Clean headlights make all the difference when driving.
If you’ve ever worn glasses, you know how important it is to keep your lenses clean. You might be surprised to realize that your car’s headlights aren’t very different. Over time, the surface can get cloudy, leaving you struggling to see well in the dark.
While you can have your headlights professionally cleaned, it’s easy to do it yourself, too. For an extremely thorough cleaning, you can remove the entire headlight, but you’ll have to re-adjust them afterwards and that can be tricky. For most people, it’s best to clean your headlights without removing them from your vehicle.
Here’s how to make your headlights look like new:
- Prep. Before you begin cleaning your headlights, you need to thoroughly prep them. To begin, clean off as much of the grime as you can with glass cleaner or soapy water. After you dry them off, use painter’s tape to protect the exterior of your car from accidental sanding.
- Sand. The most important part of cleaning your headlights is actually to get them dirty! Sand-based abrasive cleaners scrape away all of the resistant dust and grime, getting into all of the headlights’ nooks and crannies. When you’re finished, the entire surface of your headlights should look clean and feel rough to the touch.
- Polish. Now that your headlights are scraped clean, it’s time to polish them. Polish leaves the headlights smooth and shiny.
- UV Sealant. The last step of headlight cleaning is applying a UV sealant. This protects your headlights from the dreaded haze, and keeps them shining like new. If you skip this step, your headlights may glaze over again in as little as a week, so it’s important to apply a lens restorer that contains a UV sealant.
To keep your headlights shining brightly, make sure to clean them when they start looking foggy. Keep in mind that most headlights last 50,000 miles, but any time a headlight is chipped or cracked it should always be replaced immediately.