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How to clean headlights?

How to clean headlights?

How much dirt and spray can accumulate on the front of a car? You can't count it, but if you look closely, it's ugly! And when that grime blocks the light from your headlights, it becomes a safety issue.  Your car's headlights are there to illuminate you at night, keeping you and other drivers safe. If your headlights are dirty, they can lose up to 30% of their effectiveness. So make sure you clean them regularly to ensure they're 100% effective! If you don't know how to clean them, this article will give you some tips.

Cleaning and degreasing headlights

To clean and degrease your car's headlights, follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather the necessary materials

  • A microfiber cloth
  • Window cleaner
  • warm water
  • Headlight cleaner (optional)
  • Adhesive tape

Step 2: Protect

Use tape to protect areas around the headlights, such as the car's body or painted parts. This will help prevent paint damage during the cleaning process;

Step 3: Initial Cleaning

Use a lightly moistened microfiber cloth to wipe the exterior surface of the headlights and remove any coarse dirt and debris. This will prevent the headlights from being scratched during the thorough cleaning process.

Step 4: Prepare the cleaner

If you're using a specific headlight cleaner, follow the manufacturer's instructions for preparation. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to make your own cleaning solution.

Deep Clean

Step 5: Deep Clean

Apply the headlight cleaner or cleaning solution to a clean microfiber cloth and gently rub the surface of the headlights. Use circular motions to remove grease and dirt residue. Don't forget to clean the edges of the headlights as well.

Step 6: Rinse

Using another clean, damp microfiber cloth, rinse the surface of the headlight with clean water. Be sure to remove any cleaner or detergent residue.

Step 7: Dry

Dry the headlights with a clean, dry cloth to avoid streaks or stains.

Step 8: Additional Protection (Optional)

If you want to protect the headlights and prevent fading, you can apply a headlight-specific product, such as a headlight paint or sealant.

Hiding the Headlight Outline

To avoid damaging or staining the body, mask the outline of the headlight with masking tape. Be careful not to use any type of tape that could damage your paint.

Apply Headlight Renovator

The most effective method is still to use headlight restoration kits. They will restore your headlights to their original luster. However, these kits require you to sand the headlights with sandpaper, which can be counterproductive if you scratch your headlights too much. To be on the safe side, make sure your hood, bumper, fender, etc. are well hidden. Sanding can be done manually or with a special machine. Some brands even offer applicator pads.

Other headlight cleaning tips

TIP NO. 1: Wipe your car headlights with panty hose

Are we talking insect spots? Unless you're a collector of all kinds of insects, get rid of them! All you have to do is recycle an old pair of tights, roll them into a ball, and rub them over your car headlights to remove all traces of dirt... and insect residue. It's a great start!

TIP NO. 2: Use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar

Baking soda is THE natural household product for effectively cleaning your entire home. And its effectiveness extends to your car's headlights! To use, sprinkle a tablespoon onto a damp sponge and wipe your headlights. Rinse with clean water.

You can also add white vinegar to your recipe to make a natural, homemade cleaning spray. To do this, mix the following in a clean spray bottle

  • One glass of white vinegar;
  • ½ glass of liquid soap;
  • ½ glass of bicarbonate of soda.

All you have to do is shake it well before using it to remove your headlights. Then wipe them dry with a clean, dry cloth and they'll be as good as new!

Use toothpaste to clean your headlights

TIP NO. 3: Use toothpaste to clean your headlights

The cleaning power of toothpaste has been proven on teeth... But on car headlights? Well, yes, it works! All you have to do is apply toothpaste to the headlights by hand, covering them completely (you can also use a cloth). Then use a used toothbrush (or cloth) to clean the headlights in a circular motion over the toothpaste. All that's left is to rinse and dry the headlights. And you are ready to go!

TIP NO. 4: Use bug spray to clean your car headlights

You might as well treat the problem with the right product in the first place: mosquito repellent! Spray some on an old sock and rub it in to clean your car headlights!

Lasting protection for your headlights

To protect your car's headlights, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Clean them regularly:Clean them frequently with clear water and a special headlight cleaner, or use a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Remove dirt, insects, and debris to prevent buildup that could damage the headlights;
  2. Apply a protective product:There are products on the market specifically designed to protect plastic or polycarbonate headlights. These products can provide a protective barrier against UV rays, inclement weather and damage caused by exposure to the elements.
  3. Use a protective film:These films are usually made of clear polyurethane or vinyl and can help prevent scratches, cracks and discoloration of the headlight.

  1. Avoid harsh chemicals:Avoid using harsh cleaners or chemicals on headlamps as they can damage the surface or cause discoloration of the material. Use mild, non-abrasive cleaners specifically designed for plastic or polycarbonate headlamps;
  2. Park your car in the shade:If possible, try to park your car in the shade or use a sun visor to protect the headlights from direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause headlights to fade and yellow;
  3. Replace damaged headlights:If you notice cracks, severe scratches or leaks in your headlights, we recommend that you have them repaired or replaced by a professional. Damaged headlights can reduce lighting efficiency and impair driving safety.

By following these precautions, you can extend the life of your headlights and maintain their appearance and performance for years to come.

Now you know how to clean your opaque headlamps. There are several techniques you can use, but using a renovation kit is the most appropriate and long-lasting method. So don't hesitate to choose this option and carry out regular maintenance. Compare garages on MOSTPLUS to replace your cloudy car headlights.

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