Cleaning cloudy headlights is easier than you think - OHS Body Shop

Most car owners think that maintaining headlights is all about making sure that all lightbulbs work. But there is much more to this. Cloudy headlights become a reason for accidents caused by low- visibility much more often than faulty lights themselves. This mostly happens because drivers either have no idea about the phenomenon or simply think that there is nothing to do with it and eventually continue driving with faulty headlights.

However, attentive drivers sometimes notice that the light from the headlights is no that bright as usual or becomes dingy or yellowish. Those are the ultimate symptoms of foggy headlights. Long ago headlights were made with glass, which was getting foggy much more often, just like the regular windshield fogging that you might face in mid-season and winter. Nowadays, headlights are made out of highly-durable plastic that has different u-value. However, this plastic is also not eternal and may crack and degrade due to direct UV lights or dramatic temperature differences. As a result, you may get the foggy-light effect.

How to clean the foggy headlights

The process of getting rid of the foggy-headlights effect is quite simple and does not require any special knowledge and skills. You will need:

  • Cleansing product/ toothpaste or baking soda
  • A soft brush
  • Clean water for rinsing
  • A soft rag or microfiber towel

Eventually, the whole process takes 5 simple steps but saves you plenty of nerves and even money.

  1. Preliminary clean.
  2. Spray the cleaning product on your headlights and wipe it thoroughly. Before the actual cleaning of your cloudy headlights, you want to get rid of all the dirt, dead bugs, leaves, and other gunk that might have stuck to the headlights.

  3. Dry.
  4. After wiping off the cleanser, make sure the surface is dry. The best solution here is a microfiber towel that absorbs all liquids instantly.

  5. Apply the cloud cleanser.
  6. Now take your headlight cleanser/ toothpaste or baking soda and apply a rich layer on the headlights. In case you are using baking soda, mix it with water to get a toothpaste-looking mass. Don`t wipe a product right away. Let it dry out a little bit for several minutes.

  7. Use the soft brush.
  8. Now start cleaning the headlight with a soft brush. The choice of brush is crucial as the products that you are using for cleansing are abrasive – means they might scratch the surface if applied and worked-through aggressively. For the same reason, you don`t want to be too aggressive and put too much pressure on the brush. If you are doing everything right and the product is working correctly, at this point you shall see the yellowness coming off the headlight.

  9. Take the cleanser off.
  10. Once the yellow and muddy layer is off your headlight, rinse the remaining cleanser with water and wipe thoroughly. You might also use the dry microfiber towel to polish the headlight making sure that it is dry, clean, polished, and shiny as new.

Normally this is all it takes to get rid of the cloudy headlights effect. Although the whole process is quite easy and DIY and may be performed with simple things everyone has at home, here at OHS Body Shop, we frequently see headlights damaged after being cleaned to aggressively or with highly abrasive materials.OHS Body Shop serves the Greater Flathead Valley and offers auto body repairs and more at our service centers in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Visit the closest to you to get comprehensive consultation from our qualified mechanics and the best prices in the area for all kinds of service.