If your headlights look foggy or cloudy, you are not alone. This issue can be caused by a variety of factors like dirt buildup or UV damage. Luckily, it is possible to restore clarity to the lenses with some simple tips and tricks. Here’s how!
Why are Headlights Got Cloudy?
There are a variety of culprits that can contribute to cloudy headlights.
- Dirt buildup on the car’s headlight lenses is one possible cause, especially when you frequently travel on dusty roads.
- UV damage from long-term exposure to sunlight. Cars headlights are protected from the sun with a coating UV protective film. However, if the film becomes damaged, it can lead to UV damage, plastic is oxidized, and eventual cloudiness.
- Some vehicles may have been manufactured with smoky or hazy windshields which can affect how headlights appear from inside of the cars.
- Other causes include water intrusion after heavy rain or snowfall, debris from the road kicked up during travel, bug remains that stick on the headlight’s front surface, and oil that builds up over time with frequent use of your car.
With all the possible causes, the headlights might get cloudy frequently and need to be cleaned often. Luckily, this is an easy task and you can do it yourself.
How can I Make My Headlights Clear Again?
# Super Simple Way to Clean Headlights: For Regular Maintenance
What you need: Soap, water, microfiber cloth, polish & air compressor (if possible)
If there is a lot of dirt, wash the headlights using soap and water.
If there are just some dust particles on your headlight lens cover, use an air compressor to blow off the surface.
When you are done doing this, dry them with a cloth or towel before applying any polish.
For glass cleaner used in car windshields, use only a little bit of the polish and buff it out with your cloth.
If you are using any kind of car soap, make sure to apply that just as lightly.
# Using Household Items
If there is a lot of dirt, wash the headlight using soap and water.
Then take some baking soda and mix it with liquid dish-washing detergent – just enough to make a dough that you can work into your headlights without any trouble.
The mixture should be about as thick as cake batter; add more or less until it’s clean.
Use your fingers to work the soap mixture into and around the headlight, then rinse it off with water.
Repeat this process on both headlights if needed.
The acid in lemon is a great substance for cleaning.
Mix a teaspoon of dish-washing detergent with some cool water in a bowl or container that is large enough for cover the headlight at least halfway.
Pour the mixture over one headlight and let it soak for a few minutes before scrubbing with a rag or sponge.
Repeat this process on both headlights if needed.
3.Use Bug Spray
If you just finish your road trip through rural areas, then this must be done to your headlights.
Treat your headlights to a fog-free shine by applying some bug spray. The product will react chemically with the plastic, removing any dirty spots and restoring the clarity of your lights.
Make sure not to apply this directly on anything else but instead put it onto a clean rag or paper towel, as it does have chemicals that could damage other surfaces.
# Professional Way: Using Sandpapers
Tools Required: Sandpapers (800, 1500 & 3000 grit), UV sealant, polish, painter’s tape & microfiber cloth. Or, you can get a restoration kit for headlights.
Step 1: Clean the headlights with soap and water.
Step 2: Cover the headlights with painter’s tape
To protect other parts of the car from sanding papers, cover the headlights with painter’s tape, so you will sand the lenses only.
Step 3: Sanding
Sand the lenses with 800, 1500 and then 3000 grit sandpaper to remove any cloudy or rough spots. You can use a circular motion while you’re doing this for maximum results.
Make sure the surface of the lenses is wet to avoid dust during the process.
You should spend up to 10′ for each sanding paper type. Be patient and sand the surface evenly and thoroughly.
Step 4: Apply the Polish
Put the polish on the cloth and clean the lenses in a circular motion.
Step 5: Apply UV Sealant
Apply UV sealant by spraying evenly around the surface of each headlight lens (following instructions on packaging). Let dry before removing the painter’s tape.
Step 6: Remove the Painter’s Tape
Now, you can remove the painter’s tape to reveal a nice shine on your headlight lenses!
If you want brighter headlights then we recommend using a high-quality polish and sealant that will not only clean but also protect them from any more damage caused by weather.
There are many ways to make the headlights clear again. Depend on the cloudiness of your headlights, you can choose a suitable method to make them shine again. Remember clear headlights are of utmost importance when you are driving at night.
Check out: The Best Jeep Wrangler Headlights!
Hey, Naomi O’Colman here.
With years working at an auto repair shop in Texas and passionate about the auto industry. I want to share with my readers the best quality products through my well-researched reviews as well as fixing minor defects in your car.