It is very common to see people driving around with dirty headlights, but if you are the kind of person that gets worked up with dirty headlights then this article is for you.
Many people spun theories of how best to clean your headlights and this topic virtually has no limits to the end people get just to see their headlights shine bright like new again. Among the common things, people use to clean headlights are household appliances including toothpaste.
Well, I am skeptical if toothpaste even works.
Old car models used to have glass headlights, which in time were replaced, by the use of polycarbonate plastic. Why? Because Polycarbonate plastic headlights are far more resistant to stone chips and cracks. They are also considerably light compared to glass headlights.
However, polycarbonate headlamps get hazy after lengthy exposure to sunlight and atmospheric chemicals. Nevertheless, I have a step-by-step procedure that you may find helpful as you try to restore your headlights to the position they were.
STEP 1. Wash your car
Get the surface dirt from your vehicle and give it ample time to dry off. Starting by cleaning your entire car, somehow this seems out place. But it will give you a better perspective for the next step.
STEP 2. Inspect your headlights
You have to see the extent of the damage on your lights to determine the best method of cleaning them. In some, it might be just foggy with haze from the exposure by UV lights or cracked from longtime neglect. Either way, inspecting the headlights gives you an idea of whether it requires a professional to clean or you can do it yourself. You should examine the headlights when they are both on and off.
STEP 3. Mask off the edges of the headlights
Now that you have determined the state of the headlights we are ready to start. You should start by masking the edges of the headlights with an adhesive tape. This is aimed at protecting the paintwork of your car from possible scratches as you grind on your headlight with sandpaper.
Some people find it easier to work on the headlights while it is detached from the car. They find it effective. However, you must get it right when attaching back the headlight to its original position.
You must make sure that the beam from your bulb points straight ahead. Lucky for you, we have an article on this. How to adjust projector headlights. It is a simple process that can be done in a couple of minutes.
STEP 4. Use of an abrasive
The preferred abrasive is a sand paper. Grind thoroughly to remove all yellowing traces from the surface of your headlight and repeat this process for as long as is necessary. Keep monitoring your progress. Check to see if the yellowing is getting off.
Soak a piece of 1000-grit sandpaper in water for a few minutes.
Very lightly, and systematically, sand the entire headlight back and forth in one direction. Remember to keep both your surface and the sandpaper wet.
Repeat this process until the headlight is smooth and the yellowing is all gone. You can dry the surface with a dry towel from time to time to check the progress you are making. This process might take a while so do not rush it if you want even results.
STEP 5.Repeat the process
Use different grit sandpapers for a finer finish repeat the above process but at right angles. By methodically scrubbing the surface with higher grit sandpapers (2000-, 2500-, and 3000- grit wet/dry sandpaper you will have an even finish.
STEP 6.Abrasive Polishing compound
This is the final procedure to eliminate the pieces of sand from your abrasives that may have been left behind.
Wax the entire headlight using a paste car wax. This final step will protect your headlights fro acid rain and dirt that may attack the plastic. Further applying a UV sealant will restore the protective layer that was removed by the sanding procedure. Failure to apply this shield will make your lights haze again after a few weeks.
I hope you found this information very helpful. There is more about headlights care and maintenance including the best headlight bulb for your car. Be sure to leave us your contacts so that you can receive tips on motor maintenance first hand.