Removing tree sap from PV panels

JoBo

1000+ Posts
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

New member
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

1000+ Posts
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

1000+ Posts
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.
 

shibuichi

Member
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

1000+ Posts
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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JoBo

1000+ Posts
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

Member
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

1000+ Posts
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

12,000+ Posts
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

1000+ Posts
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

Member
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. 🤞
 
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

Member
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

Member
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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