Frequently asked questions

Question:  My solar light doesn’t work. What can I do?

Answer: Well, first of all, check the on/off switch. Although it may seem like a brain drainer, I know many people who forgot to switch on the light during their first-time use.

Question: Is switching off the panel or light before cleaning necessary?

Answer: Let’s get to the point- solar panels and lights are still electronic devices, although they run on solar energy. Therefore, it is a must that you switch off the light before starting cleaning. It is a universal precautionary guideline for safety.

Final Words

Solar lights are unique- they emit powerful light without harming our environment. The only drawback with using outside is that they tend to get dirty over time. This confuses many people that their solar lights do not meet the standard mark or expectation.

But with this guideline on cleaning outdoor solar lights, dirtiness should no longer be an issue. As long as you clean the panel, battery, and light, you will get the perfect lighting during the nighttime. And even the cold and scary nights will become romantic.

That’s the coolness of outdoor solar lights- clean and fresh.

About Author

Leave a Comment