Removing tree sap from PV panels

JoBo

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Wonder if anybody has experience with a good product. Dishwashing soap and jiff don't do much. Problem is that the panels have to be reached via extension handle with some material at the end of it - so not reachable by hand.
Any hints/experience much appreciated!
 

pug407

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the original windex
i had lots of black spots on my white car .they were actually fungus that come from mulch.
i sprayed windex and lots of rubbing down .and it all clean.i gave it dood polish after and good coat of wax
so far so good .
 

jaahn

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Hi Jo :)
The panel surface is just glass so I would use metho to dissolve something that normal soap will not shift. It is not an aggressive solvent and washes off with water.
Jaahn
 

JoBo

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Thanks Jaahn! Yes, it is glass but it is slightly ribbed. Metho doesn't do it. Will try some iso alcohol next. Bunnings have nothing that takes it off.
 

driven

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Xylene great industrial solvent should do the job.
However, It is toxic Safety Data
Need organic fume respirator cartridges with carbon filters A1 Cartridge
This is serious stuff
 

JoBo

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Thanks will look into it when all else fails.
 

shibuichi

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Have you tried car wash with warm water?
That usually lifts the black sooty mould dropped on my car from the sap-sucker infested tree.
 

JoBo

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Tried soapy water and WD40 - no good.
But i just found something that works. Hand sanitizer gel, contains alcohol!
Unfortunately one of the trees died :(
 

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shibuichi

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Oh? Meths is 95% ethanol so what is the secret ingredient in hand sanitiser gel that works when metho didn’t?
🧐
 

JoBo

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Meths work to an extent but it evaporates quickly so needs several applications and quite a lot of mechanical rubbing. Suspect the sanitizer works because it is jelly like and softens the crime by sitting on it for a few minutes? All i can say it works like a charm.
White spirits, Brakeclean, MAF sensor spray, dot 4 brake fluid - all no good.
 

shibuichi

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Ah! Magic ingredient is time.
I wonder if a soaked towel laying on the PV would do the job? Cheaper than sano.
Thanks for the investigation. 👍
I need to check my cells too. Fortunately my PVs are further from the sap-sucker infested sooty mould covered melaleuca tree than yours.
Replace the dead tree with a dwarf banksia. It won’t grow as tall and the local bird life will appreciate the feed.
 

JoBo

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Don't know what method will be the most economical? 5l 80% alcohol gel costs $38.- Will pick it up after lockdown.
Fabric and iso alcohol could also work but i think it would be more hassle because it will still evaporate rather quickly bearing in mind that the PVs are at an angle.
 

okalford

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Hi JoBo, I get these pesky little black dots on my car that I suspect are tree sap. I have only been game to use a gentle detergent and a microfibre cloth. It used to take me over an hour to clean the roof section which gets the most.

I have found this task has been made quicker by applying a coat of wax. Since using this the spots come off a lot easier. I'm sure there are lots of options but I can recommend this product that I came across from a search here. This Meguiar's one is quite good.


Kaye
 

JoBo

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Thank you Kaye! Will look into the product for applying it on Solar PV panels. I use their viny product on the soft top and it is very good.
 

shibuichi

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I have the same problem with my car as does Kaye and try to keep it waxed also (try.... not necessarily do 🤣)
But given the solar efficiency drop I’ve noticed on slightly hazy days I think would be wary of waxing PVs.
Now that the primary offending sickly tree has shuffled off its mortal coil, Jo should have less trouble with crusty sooty mould. 🤞
 

chris hartwell

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Meths work to an extent but it evaporates quickly so needs several applications and quite a lot of mechanical rubbing. Suspect the sanitizer works because it is jelly like and softens the crime by sitting on it for a few minutes? All i can say it works like a charm.
White spirits, Brakeclean, MAF sensor spray, dot 4 brake fluid - all no good.
Refer to Glenn drake's response for the answer. First post .
 

Fireblade

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After you get it clean, I would treat the surface with a ceramic coating - it really does work and will mean future droppings will virtually wipe off.
 

simca1100

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I'd try CitroClean, an orange-based spray cleaner that performs miracles. Don't use it if the roof is Colorbond, as it softens any paint I have ever tried it on. I love the stuff. Available at IGA stores. It takes off stickers, glue, sap, greasy cooking residue.
 
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