We’ve all seen cloudy or yellowed headlights. Not only does it make your car look bad, but it also poses a safety hazard because your headlights don’t shine quite s brightly as they should. There are various chemicals and commercial products you can buy in order to bring back your headlight’s former clarity and shine, however, they tend to be pretty costly. There are a few things you can do with products you probably have in your cabinets at home to avoid emptying your wallet. I’ve partnered with Holden Dodge to bring you these easy DIY steps on how to clean your headlights.
So what’s actually happening to your headlight covers to make them cloudy? Simply put the plastic covers are oxidizing. This built up layer of oxidized plastic created the foggy or yellow look, and because the oxidation is part of the first few layers of your headlight cover, regular washing won’t solve the problem. To clear up foggy headlights, you will need something abrasive in order to scrape those oxidized layers away, and a decent amount of elbow grease. There are three common techniques for treating your headlight covers.
Basically, you for this technique to work you need a whitening toothpaste that has those little abrasive crystals in it. Take your toothpaste and use a stiff bristled toothbrush to coat and scrub the headlight. Then rinse with water. This method works but will take a few applications and a fair bit of effort.
Similar to the toothpaste method, only cheaper. The baking soda is mixed with water to make the past which is then used as the abrasive. Remember you need to remove a few layers of plastic in order to make these things shine. Again this method takes a few applications
Sandpaper and a Sponge
For this method, you will take 500-grain sandpaper and wrap it around a sponge. The sponge is there to make sure the pressure stays even and you don’t gouge the cover. You will use dishwashing liquid as a lubricant on the headlight cover. So apply a small amount of the dish washing liquid to the headlight, and then scrub evenly with the sandpaper covered sponge. Rinse, and then repeat as necessary. Of these three methods, this one should take the fewest applications.
Either one of these methods will work for brightening up your headlights, just depends on what you have at hand and how much effort you’re willing to give.