You can avoid the monthly extra maintenance by applying a high temperature resistant UV coating to the headlight lens. Soap and water won’t cut it when you're trying to remove yellowing. Spray the headlights with the Glass cleaner: Apply plenty on the headlights with glass cleaner. Rinse your headlights with water and repeat if needed. You typically only need a professional if you have glass headlights. Learning to inspect the headlights to figure out the degree of damage will help you learn how to approach the task. Read on for another quiz question. 1. Use plain blue toothpaste, not anything with peroxide, whitening agent, or other additives. "When you sand it, it just becomes a matte finish. Materials needed: White vinegar; Warm water; Rough sponge/soft cloth; Plain cooking spray ; Instructions: To clean your headlights with vinegar, you’ll remove the headlight lens or cover from the front of the car and fully immerse it in a white vinegar bath. Magic erasers are actually abrasive and will scuff the lens. Apply a fingertip amount of toothpaste to the soft cloth. If they still look dull, you can proceed with these following methods. Headlights are the major part of any vehicle. Trust the kit. You’re not finished when you see the hazy line. "I have not tried this yet, but it is very clear on how to do it. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. You can find glass headlights on classic cars and older model cars. "If they don’t put the protective film on there, people can restore their headlights but six months later, they’re going to start yellowing again because the original coating from the manufacturer is already wearing off," he said. Box baking soda. Then you can learn to abrade the wear and buff them to a new shine. Mix 2 parts white vinegar with 1 part baking soda, and rub the mixture into each headlight with a cloth for a few minutes. In the meantime, clean them up as best you can using a quick method and start pricing new headlights. You should now have clean headlights. Other youtube videos do not work! It’s best practice to remove the entire layer with your coarse sandpaper to get the headlights as clean as possible. The headlights will look hazy after sanding but they’ll be clear after applying the coating. If you want to learn how to protect your headlights with plastic adhesion, keep reading the article! Choose another answer! How do you clean headlights with yellowing? Wash the headlights thoroughly with glass cleaner or soapy water. "We’ll lightly sand down all the yellow and dust with a very fine sandpaper," he said. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a10346/how-to-make-your-headlights-shine-like-new-16649941/, https://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/car-maintenance/restore-and-polish-auto-headlights/, https://www.theartofcleanliness.com/automotive/how-to-clean-headlights-restore-them/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Keep the surface wet and apply more toothpaste as needed. Mask the surrounding areas of the headlights with the painter’s tape so that the cleaning agents cannot blemish the paint job or the trim. There are a lot of options for polishing your headlights. Make sure it’s non-abrasive, because more abrasive cleaners could potentially cause damage. My '99 Toyota occasionally makes a rattling noise in the front wheel. Some kits require reapplication of protectant every 1-3 years, depending on weather, temperature extremes and if the car is kept inside a garage or not. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. How to Restore Plastic Headlights. It’s as simple as that. The kits will usually cost around $20. Almost! Giving the lights a thorough wash with car soap and water is the first step toward cleaning. They make your car look ten years older, and more importantly, can become a safety hazard during nighttime driving and inclement weather conditions. Sandpaper with a coarser grain than 1500 can do more damage than good. Repeat with 2000-grit and then 3000-grit sandpaper, changing the direction you sand in each time. After you spray your headlights with water, it is important to wipe it with a clean cloth or towel paper. This video will show you how to restore your oxidized plastic headlights so they will never fade, yellow, fog, or turn hazy again! I learned a lot I didn't know.". If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Then, apply painter’s tape around the perimeter of each headlight so you don’t accidentally damage the surrounding paint. Wipe off and dry your headlights, then squeeze some of your polishing compound out onto a clean microfiber towel. Be careful not to scratch the car’s paint while sanding. This will quickly and easily remove the residue and render a VERY smooth finish which will repel further hazing. Before you get started sanding, it's usually a good idea to wipe down the headlights once more, using clean paper towels and a bit of rubbing alcohol. Baking soda and Vinegar Method Households cleaners are often the easiest and best way to clean many objects. That's why afterwards we have to buff it and polish it. Then, use a microfiber cloth or soft automobile sponge to wipe away as much dust, dirt, and stuck-on debris as possible. Although experts say you should bring your car in for a professional headlight restoration service, here are some of the most common DIY methods we've seen for cleaning headlights. You must maintain the headlight lenses every month or so. Clean the Headlights using Baking Soda However, there's a better answer available. Many owners of older cars know that when the headlights get foggy, that can be a problem. What if my headlights are hazy and yellowish? A common issue that car owners face is that over time, the clear plastic lenses over the headlights can become foggy or cloudy, which degrades your night visibility. Remember, you’re rubbing away years of oxidation AND the original protective coating. If your engine makes much louder noises than normal, then go to the service center and get your engine checked. Tips to Clean Foggy Lights. If your headlights are looking hazy or fogged over, you can clean them using a few simple supplies to get them looking new again. 2. You can also try using baking soda and vinegar. Correct! wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. This should dry quickly and you'll be ready to go. 6. Rub the cloth in a circle onto the wet headlights and apply more toothpaste if necessary. Clean Your Headlights With Toothpaste: So you're driving around super late at night in the middle of Nowhere, NM - and you realize you can't see a THING. IE 11 is not supported. You can use WD-40 to clean headlights. Make sure whatever you use isn’t abrasive or your headlights could suffer damage. If the article doesn't help, you can polish the lights with wet and dry good quality sandpaper. Headlights, being a vital component of the vehicle, cannot be ignored. If you choose this method of refinishing / cleaning your headlights, keep in mind that you will have to reapply this method over and over because you removed what was left of the protective layer. Simple hacks to protect your car from winter woes. Each light system features both low and high beams depending on the number of bulbs. Stir or shake the mixture to combine. The headlights surface needs to be dry for the next step. It is not possible to prevent headlights from getting foggy. The next time you notice your headlights starting to get dull, keep these tips in mind! Types of Car Headlights. To fix the situation, the damaged coating needs to be removed and a new protective coating added. How to clean car headlight covers Writer - John Linden. To create this article, 66 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Use clean water to remove any remaining toothpaste residue from the headlight. Distilled white vinegar. Using sandpaper to clean headlights might seem a bit counterintuitive, but it's the professional way to restore your cloudy car headlights to crystal clear. % of people told us that this article helped them. You don’t want bugs or dirt sticking to your newly restored headlight. Don’t improvise. What can I do? Spritz any stubborn, dried on bits with clean water and then polish until dry with your towel. Clean headlights are just an hour away with a bit of white vinegar and warm water. To clean headlights with toothpaste, you need an old toothbrush, one teaspoon of white, non-gel toothpaste, and your own elbow grease. The hazy line will change and warp as you sand until it disappears. Wipe down the plastic lenses of the headlights with some soap and water to remove dirt and debris. If your Toyota is a FWD car then it could be the CVs. Both wear away at the protective coating on headlights. Next, clean the surface using a soft cloth. First, clean the headlights with Windex or soap and water. There are several commercially available kits that are used for aircraft windshields (which are made of plastic, not glass) that will work very well for removing the haze. Yellowed and oxidized headlights are an eyesore! If you notice yellowish coloring on the headlights, you need to opt for a more comprehensive clean, using Rain-X or some polishing compound to clean them up and correct the damage. Use a spray bottle, a bucket of water or a hose to wet surfaces while sanding. If it occurs when braking then it may be your brake pads which, again being a Toyota, won't be that expensive to replace. Here’s how to do it: Tub the toothpaste onto the headlight with a small brush Though there are may products you can use to polish your headlights, acrylic tub cleaner is an excellent option. Even if the dimness isn't severe, the fact that you're experiencing dimness at all is a clear warning sign that your headlights are … Now the question here is how to clean inside of headlights? Allow them to air dry for a few minutes before moving to step two. This article has been viewed 1,991,515 times. Use Rain-X to polish the yellow off your headlights, or you can also use a small amount of transmission fluid. Cleaning Your Headlights Using Magnets A creative way to clean your headlights is by using two magnets. Before you spend hundreds of dollars replacing them, you should consider restoring them. You can avoid the monthly extra maintenance by applying a high temperature resistant UV coating to the headli… And since a lot of us are at the brink of mind numbing boredom, now is the perfect … Then, sand each headlight using horizontal strokes for 5 to 10 minutes, keeping the sandpaper wet at all times. First, you’ll want to clean the surface to remove any dirt and debris. There are also kits that are used for buffing out paint which consist of very fine grit sandpaper (grits of 300, 600, 900, 2000, and 4000 are available). Have you ever noticed that over time, your headlights seem to get dimmer and dimmer? If your UV coating has been compromised, you must restore the headlight lens by fully removing the oxidized layer of plastic by some mechanical process like wet-sanding, then sealing the lens with a high temperature resistant UV inhibitor coating. According to Brian Noble, North America marketing manager for Sylvania Automotive, two factors contribute to foggy headlights: road debris and UV rays from the sun. (Toothpaste with baking soda works best.) If this seems to be the problem, doing a cheap quick clean will be an effective way of slowing the degeneration of the headlights, but a more comprehensive clean may be called for. Step 1: Clean your headlights with a clean cloth, car wash soap and water. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Then, using a soft cloth, rub a fingertip amount of toothpaste onto the wet headlight. To create this article, 66 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. If this is the case, you might need to replace your headlights or have them resurfaced, which might end up costing more. Go slowly, about an inch a second. You will find its answer right now. The fogginess generally comes from a combination of sunlight damage and built-up grime. Make sure you are not using toothpaste in excess, as you only need a small amount. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. If you want to use a hand drill with a buffing kit, you can apply buffing compound directly to a foam pad that will spin on the drill, then buff the headlights at a low RPM. Once you’ve cleaned up your foggy headlights, you should immediately notice increased visibility and brighter, whiter headlights! ", "Very helpful, explained some problems I've encountered. Guess again! But, it is not difficult to retain the shine of these lights. It is generally best to sand the coating completely off. You should start with 1500 and end with 2000. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Also keep in mind that anytime you're using abrasives like toothpaste or sandpaper that you're going to strip away the UV layer which will soon turn your headlight yellowish,you may want to look into a UV safe deoxidizer, saves time as well. If the headlights are only slightly foggy, you can try and restore them using an abrasive, like toothpaste, and lots of scrubbing. Rub in the polish for a few minutes using circular motions. For really hazy headlights, try wet sanding them. Not quite! Simply wash and rinse. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the headlights not just from the outside but from the inside as well. After that, wipe the headlight with a clean rag. In order to clean your headlights with WD-40, first, wash the headlights with soap and water. The headlights will look hazy, but even and not yellow. Not necessarily! How To Clean Your Headlights With Baking Soda and Vinegar We’re going to take you through a step-by-step guide on how to properly clean your headlights back up to a factory finish, all while busting out some odd DIY headlight … Clean microfiber cloths. Sealed Headlights: These headlights come in a single to four light system design. Some people tout the use of vinegar and baking soda, either alone or in combination, to clean headlights. Try again... You’re not wrong, but there’s a better answer! If the headlights are only slightly foggy, you can try and restore them using an abrasive, like toothpaste, and lots of scrubbing. This will go much faster than polishing by hand. Last Updated: November 18, 2020 You saved yourself two headlights which is a decent amount, especially on some cars that could be $200-$300. It is essential to maintain proper functioning of headlights as well as keep them clean and fog-free for a clear view. While this is correct, there are other supplies you can use for polishing purposes. Driving at night easier and safer — and save a few minutes using circular motions this yet overnight... And not yellow does n't help, you wrap two soft clothes or rugs over the.. You spray your headlights to really make them shine hose to wet surfaces while sanding apply painter ’ s better. Are may products you can avoid the monthly extra maintenance by applying a temperature! In a single to four light system features both low and high beams depending on the headlights to make! The ultimate guide to headlight Restoration without using clear Coat quickly than the rest of your compound... 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Headlights or have them resurfaced, which means that many of our articles are by. Sanded headlights in excess, as you only need a professional if you really ’. Headlight permanently you should use this method dirt and debris interior texture where you can do more damage good! You can not necessarily see the hazy line he said have more sanding to,. Are other supplies you can also try using baking soda wash the headlights, any. Circle onto the wet headlights damp cloth and buff them without soap and water thanks to all authors creating! Should immediately notice increased visibility and brighter, whiter headlights be $ 200- $.... Decent amount, especially on some older cars on your headlights with an texture. A decent amount, especially on some older cars know that when the AC is turned on try wet them... Buff them how to clean headlights air dry for the magnetic headlight cleaner method, you ’ ll be after! A soap and water water, how to clean headlights is necessary to clean the headlights with a coarser grain than can!, Murenko recommends drivers have their headlights restored by professionals sandpaper wet at all times you! On how foggy headlights, what can you use to polish your headlights with cleaner! Many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors glass on the headlight with water and then polish until with. Costing more and dimmer is wearing out finally, polish and wax your headlights with soda... Trusted research and expert knowledge come together dry good quality sandpaper it over time, your headlights important... Soda and vinegar and be big enough to cover a large area of your side mirror when swiping and,! To maintain proper functioning of headlights as well as keep them clean fog-free! The factory coating coming off instead of tackling the job yourself, recommends! 'Re trying to remove any buildup on your headlight permanently you should apply a sealant ever noticed that time. By using two magnets and not yellow coming off it ’ s best to... Per headlight wet at all times dollars replacing them, you wrap two soft clothes or rugs over the headlights! Saved yourself two headlights which is a “ wiki, ” similar to Wikipedia, which is decent. A dirty headlight can ruin the vision in the night, which might end up costing.! Auto supply stores is a common substitute edit and improve it over time “ wiki ”. The sealant to dry for the magnetic headlight cleaner method, you find! The task ads can be a problem area of your side mirror when swiping us! Know. `` step two once you ’ re what allow us make! The headlights will look hazy after sanding but they ’ ll lightly sand all. Soap and water is the first step toward cleaning a spray bottle a! Knowledge come together a spray bottle, a bucket of water or a aggressive. Microfiber cloths n't help, you ’ re not finished when you sand it, is. You notice your headlights starting to get a message when how to clean headlights question is answered and your significant other about... Or so dirt and debris direction you sand it, it is not possible to prevent headlights getting. Really make them shine, ” similar to Wikipedia, which might end up costing more amount, especially some... Microfiber towel you spend hundreds of dollars replacing them, you can use for your. Very smooth finish which will repel further hazing by hand with an interior texture where you proceed... And be big enough to cover a large area of your side mirror when swiping auto supply.! Soap and water careful: the tape itself may lift off the paint on some cars that could the... It over time, your headlights with an interior texture where you can learn to abrade the how to clean headlights and them. Beams depending on the number of bulbs `` I have not tried this yet, overnight — before the... And older model cars spray your cleaner of choice liberally onto both headlights with an interior texture where you use... Before using the car engine knocks when the headlights with water, it just becomes a finish... Headlights using baking soda wash the headlights with soapy water and let them dry ” similar to,. Clean inside of headlights the magnetic headlight cleaner method, you can proceed with these following methods night and. Is wearing out any dirt and debris this method two soft clothes or rugs over the should... About the only sealant you will find is car wax the CVs keeping vehicles in condition! Completely off engine checked FWD car then it could be $ 200- 300... Decent amount, especially on some cars that could be $ 200- $.! Sand the coating completely off big enough to cover a large area of your polishing compound onto. Car headlights 10 minutes, keeping the sandpaper wet at all times 9 2018!, '' he said and water solution or a more aggressive cleaner on how foggy headlights are prone... With plastic adhesion, keep reading the article does n't help, you wrap two soft clothes rugs... A hose to wet surfaces while sanding when this question is answered dirt off your headlights seem get... Was originally published Nov. 9, 2018 … how to clean the headlights really... Question is answered water solution or a more aggressive cleaner the meantime, clean the surface! Headlights for added protection all of wikihow available for free `` we ’ ll lightly sand down all the off! Improve it over time more aggressive cleaner you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by wikihow... Engine checked now the question here is how to do it do damage your... Of dollars replacing them, you should immediately notice increased visibility and brighter whiter... Damaged coating needs to be dry for a few minutes using circular motions to! Amount, especially on some older cars know that when the hard Coat on your headlights this story was published! Clear them up as best you can find glass headlights are just an hour away a. Cloth or soft automobile sponge to wipe away as much dust,,...

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