The demand for solar lights has grown exponentially in recent years and for good reason. Solar lights are powered by solar energy, which is not only free but also safe and environmentally friendly.
Most solar lights in the market typically charge up during the day when the sun is out and switch on at dusk to provide energy-efficient and cost-free illumination throughout the night.
Besides being affordable to purchase and free to operate, solar lights have the advantage of being low maintenance. For instance, they only require regular cleaning to function optimally during their lifespan.
So, Why Is It Important To Clean Solar Lights?
As you may already know, solar lights typically need outdoor exposure to absorb sunlight. Unfortunately, when left outside, the panels can gather dust and dirt, which can reduce their efficiency over time.
While covering the panels might seem like an obvious solution against the build-up of dust, doing so is not feasible as it can block sunlight from reaching the panels.
As such, the only way to work around this problem and ensure your solar lights are performing optimally at all times is to clean them regularly.
How To Clean Solar Lights
When it comes to cleaning solar lights, there are several components that you’ll need to focus on. These include solar panels, light bulbs, and batteries.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean each component.
Cleaning The Solar Panel
In most solar lights, the solar panel is usually positioned on the top of the fixture to allow for maximum exposure to sunlight.
Unfortunately, this also makes it more exposed to the elements and therefore requires regular cleaning.
One of the best ways to clean the solar panel is by using a vinegar solution. The acidic nature of the solution helps to remove the grime and dirt from the surface of the panel easily.
Here is a simple guide on how to clean a solar panel using this method.
- Prepare a vinegar solution by mixing ¼ cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water. You can also add a few drops of dish soap to boost the cleansing power of the solution.
- Dip a clean piece of cloth into the vinegar solution to dampen it then gently wipe the surface of the solar panel in a circular motion to remove dust and dirt. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when cleaning the solar panel since it’s delicate and can damage easily
- After removing loose dirt from the panel, dip a second piece of cloth in clean water and clean off the residual cleaning liquid from the surface of the solar panel.
- Wipe off the moisture on the solar panel with a clean and dry piece of cloth to ensure it’s performing optimally.
Cleaning The Light Bulb
The light bulbs of solar lights are typically situated just below the solar panel, which makes them just as exposed to the environment and therefore susceptible to accumulating dust and dirt.
Fortunately, the surface of a solar light bulb is smooth enough to allow for easy cleaning.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Dip a clean washcloth in clean water to dampen it and thoroughly wipe the surface of the solar light bulb. Be gentle since too much pressure can cause it to break.
- Check the surface of the light bulb for sticky stains. If you notice any, spray some dish soap solution on the surface of the light bulb and scrub gently with a damp piece of cloth to remove them.
- Once you are done scrubbing off the stains from the surface of the bulb, dampen a clean wash cloth and swipe it round the bulb to remove the excess cleaning solution.
- Use a clean and dry piece of cloth to wipe off the moisture
Cleaning The Batteries
Batteries are undoubtedly some of the most important components of solar lights since they store the energy absorbed by the sun during the day and power the lights at night.
Unfortunately, the batteries of solar lights are highly susceptible to corrosion due to contact with water or with moisture in the air. This can make them less efficient at storing energy.
As such, cleaning the batteries regularly not only ensures your solar lights function optimally but can also help save money by minimizing the need for regular battery replacements.
Here is how to clean corroded batteries on a solar light.
- Start off by examining the batteries on all sides to check for signs of corrosion. One of the clearest indicators of corroded batteries is the presence of a white powder on the positive terminal of the battery.
- If there are visible signs of corrosion on your solar light battery, dislodge the battery from its slot so you can be able to clean it more easily.
- Wet the corroded surface of the battery and gently scrub it with a dampened soft-bristled brush. Again, you want to be careful when scrubbing the battery to prevent any scratches that might damage it.
- It’s worth pointing out that using the aforementioned cleaning method only applies if the corrosion is fairly recent. In instances where the corrosion is old and the grime has clamped on the surface of the battery, you’ll need to scratch it off using sandpaper.
- Once you’ve removed the stains, douse the surface of the battery with alcohol and wipe it thoroughly with a clean piece of cloth to remove any leftover dirt.
While solar lights are super affordable and require little maintenance, making the effort to clean them regularly is necessary if you want them to serve you for a long time.
By applying the methods discussed here, you’ll keep your solar lights working optimally at all times and minimize the need for regular repairs and replacements.