Note: These are recommendations, every situation is different. 4M Metals is not certified in metal roofing cleaning.

Light Cleaning: 

For simple cleaning, water and mild detergent is often sufficient. However, never use bleach, as it can change the finish color or interact disastrously with certain metals.

Moderate Cleaning: 

For dirt or other deposits that can’t be removed with water alone and require a more complete cleaning, a solution of hot or cold water mixed with detergent is appropriate. An ideal solution is the mixture of 95 percent water with 5 percent of a mild, commonly-used, commercial (non-industrial, non-bleach) dish or laundry detergent added. Diluting the detergent with the water helps ensure the detergent isn’t too strong and doesn’t negatively affect the painted metal surface. Common cleaners for this type of cleaning can include:

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Car wash soap
  • Mild dish soap
  • Cold or hot commercial/industrial detergents



It’s important to avoid using products and tools not recommended by the panel manufacturer that will scrape or grind down the surface coating and leave scratches or other finish damage when cleaning metal panels. This can eventually wear down the finish and leave panels vulnerable to corrosion. Likewise, any misuse or abuse of acceptable cleaning agents will likely automatically void any manufacturer’s warranty for the affected surfaces.Regardless of the level of cleaning that needs to be done, there are some products and tools that are likely neverideal for use on coated metal panels.

These include:

  • Wire brushes
  • Abrasives
  • Steel wool
  • Sandpaper
  • High-pressure power washers
  • Scouring powders
  • Paint removers
  • Paint thinners

In conclusion, while the considerations above can help give you and your customers an idea of options available when cleaning metal panels, the importance of understanding and following the specific product manufacturer’s metal panel cleaning instructions can’t be overstated. As a result of diligently following all official instructions and considering these tips, your customers can avoid panel corrosion, staining or other surface damage and retain the integrity and beauty of the metal panel finish.