Headlights are an important part of the car, and so maintaining and cleaning car headlights becomes important too. Car headlights enable and allow us to see clearly during night drives, but what if they get dirty, cloudy or even turn yellow with time? Surely, your car headlamps efficiency would drop down considerably. Thus, it becomes crucial to keep the car headlight spotless and clean. Here are working tips on how to clean your car headlights in an easy way at home.
Why do we need to keep headlights clean?
Keeping headlamps pristine clean is important in terms of safety. And this is because of the vital role it plays - to illuminate and lighten up the road in front of the car.
Even a small or thin layer of particles attached to the outer plastic covering of headlights makes them go translucent from transparent, which in turn reduces the amount of light thrown on the road, thereby increasing chances of accidents at night time.
How to clean car headlights home remedy :
Here are a DIY few home remedies for cleaning car headlights -
DIY - How to Clean Yellow Headlights
Why do headlights turn yellow in the first place?
If your car headlights are yellow, odds are that your car has spent its fair share in direct sunlight. But don’t worry, building a whole garage just for a car is not worth it, especially when we have a simple trick to clean yellow headlights.
[Fun fact: Yellow headlamps reduce the resale value of the car because it tells the potential buyer the age of the vehicle!]
Toothpaste is one of the very effective ways to clean yellow headlamps. It works just like cleaning yellow teeth, by applying toothpaste and shining them up! Similarly, apply some toothpaste with a soft cloth to the plastic headlight cover on the yellowed parts, and gently rub it with an old toothbrush on the car headlight. After about fifteen seconds of rubbing, rinse it off with clean water with the help of a wet cloth to see the magic.
DIY: How to Clean Oxidised headlights.
What is oxidation and Why do headlights oxidise?
Headlights have an outer covering made up of a plastic called polycarbonate. It was a great addition to cars made around thirty years ago, as it replaced the highly fragile glass headlights.
However, this plastic reacts slowly with the sunlight and thus oxidises over a period of three to five years. To prevent this for the first few years, carmakers equip the plastic with a clear coating. However, with time, the coating wears off and the plastic reacts with oxygen in the air. This is what makes the headlamp blurry in older cars.
How to clean oxidised headlamps?
Cleaning oxidised headlamps is quite effortless - Take some toothpaste and a soft cloth. And apply the paste with the soft cloth onto the plastic headlamp. But before doing this - you must clean the headlamp with a moist damp cloth to get rid of the initial loose dust particles sitting.
Another quick fix way to clean oxidised headlights could be by using WD40. WD40 is a spray that is used for reversing the oxidisation process. To use WD40, one must first clean the headlamps with a cloth wetted with the soap solution. After ten minutes, spray the WD40 and take a clean dry cloth to wipe it off after five minutes.
Cleaning Headlights - DIY with sandpaper
Cleaning of Car Headlights can also be done with sandpaper and it isn’t as weird as it sounds.
To clean car headlights with sandpaper, you must know the different types of sandpapers available in the market. Sandpapers work on the basis of the roughness of the material. And all sandpapers have a grit number. The grit number is measured per square inch of the sandpaper. So the larger the grit number - the smoother the sandpaper would be. Sandpaper is available at online marketplaces like Flipkart and IndiaMart. You can also find sandpaper near your house at a hardware shop. Some respectable and popular sandpaper brands are 3M, iBELL, Tobslack, and color zebra.
So for extremely cloudy headlights, you must use 400-grit sandpaper. This sandpaper is very smooth, and is used for surfaces that have an even and polished surface - like the plastic headlight cover.
For not so cloudy and normally cloudy headlights, use the 600-grit sandpaper. This one is even smoother as lesser the cloudiness, lesser would be the roughness, and lesser would be the need for coarse sandpaper. This is why we use smoother sandpaper.
But before you start to sand the lights, you must keep in mind three things - one, stick some masking tape around the headlamp so as to not scratch the exterior paint.Second thing is to apply some water to the light and the sandpaper, as water would be acting as a lubricant. After this start lightly sanding the headlights. As soon as you feel that the water is running low on the headlight, spray some more water simultaneously while rubbing the sandpaper.
The last thing is to ensure is to sand lightly and horizontally on the headlamp. Continue the process for about five to ten minutes and once done, clean off the headlamps with water and tissues to remove the small plastic particles.An optional step after this is to use even finer sandpaper, preferably above 1200 grit, if you didn’t obtain the results, and repeat the same process above afterwards.
Cleaning Headlights - DIY with Vinegar + Baking Soda
Another cost-effective way to wash and wash the headlamp of the car is by using Vinegar or diluted acetic acid and Baking Soda to clean car headlights. The procedure is as follows -
The materials that are required for cleaning headlights with Vinegar and Baking soda are - a glass with two to three tablespoons vinegar, a glass with two to three tablespoons of baking soda, and a mug with liquid soap like Dettol. Or you can make a soap solution by grating a quarter of a bar of soap and adding some water to make soapy water.
The first thing you’ll need to do right off the bat is clean all the dust from the headlamp with a soft cloth, preferably a microfiber one as they would kill all the bacteria too, but it is optional. After this, add two tablespoons of liquid soap to a mug and dilute it using water. This is essential as cleaning the headlight as much as we could, makes the whole process of adding vinegar and baking soda much more effective, and makes it better in the longer run.
After this process, mix one tablespoon vinegar with one and a half tablespoons baking soda, to form a thick paste. Make sure that the paste is thick enough and add some vinegar or baking soda to ensure this.
Using a dry cloth, rub the paste with ease to the plastic covering of the headlight [or headlamp]. Rubbing it in circular motion would be beneficial as it would be applied more evenly. Once done with the process, let it sit for one to two minutes and rinse it off with clean water.
Bonus: Buy a car with headlight washers
Yes, this is a joke, but if you have the budget, go for an offroading car like any of the Range Rovers. They have an inbuilt headlight washer that sprays water on the headlight. It would make the first step of cleaning headlights very easy.
So this was all you need to know about cleaning car headlights.
We at Carorbis hope that this article helped you to learn about the ways to clean car headlights. If you found this blog informative, make sure to check out other interesting reads on the Carorbis Blog.