Since the headlights remain so close to the road during a drive, they stay really vulnerable to all types of hazards. Debris and liquids from the road, harmful particles from the air, harsh weather conditions, UV-rays- all of them work together to ruin the showroom look from the headlights.
But it is not just about the shininess. Having a dirty headlight means you will get dimmer light output. That is not only heavily dangerous on the road but also illegal in almost every state. We will cover the headlight cleaning process below. Note that there are several ways you can approach this. We tried to go over as many of them as possible.
Should You DIY or Get Expert Help?
If we are talking about headlight cleaning, you can go for one of two options. Either go to a mechanic for professional cleaning or do it at home. Both have their own merits. So, it is up to you.
|Cost||Can cost up to a lot||Doesn’t cost much except the price of necessary materials.|
|Time||May take up to 12 days to finish||Depending on your method, you can finish it within 10-60 minutes.|
|Quality||Results in a high-quality professional cleaning||It depends on your skill and method. But it won’t be as good as experts.|
|Place||You need to take your vehicle to the mechanical shop.||You can do it in your garage.|
Cleaning Yellowish Headlight at Home
Wondering how to clean yellow headlights at home? You can remove the yellowish hue from your headlight using nothing but denatured alcohol. It is a product that many of us already have at home. If not, get it from any roadside paint store.
What you will need-
- Denatured alcohol
- Dish soap
- Two soft rags
- At first, wash your headlights thoroughly with dish soap and water. Dry them by wiping them with a soft rag.
- Pour a bit of denatured alcohol into a mug. Dip a corner of a soft rag into it.
- Rub it on the entire surface of the headlights.
- Finally, rinse with water and dry it.
Optional- Apply a coat of polishing compound and wax on the headlights.
Cleaning Headlights with Vinegar
This method utilizes a combination of white vinegar and cooking spray. Honestly, this is probably the best way to DIY clean your headlights, and it takes a long time too. The acidity in vinegar works its way through rough build-ups.
- White vinegar
- Cooking spray
- Warm water
- A sponge
- Soft cloth
- Get the lenses out of the headlights and dip totally into vinegar. Leave it for an hour. The vinegar will weaken the messes on the lenses.
- Use a sponge to rub the lenses gently to remove the grimes.
If your headlight lenses have scratches, then follow the steps below-
- Instead of using the sponge to rub them, rinse the lenses and dry with a soft cloth.
- Apply some cooking spray over them.
- Gently buff with a soft cloth on them to make them smoother again.
Once the process is over, your headlights should regain their original beauty.
Cleaning Headlights with Baking Soda
Have some extra baking soda from your kitchen to spare? Yes, they are one of the best items for headlight restoration. Baking soda dissolves the oxidization on your headlights and thus, removes their yellowness. They also remove any paint job.
- Baking soda
- Painter’s tape
- Warm water
- Sponge and clean cloth
- Cover the pain area around the headlight with painter’s tape since baking soda can wash the paint away as well.
- Make a paste that contains five tablespoons of baking soda and enough water.
- Apply it to the corner of your sponge. Use the sponge to put the paste on the headlight surfaces.
- Rub using a soft, clean cloth in tiny rotary motion.
- Keep rubbing gently until the plastic or glass lose their messy looks.
- Rinse with water. Rewash the surfaces with dish soap and warm water. Let them dry.
Caution- Make sure not to drip any baking soda solution when washing the headlights.
Using Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer
You can go for Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer by sparing some time and money. It will provide an even better result than your household items. Below are the materials that this kit includes-
- Clarifying compounds.
- Sealing wipes and base coating
- Spray lubricant
- Precision green pads for polishing
Here is how to clean headlights using Turtle Wax Restorer-
- Give your headlight a wash with dish soap and water.
- Notice how much build-up there is.
- Take a soft cloth and apply the lens clarifying compound to it. Rub it on the headlight lenses in up-and-down or side-by-side motion.
- Do it for around 2-3 minutes throughout both headlight surfaces. Then let them dry.
- Use a microfiber towel to wipe the compound from it.
If your headlights are still not clear enough, know that there is oxidization.
- In that case, spray some lubricant on a green pad and on the headlight. Rub it up and down on the headlight. Keep both pad and headlight lubricated as you move to different sections.
- Flip the green pad to the tan side and buff for a minute in the opposing direction. Don’t forget to lubricate.
- Use the teal side of the second pad to rub the headlight up and down for a minute, then use its purple side for the next minute.
- Wipe the headlights thoroughly using a microfiber towel.
- Use to compound kit again to compound the entire surface.
- Buff it off using a cotton towel.
Your headlight will achieve a restoration equal to professional cleaning.
There are many other options to restore the former color of their headlights. We have mentioned some of the best ones. You can also use toothpaste, bug spray, or Coca-Cola. But all of them are for short-term cleaning.
Make sure to apply the base coat or any polishing compound after cleaning your headlights. Doing so will ensure a long-lasting lifespan for them. It will also save you from having to clean them occasionally.