DIY Maintenance: How To Clean Headlights

You don’t want foggy headlights during rain or through the snow. That will impair your vision too much and could prove to be fatal. However, you don’t necessarily have to waste hundreds of dollars on replacing them. You can restore them to their factory fresh condition with a few simple tricks. This way you can save money as well as your time.

According to experts two of the most common factors for foggy headlights are Dust and debris, and UV radiation from the sun. These wear away at the polycarbonate plastic of the headlights resulting in the fog-like effect you see. Although it is advised to take your car to a professional when doing maintenance, there are ways you can do it yourself. Here are a few ways on how to clean headlights without going to the mechanic.

Using Toothpaste

If your headlights are only a little foggy then you can use this trick. First, wash your car’s headlight with a hard surface cleaner or soap and water. Then take a fingertip amount of toothpaste and a little bit of baking soda on a towel.

After that start rubbing the mixture on the wet headlight lens. Rub for several minutes while keeping the surface wet. You might need to add more toothpaste so if you do don’t hesitate to add it. Once you are done with your rubbing apply a sealant for protection.

Using A Headlight Restoration Kit

Before buying a headlight restoration kit you should know the specifications of your car. Then buy a restoration kit that meets industry standards. Any good restoration kit has different grit count sandpaper and a polishing compound, polishing wax, polishing cloths, and UV sealant. And there should be enough for two headlight restoration.

If you want to use a restoration kit for cleaning your headlights then make sure you don’t improvise and follow the instructions of the kit. You have to remember that this is not a job you can rush through. You need to give it some time. Especially if you want your car’s headlights to be completely restored. You need to give 15-20 minutes of your time on each headlight.

You should also ensure that the surface is always wet. This is important so that the grits don’t damage the lens. Don’t damage the sides and edges as well. To protect the edges you can use painter’s tape to mark out a boundary. Make sure feel for rough spots as well, if you feel any keep sanding away till smooth.

After you are done sanding the headlights might look hazy but don’t worry it’s normal. Once you apply the coating it will look like new. After the sanding, make sure the lens is dry and apply the polish in a uniform manner with one single motion. Then apply the wax. After that has been done you should apply the UV sealant. Let it dry overnight and then check if everything is alright or not. Take the car out the next day, you don’t want dust settling on your newly restored headlights.

Seeking Professional Help

There you go, those are the two most tried and tested DIY methods you can use to clean your car’s headlights. Now if you feel like not tackling the job yourself or if you think you also change the headlight bulbs while at it. Then you can seek professional help.

You can get all the components for headlight restoration and components yourself if you want. And then take everything to your mechanic and they will do the rest. This method has been suggested by many industry experts as the method. So decide on which way you want to go and start cleaning up your car’s headlight.

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