I had a contractor paint silver coating on my roof and some of the aluminum paint spots/speckled onto my solar panels. How can I remove the spots - what solvent is safe to use on solar panels? Can I just use paint thinner?

The panels are Sunpower X22-360 with Tempered Glass High-transmission tempered anti-reflective.

The paint is 169 Karnak Non Fibered Aluminum Coating.

Will using mineral spirits damage the AR coating on the tempered glass?

  • What are the clean up instructions for the paint? Where on the solar panel - the glass, the frame, elsewhere?
    – FreeMan
    Aug 10, 2023 at 12:57
  • If the spots are spots like 1mm diameter then even leave them, but if the spots are big patches then wait to dry and scrape with a razor. Lesson number 1: masking edges and surfaces saves a LOT of time.
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 10, 2023 at 13:51
  • Doesn't save the roofer any time. And if you know one that actually cares then I'd like to meet them. - Clean up for silver coat prior to it setting is mineral spirits. After it sets, you don't.
    – Mazura
    Aug 11, 2023 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


Solar panels normally use glass on the top surface. I know they are working on plastics, but I don't know if these are in production. So, check the documentation on the panels.

If the spots are small, then they probably wont affect the panels output. Again depends on the panel design. If the spots are coin size or larger, then they may still be okay. Some panels are resistant to dirt and leaves where only part of it might stop producing power. The older, cheaper varieties stop producing on the whole panel !

Otherwise Use detergent and water with a plastic scraper. If that doesnt work, and the surface is definitely glass then try a metal scraper meant for glass (paint shops and hardware stores have them).

I would try chemicals like turps or paint thinners as a very last resort and only if the spots are larger. Because you could spill it elsewhere and it may take paint off the sides of the panels.

Google will tell you IPA will work, but I struggle to see how IPA will take paint off.

  • 3
    A single edge razorblade skimmed across the panel should get the paint off.
    – JACK
    Aug 10, 2023 at 17:51
  • Don't scratch it with the corners. And buy a 4" glass scraper instead of cutting yourself.
    – Mazura
    Aug 11, 2023 at 2:28

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