How To Clean Plastic Headlights
Posted on July 18, 2018
If you do a lot of night driving, or you've ever been caught in a storm, you know how very important your headlights are. Headlights can become extremely dirty thanks to road dust, insects, pollen and so on. Keep them clean for optimal visibility in storms and when navigating darker roadways in Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga. It’s easy and a quick item to add to your regular vehicle maintenance schedule.
What is the best cleaning method for dirty headlights?
Method One: Soapy Water
Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a few drops of mild liquid soap. Spray the headlight with this soap mixture. If you don’t have a spray bottle, fill a bucket with warm soapy water. Dip a clean, soft cloth in it, then wipe down the headlight with the dampened cloth.
Method Two: Baking Soda and Vinegar
Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar in a bowl. This mixture will fizz a little, letting you know the chemical reaction has begun. Wipe this paste onto the headlight with a clean, soft cloth, moving it back and forth the way you do when washing any other plastic item. A firm, consistent wiping motion will clear away most sources of dirt on a headlight.
Method Three: Sandpaper
Before attacking your foggy headlights with sandpaper, soak the sandpaper in water for a good fifteen minutes. You will need at least one piece of 1000-grit paper and one piece of 2000- or 3000-grit paper. Fill a spray bottle (or bucket) with warm water and a small amount of car washing soap. Spray or wipe your headlights liberally with the soapy solution. Now, you want to spray the headlight with the water and soap mix while simultaneously rubbing it with the 1000 grit sandpaper. Move your hand from one side of the headlight to the other with a nice firm, even pressure. Continue spraying the headlight with the soap mixture throughout the rubbing process. After you’ve sanded the entire headlight surface, wipe it off with a clean, dry towel. Take a good look at the headlight. The surface should be free of scratches and damage. If you still see scratches or damage, spray the headlight again with water while sanding it down with 1000-grit sandpaper. Continue spraying the headlight with more soapy water. To further reduce the dirt and fogginess from the plastic headlight, use 2000- or 3000-grit sandpaper. Move the sandpaper from side-to-side, spraying constantly with your other hand. When wiped clean, the headlight lens should have a uniform, slightly cloudy appearance.
Should I Polish My Headlights?
If you use the sandpaper cleaning method, you’ll want to polish the headlights at the end. Two small squirts of regular polish on the pad of a rotary sander-polisher are all you need to conclude the sandpaper method. Wipe the pad of the polisher on the surface of the headlight before turning it on. Now, set the polisher to a speed between 1500-1800 rotations per minute and move the pad slowly across the surface of the headlight. Use only slight pressure. When you’ve finished, wipe the headlight with a dry hand towel. No fogginess should remain: the plastic headlight should be clear. If fogginess persists, apply another coat of finishing polish, then wipe it off with a clean rag or towel.
Follow the above steps using the method that suits you best and you’ll be back to bright headlights, big city driving. Caring for your vehicle is one of the pleasures of owning a car, truck or SUV. We can almost hear your car purring from here.
Where is Ontario Chrysler? We're easy to find in Mississauga and Toronto at 5280 Dixie Road in Mississauga.