How to Clean Oxidized Headlights?

These days vehicle manufacturers use plastic for headlights instead of glass. The reason is it is lighter, less likely to be harmful, needs less care, less expensive to produce which saves money while manufacturing the vehicles. These types of headlights become cloudy or tarnished over time. This is due to oxidation which naturally happens over time. Therefore, we can say poor maintenance does not necessarily cause oxidized headlights but the main reasons are UV light, road debris, and other chemicals around.

The result of this oxidation is poor visibility at night and therefore needs to be repaired. The headlights will have a yellowish tint and it will feel harsh to touch. But worry not because getting those headlights looking new again is an easy DIY task. Follow the steps mentioned below and you can make your headlights fresh in no time.

Headlight restoration kit

The simplest way to clean your headlights is to buy a headlight restoration kit which will include all the necessary parts and then get started. Wash the headlight lenses with car soap and water and wash the surrounding areas too so that tape can stick easily. Then take the painter’s tape and mask the areas around the headlights to protect them from sandpaper.

Now comes the sanding process, take the 1000 grit sandpaper which is more abrasive. Wet the sandpaper and headlight and sand the lens in straight and horizontal strokes. Keep sanding in the same direction the whole time and make sure to keep the surface wet otherwise you can scratch the surface. Spend 5 to 10 minutes on this process to see better results. Wipe off and dry the headlights before moving to next step.

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Take the polishing compound on a clean microfiber towel and rub over the lights for few minutes in circular motions. Once the lens is clear, apply wax on it as you do with your car. This will thoroughly clean the lens.

The last step is to apply the UV sealant to your headlights because you removed all of the old oxidized sealants when you sanded. This is important because the sealant is the protective layer that keeps the lens from hazing over again. For this, you need wetting a paper towel and apply the sealant in sweeping broad strokes.

Make sure to do full coverage and apply one layer unless the kit has some other instruction. Finally, allow the sealant to dry by parking the car in a dry space.

Use vinegar and baking soda

If you have a little bit of oxidation on the headlights then it is better to use a less abrasive method to remove it. Vinegar is a great tool to remove dirt and discolouration from foggy or discoloured headlights. If the headlights become hazy, foggy, or yellowed you should use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Mix two parts white vinegar to one part baking soda and apply the mixture to your headlights with a clean cloth.

Making small circular motions rub on the entire headlight. Rinse off the solution with water until the headlight is clear and then dry with a clean cloth. You can also repeat the process if the yellow discolouration is still there.

Use of toothpaste

Toothpaste is also a great product to clean the headlight. The procedure is almost the same first you need to wash the headlights and let them dry completely. Take a clean cloth and put toothpaste and water on it and rub over the headlights in small circles and wait for five minutes. Then rinse with water and let them dry. Toothpaste actually contains varieties of gel and whitening elements which can remove undesirable particles from the surface and make it look shiny and clearer.

Apply the wax

You can also make wax for your headlights at home using vinegar. This will reduce any future fogginess from developing on the headlight cover. Mix one cup linseed oil, four tablespoons of carnauba wax, two tablespoons of beeswax, and half a cup of apple cider vinegar. Put the ingredients over boiling water by using a double boiler. Heat the wax, and stir frequently until the waxes have melted. Once the waxes have melted you can pour it in a different container and let it cool until becomes solid.

When it becomes solid you can scoop it up with a clean cloth and apply on the headlights using circular motions. Then you can remove the wax with a different cloth leaving no residue and the headlights should look polished and sparkling.

It is better to regularly maintain the headlights to keep them in good condition. A good way is to add a small buffer every six months so they should never get too bad or keep the oxidation away. Also using headlight covers is an excellent way to protect your headlights from UV light and grimes. All of us want clean and clear headlights for our cars that is possible through cleaning.

Clear headlights not only enhance the look of the car but also maintain the safety on the roads so it is essential to regularly check and keep your headlights clean.

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