In this study the effect of the purification of electrolyte material on the performance and long-term stability of dye-sensitized solar cells is investigated. The combined effect of purifying all the electrolyte materials has been examined, as has the effect of purifying each compound to identify those compounds worth purifying and to eliminate unnecessary production steps on an industrial scale. Statistical methods were employed to draw statistically significant conclusions from the experimental results. No effect on the initial cell performance is found in this study. The purity of the electrolyte solvent (here methoxypropionitrile) is shown to have a remarkable effect on the cell lifetime: it could even double when the cell is properly purified. It is shown that exposing the cell to even relatively small amounts of UV light resulted in cell degradation through electrolyte bleaching during a 1000 hour aging test. Here the impurities in the electrolyte solvent lead to an almost doubled rate of electrolyte bleaching under UV light. (C) The Author(s) 2015. Published by ECS. All rights reserved.