How To Clean Solar Lights

Written by John Ho on November 22, 2020
How To Clean Solar Lights

We all know that solar lights are the new normal of illuminating gardens, porches and other outdoor areas of the house. Solar lights have primarily become such a massive hit in the lighting industry because of the endless benefits that they offer over traditional lights.

Although solar lights are great and all but they can be pretty tricky to clean especially for people who do not have any prior experience with handling solar lights.

If one does not take proper care of solar lights in terms of cleaning, it can shrink their lifetime and some other aspects that I mentioned below in the long run. And I am a hundred percent sure you do not want any of that to happen with your solar lights. That is why I have structured this detailed guide on how to clean solar lights so you can make your solar lights always work like magic and in their full glory.

Why you should clean your solar lights regularly

A lot of solar lights owners might have this question boggling in their minds: why clean solar lights regularly?

Well, let me tell you why, unlike traditional lights which can be used in both indoor and outdoor areas. Solar lights can only be used outdoors, and it is quite self-explanatory why.

As solar lights are out in the open for their lifetime, they are completely exposed to all kinds of dirt like dust, debris and even bird poop. And solar lights are more vulnerable to dirt than traditional lights, that is the exact reason you should clean your solar lights regularly.

In case you are wondering the side effects that dirt leaves on solar lights and why they are more vulnerable to dust and other grime. Then I have also answered that question in the next segment.

Side effects of grime on solar lights

These are the terrible side effects that grime can leave on your solar lights.

Less efficiency

Dust and grime reduce the efficiency of solar lights. This deficiency happens because dust particles cover the surface of the solar lights. In this way, the light rays do not reach the surface of the solar lights. Since solar energy - the energy used to run solar lights is generated by light rays, there is an efficiency loss when lesser light rays reach the surface of the solar light.

So if you do not want to decrease the efficiency of your solar lights, then you might want to give them a regular cleaning.

Shorter lifespan

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but if you have been a couch potato in abiding your responsibilities of cleaning solar lights, then there is a pretty thick chance that you have already shortened their lifespan from what it could originally be if they were cleaned regularly.

Usually, dust particles that sit on the surface of solar lights for an extended period cause rust and corrosion on the internal components of solar lights. The rusting and corrosion beats up the components, and that is why the light stops working before it's supposed to.

Reduced lifespan is itself a quiet, solid reason to clean solar lights from time to time.

Warranty claim issues

Many people do not know this, but if your solar lights malfunction because of any fault from the consumer's end, then it is not covered under warranty. The same way when your phone's screen breaks due to a fall, and it does not get claimed in the warranty.

So if you were under the impression that you can stay lazy about cleaning your solar lights, and then can get them fixed under warranty when something goes wrong. Then you must have learnt the importance of cleaning your solar lights now.

How to clean solar lights like a pro

So far, you have learned all the reasons why you should never leave your dirty solar lights unattended. It is now time for you to learn how to clean your lights using the best technique.

It is not that difficult to clean solar lights in the correct manner; however, it can be tricky for some people since it's quite different from cleaning standard lights.

Here is a detailed guide that you can follow to become a solar light cleaning expert from the solarce (pun intended) of your home.

Method to clean solar lights to perfection #1

This is a little straightforward approach to clean solar lights; in fact, this method is quite similar to the method that you use to clean your traditional lights.

Anyhow, I find this approach easy-to-follow for beginners so if you are one then feel free to read on.

Step 1

If you see that your solar light is covered in dirt, then wipe it out with a dry and clean cloth. Make sure to wipe the areas that have the solar panel and light with close precision so that there is no dirt or grime left there.

Step 2

Once you wipe out the dirt with a dry cloth, take a new cloth and partially soak it into water. Now squeeze that soaked cloth and clean the solar light using it. Again, pay close attention to the areas that I mentioned earlier.

Tip: it's always better to check the instructions of the manufacturer before applying the soaked cloth to your solar light because some manufacturers root against it.

Step 3

After wiping your solar lights multiple times with both dry and wet cloth, you can now use a cleaning solution to add extra spruceness.

And when you are done cleaning your solar light with a solution and wet cloth, give it a final wipe with a clean and dry cloth just to make sure that all the grime is removed.

Step 4

If you can, a blow-dry to the solar light before ending the cleaning process can be helpful in removing remaining (if any) residues too.

Now you have a clean and tidy solar light ready to shine just as if it is brand new.

Method to clean solar lights to perfection #2

This method is a bit complicated, but it is the best way to go about if your batteries are exposed to rusting or corrosion.

Step 1

Open the lid of the batteries and check the amount of the corrosion that is present. If there is a lot of corrosion, then take out the batteries and replace them with new ones. But, before replacing the old batteries clean the battery terminals with the following technique,

Caution: wear gloves before executing this technique.

  • After removing the old batteries, apply vinegar to the areas affected by corrosion. Only a few drops of vinegar can do the job.
  • Now use a towel or sponge to wipe out all the affected areas using the applied vinegar.
  • Patiently wipe all the corrosion as it does not come off immediately. You can also use a brush or sandpaper to rub off corrosion to make things easier for yourself, but since not many people do not have a brush or sandpaper readily available, so I have mentioned sponge or towel.
  • The corrosion should start coming off in a few minutes.

Step 2

Once the corrosion or rust is removed, insert the new batteries inside, and your solar light should be good to go.

Post-learning both these methods to correctly clean your solar lights, you should be confused about how regularly you should do any of these processes? Because if you are, then you are not only the one who is eager to know this. You can find how much cleaning your solar lights need below.

When you should clean your solar lights

To find the answer to the final question about solar lights, you will need to look around and check the type of weather that is generally in your area.

Because the cleaning cycle of your solar lights massively depends on it. If you live in an area where it snows regularly, then you should keep a check of your solar lights to see if they are covered by snow every day and if you find any snow, immediately remove it. The same case is with leaves. During the autumn season, regularly remove leaves from your solar lights.

In case of a desert type or dusty area, make sure to clean your solar lights after every four months to avoid corrosion and other side effects of residual dirt on solar lights.

Otherwise, in an area where the weather is normal, cleaning your solar lights every six months should do the job.


There is no denying the fact that solar lights can easily last you a decade. But, they still need a little care during the process. Complete cleaning can help these solar lights stay efficient and also improve their longevity.

The good thing about solar lights is that they do not need this thorough cleaning often during their lifetime, just once in six months or four months should get them up and running flawlessly depending on the weather of the place you live.

So be smart and keep your solar lights shining to benefit from them in the long run.


Article written by John Ho
Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive and thorough solar-energy product guides, which will leave you confident that you have made the right purchase decision for your home.

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