Abstract Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells constantly gain more attention due to their low cost and relatively high efficiency. An important aspect of these solar cells is the incorporation of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layers at each side of the c-Si wafer, which has increased the efficiency potential due to the excellent surface passivation. By applying a randomly textured instead of a double-side polished wafer, optical enhancement is achieved resulting in significant reflection reduction and high short-circuit current densities (Jsc). However, texturing-induced defects lead to an a-Si:H/c-Si interface with increased recombination, which limits the open circuit voltage (Voc) of the SHJ device after using the same cleaning treatment as for the flat wafer. Thus, a one-to-one transfer of process parameters from flat to textured c-Si substrate is not necessarily appropriate and a different wet-chemical treatment is needed. In this work, a chemical treatment is demonstrated, which leads to an improved surface passivation.