Does your car have foggy headlights? If so, you should consider restoring them. Foggy headlights can be dangerous as they reduce your car’s light output by as much as 50%. This places you, your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians at risk by increasing the likelihood of road accidents.
Foggy headlights occur due to the accumulation of dirt within the housing or when your car is exposed to sun rays, causing a chemical reaction. Avoiding foggy headlights is almost impossible unless your vehicle is always parked in your garage 24/7.
Luckily, cleaning the fog off your headlights is an easy DIY job using everyday items. Below are five ways to remove the gunk out of your headlights. But first, you’ll need to clean them.
To clean your headlights, you’ll need:
• Soap and water
• Painter’s tape
• A soft cloth and rag
Using soap and water, clean your headlights and the surrounding areas. Then, dry the cleaned area to ensure moisture doesn’t adversely impact your restoration. Next, use painter’s tape to make a perimeter around each headlight. Don’t use highly adhesive tape as it can lift your vehicle’s paint.
Now, it’s time to remove the fog.
1. With Toothpaste
Toothpaste works wonders when it comes to cleaning foggy headlights. Simply apply some toothpaste to a towel or rag and spread it over the entire headlight in circular motions. Then, rinse your headlights with water to get rid of the toothpaste and dry it with a towel. Since toothpaste is slightly abrasive, it scrapes away the fog while filling in any scratches, revealing clear headlights.
2. With Sandpaper
If you’re looking for a method that scrapes away more grime, you might want to consider using sandpaper. After cleaning your headlights, use sandpaper (800 grit) to scratch your housing’s surface. However, do this lightly to avoid damaging your headlights. It’s wise to wet the sandpaper with a bit of water and work in circular motions.
Once finished, use finer sandpaper, preferably 1600 grit, and repeat the same process. Then, complete the process by wiping the housing with rubbing alcohol to speed up the drying process. As a finishing touch, you can polish your headlights with specialized headlight polish or with toothpaste.
Remember to apply a UV sealant after using sandpaper on your headlights as the process removes the old oxidized sealant. This slows down the hazing process as it creates a protective layer on your headlights.
3. With a Headlight Restoration Kit
Although using a headlight restoration kit is expensive, it’s a sure way of cleaning foggy headlights. When purchasing your headlight restoration kit, ensure it has a plastic cleaner/polish, several sandpaper grades, protective coating, and polishing cloths.
To effectively use a headlight restoration kit:
• Never improvise and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
• Don’t rush the process. Normally, it can take between 15 to 20 minutes
• Keep the surfaces wet while sanding
• Make sure the housing is completely dry before applying sealant
If you don’t want the hassle of DIY headlight restoration, you can have a professional with experience clean your foggy headlights. But, ensure you pick an auto glass company that guarantees quality service.