Easy Hacks For Cleaning Car Headlights
Driving a car with hazy headlights is synonymous with compromising your safety. Driving in the night or low visibility conditions requires clean and optimally functioning headlights. But, over time, they begin to haze or turn yellow. The fogging of headlight lenses hampers their effectiveness and puts you at risk while driving.
Headlight lenses are fabricated from polycarbonate plastic that sustains the harsh road conditions but succumbs to the sun. Although the lenses are protected with a UV protective film, it wears gradually due to exposure to UV rays, and the plastic begins to oxidize.
But it does not mean that you need to get the headlights replaced. With some easy hacks, you can clean them and make the headlight assembly website look new.
Here is how to clean the headlights of your car.
Wash the lenses
Start with washing the headlight lenses with mild car soap and water. Don’t forget to clean the surrounding area.
Secure the surrounding areas
Once you wash the lenses, it is time to secure the areas surrounding the headlight. It is because you will be sanding the headlight. If not secured, you may run the sandpaper over the surrounding area, chipping off the paint.
So, with painter’s tape, secure the edges of the headlight.
Sand it away
For this step, you will need different sandpaper options- 1000, 2000, and 3000. Start with 1000-grit sandpaper as it is the most abrasive one. Wet the headlight and the sandpaper, and begin sanding the lenses in straight strokes. Sand it for at least 5 to 10 mins.
Make sure you keep working it in the same direction as changing strokes can damage the surface of the headlights. Also, the surface should be wet while sanding. Running sandpaper on a dry surface will result in scratching.
Follow the same process with less abrasive sandpaper. Take the 2000-grit sandpaper and sand it diagonally across the headlight. After this step, take the 3000-grit sandpaper and run it in the opposite diagonal direction. Keep wetting the surface from time to time.
It is an important step. Follow it carefully.
Apply polish and wax
After sanding, wipe the headlight and let it dry completely. Take some polishing compound on a clean microfiber towel and rub it over the headlight in circular motions. You can also use an orbital buffer in place of a microfiber cloth.
After applying the polish, apply wax on the lenses just the way you apply it to your car.
Polishing removes the surface layer of oxidation from your headlight. This is why it requires a little elbow grease to do the job. Don’t forget to wear solvent-resistant nitrile gloves to protect your hands from the harsh chemicals while you polish your headlights. You must be careful not to leave any polish or wax on the lenses. Wipe with a clean cloth to remove any polish or wax. Let it dry for an hour before putting your headlights back in place.
Apply UV sealant
As already mentioned, UV rays hamper the car headlights. As you have already removed the oxidized sealant from your headlight, you need to protect them again.
Wet a paper towel. Take the sealant and apply it over the surface of the headlight using sweeping broad strokes. Most manufacturers recommend applying one layer of sealant to prevent oxidation.
Park your car in a dry space and let the sealant cure.
If you don’t witness any improvement, consider repeating these processes. You can consider using other hacks too.
Other hacks for cleaning car headlights:
Cleaning the headlight using toothpaste
The baking soda and other soft abrasives of the toothpaste work effectively in cleaning the headlights. All you need to do is rub the toothpaste on the headlight using a small brush. The grime will begin to come off. After this, take some warm water and a clean cloth to wipe the residue from the surface. Buff the surface for a sheen.
The bottom line
Replacing headlights can be an expensive affair. You don’t need to replace them as long as you have these effective hacks to clean them. So keep your headlights clean and your repair money safe.