Are you struggling to clean foggy headlights or want to come out with clean headlights while washing your car? Foggy car headlights can be stressful to restore if you don't know how to. That is why we have come up with a solution on how to clean headlights, whether foggy, dirty, or hazy, to revamp your car with that brand new look again.
Before we go to cleaning foggy headlights, it is best to know what causes them to try and avoid the avoidable.
What Causes Foggy Headlights?
Foggy headlights are caused by:
- The reaction of the outer layer of the headlight with the oxygen in the atmosphere creates an opaque material making the headlights foggy.
- When the headlight overheats, it reacts with atmospheric agents to form fog on its cover.
- If the headlight's seal is breached, water and dust may enter the headlight and turn it foggy.
- Headlights have an optimum age they can function, and when the age is reached, they turn foggy automatically.
Why Should You Clean Your Car Headlights Regularly?
Having a foggy headlight will make your car look bad and cause hazards you are not prepared for.
After knowing the following reasons as to why you should avoid foggy headlights, I bet you will not want to drive around in them again.
- Foggy headlights will limit the amount of light you need during night travels.
- When your headlights are foggy, the light distribution does not come out whole, which can be a hazard to drivers.
- When your headlamp is foggy, it absorbs energy from the light, which ends up ruining it.
- You cannot sell your car at a reasonable price if it has foggy headlights.
With this in mind, let us head straight to clean headlights to avoid the hazards mentioned above.
How To Clean Headlights At Home
If you are looking for ways to clean foggy headlights at home, you are on the right page. You will be surprised to know that you probably have the equipment and materials to get the work done. You can clean foggy headlights using toothpaste, vinegar, or a car restoration kit.
1. Cleaning Headlights With Toothpaste
Toothpaste is an effective cleaning substance to restore headlights since it has a formula of abrasive substances that work against grime, road particles and clear the effects of oxidation.
To use this method, start by preparing for the cleaning by tapping the edges of the headlight surface to protect the car's paint. You can also tape plastic sheets around the headlights to save on tape since the sticky tape adhesive can damage the car polish if left for long.
Then fill up a bucket of water and generously pour the toothpaste in. Add water in bits to loosen its consistency, then start scrubbing with it on your headlight. Rinse the dirt off as you reapply toothpaste to other affected areas.
Repeat this process to stubborn areas until the grit comes off and your headlights are clear. Finish by rinsing off any toothpaste residue with clean water and coat it with a thin layer of car wax to prevent future fogginess. Finally, dry off with a clean cloth, then enjoy your new headlight lens.
2. Using Headlight Restoration Kit
You can use a shortcut to restore your foggy headlamps if you don't want to go out and buy cleaning tools. Instead, order a headlight restoration kit online and use it as a DIY project to restore your car. When using a headlight restoration kit, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer and avoid improvising.
3. Cleaning Hazy Headlights
If you have tried the above methods and your car's headlights are still covered in the yellow or white stubborn coating, you must switch to this method. To clean hazy headlights, you need the following
- A spray bottle filled with soapy water
- Sandpapers in 400, 1000, and 3000 grit
- A clean wiping cloth
- Car wax
Start by spraying the headlight lens with soapy water and clean them to remove light visible stains.
Scrub the headlight with the 400 grit sandpaper to remove the layer of fog. Next, use a generous amount of soapy water to sand the fog down. Next, switch to finer sandpapers( 1000 and 3000 grit ) to ensure the headlights are smooth to touch.
After this scrub, the headlight will appear hazy; you will then apply car polish to the headlamps and rub them to return the shine to the headlamps.
Finish off by applying car wax to seal the headlamps and prevent future haziness.
4. Cleaning Headlights With Vinegar
Vinegar can be used as a cleaning agent, but when combined with baking soda, it produces a chemical reaction that is strong enough to clear the fog to build upon your headlights.
To achieve a clean outcome, start by preparing your headlights. Then, tape a protective covering around your headlights to protect the car's paint.
Proceed to mix shampoo or dish soap with warm water onto a bucket to make a foam and gently wipe visible dirt with a damp cloth. Next, mix some baking soda and vinegar separately in a small bucket to form a reaction. Scoop the mixture onto your soft cloth and wipe the headlights gently. The fog should come out at this point, and you will be set to go with your bright, clean lights. Finish by drying your headlights with a clean cloth, then gently remove the tapes of your car.
5. Using WD-40
If you want a quick fix on cleaning oxidized headlights, then use WD-40. Using this lubricant helps you get clear headlights in a few minutes, though it is not a reliable method for long-term results. Start by preparing your car for defogging by using tape to cover the edges of the light. Next, mix a bucket with water and dish soap and clean the surface using a mitt.
Shake the WD-40 can and spray the product onto the headlight lenses, avoid spraying unprotected areas as it may damage the car paint.
Carefully wash out the lubricant with a clean cloth or mitt using the soapy bucket solution you prepared. Once you have removed all the oil from the headlight, wash it off with an absorber and remove the tape carefully to avoid spreading any lubricant left of it. Use a UV rays protectant on top of the headlights to prevent future fog formation.
Use WD-40 with caution because when you rely on this product, often, it could damage the bulbs of your headlights by burning or blurring them out. Always wash the lubricant thoroughly every time you use it.
Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean Headlights.
1. How Can I Make My Headlights Crystal Clear?
Use baking soda in cleaning your headlights to achieve a crystal clear finish. Put baking soda on a damp cloth and rub it to form a paste that you will apply directly to your lights.
The lubricant should be enough to remove the layer of fog on your headlights. Rinse with clean water, and you have your clear headlights.
2. What Other Household Items Can You Use To Clean Headlights?
If you are looking for a quick fix, you can use WD-40, coca-cola, or even PAM cooking spray to clean your plastic headlights.