How to Clean Your Car Headlights

Sales of cars, which are among the most prevalent and widely utilized vehicles today, have increased in recent years. If you’re one of the many people who prefer driving a car than taking the bus or riding a motorcycle, you’re in good company. You should clean your car’s headlights on a regular basis.

Assuming a car headlight cannot be cleaned, many opt to simply replace it instead. Most garage technicians would recommend this to their customers, but it’s really simply a sales tactic to get them to buy more stuff from them. However, we’d like to point out that you can extend the life of your headlights without having to replace them by cleaning them on a regular basis. Here’s everything you need to know about the many methods for cleaning a headlight.

  1. With toothpaste
  2. Sanding
  3. Polishing

The automobile headlight could be cleaned voluntarily using any of the aforementioned procedures. However, there is an essential thing to know before cleaning the headlamp, and that is when to clean it. A headlight’s functionality can degrade over time if it’s subjected to extreme temperatures or moisture. Learn the signs that your headlights need to be cleaned and the quickest ways to do it.

  1. Inspect the headlight regularly – Most automobile owners and drivers are oblivious to the change in light intensity, which is one of the most common mistakes they make. When driving at night, people should be very cautious and pay attention to how bright their headlights are. One of the main reasons for cleaning the headlight is a decrease in brightness.
  2. Clean the headlight regularly – Car owners should check the headlight and clean it with normal soap every time they wash their vehicle, which is one of the routine maintenance tasks.
  3. Hazing – When the protective coating of a headlight is scratched or worn away, a hazy appearance may result. The headlight may not be as visible in foggy conditions. Too much direct sunlight or scratches in the covering are two of the most common causes of haziness in polycarbonate. So, you should watch out for hazing.
  4. Yellowing – When the coating of a headlight is subjected to light and eventually loses its grip, a yellowing effect occurs. The phenomenon causes everything to look yellow. Therefore, keep an eye out for yellowing of headlamp coatings.
  5. Cracks and peels – When a headlight cracks, it’s usually because of anything jarring the lens or the housing, like an accident or extreme heat. But in this context, peeling means that the headlight’s protective coating on the outside is deteriorating and falling off. Therefore, if you discover such a problem, you should clean it.

Based on the aforementioned issues, you could use any of the below-mentioned methods to clean your headlights.

1. With toothpaste –

Headlights can be cleaned with toothpaste, but you’ll need the best toothpaste and a good piece of microfiber cloth to do it.

  • Step 1: Squeeze some toothpaste out of the tube, then take a small amount on your fingertips and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.
  • Step 2: The headlamp has to be wiped out and dried. Finally, apply the toothpaste to the headlight by wiping it with the cloth. To remove toothpaste from a headlight, use an elliptical scrubbing motion.
  • Step 3: Next, wet the same towel with tap water, keeping in mind that you shouldn’t use salty or chlorinated water. When brushing your teeth, avoid using water with added salt or chlorine because this could damage your headlight.
  • Step 4: Clean the headlight once more with the wet towel.
  • Step 5: After you’re done scrubbing, wet the towel again to get rid of the paste and grime.
  • Step 6: Now, wipe the headlight clean with the cloth. The headlights would shine like new.

Keep in mind that this is the most basic method of cleaning your headlamp, therefore it will not be effective against mazing, yellowing, or scratches.

The following processes, sanding and polishing, are complementary to one another. As a follow-up to sanding, a more thorough polishing of the headlamp is required.

2. Sanding –

Wet or dry sandpapers, a water spray bottle, and insulation tape are needed to clean the headlight using the sanding method. You need sandpaper with a coarser grade of about 1500 and a finer grade of about 2000.

  • Step 1: You should begin by covering the headlights with tape. Sandpapering the headlights is a crucial part of this cleaning process. Putting tape around the headlight’s perimeter would protect the paint from the sandpaper’s scratches. Alcohol and a clean paper towel can be used to wipe down the headlamp before applying tape.
  • Step 2: Now, using the spray bottle of water, fully wet sand the headlight with the coarser grit sandpaper. Even pressure is essential during sanding. Sand down a headlight till its shine is gone. Keep in mind that the purpose of the sanding is to get rid of the protective layer.
  • Step 3: In order to get the desired matte surface, you will need to move to finer grit sandpaper. Continue sanding until the formerly dull surface becomes satiny.
  • Step 4: Headlights should be wiped down with a clean cloth when sanding is complete for optimal results. If there is too much scratchy stuff on the surface, you can dilute it with water and wipe it off.

3. Polishing –

One of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive ways to maintain a showroom-quality shine on your car’s headlights is to polish them regularly. Compound, microfiber, plastic adhesive, and grease are just a few of the things that need to be on hand for polishing. Find out how to buff it to perfection below.

  • Step 1: If you’ve decided to give your car’s headlights a shine, the first thing you’ll need is some buffing compound. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t start polishing until the sanding is done. To polish aluminum, we advise using aluminum polishing compounds rather than others. The absence of peroxide in blue toothpaste makes it a good option for a quick fix.
  • Step 2: Now, put some polishing compound on a microfiber cloth and focus on a small area of your headlight. Spread the buffing compound as thinly as possible by scrubbing it into the area and then moving the cloth in a circular motion. If you’re using a machine to do the buffing, we advise starting at a medium speed and working your way down.
  • Step 3: When you have obtained a clean headlight, you can stop buffing. The process should be done in a circular motion to cover as much ground as possible.
  • Step 4:Always take your time and be thorough when buffing. After being polished, the light would be bright and new looking. The process does not end there, though; a clear coat can be applied on the headlight for even more durability. Using many coatings, rather of just one, may significantly extend the longevity.

Bottom line –

As was previously indicated, cleaning a car’s headlights requires multiple processes; however, these processes can be eliminated if the headlights are cleaned every time the car is washed and the car is not parked in direct sunlight. But if you can’t follow the directions, you can still clean the headlight with sandpaper and polish.

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