Keeping your headlights clean is one of the most vital aspects to keeping your car in good condition. Where it can sometimes be easy to forget about the headlights, or to become reliant on modern headlight washers, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes your lights need that extra bit of care and attention.
Where we have talked about cleaning the inside of your car in the past, throughout the course of this article we are going to explore one of the most important aspects on the outside of your car that you need to keep dirt free. Here is our guide on how to clean headlights and why you should keep your headlights free from grime.
Why Should You Keep Your Headlights Clean?
Before we dig deeper into a couple of methods that can help you with cleaning your lights, let’s first explore why it is important to keep your headlights clean to begin with.
Over time, much like with the body of your car, it is possible for lights to get dirty. Mud, dust, soot, and all kinds of other materials can build up on the outside of your lights, forming a coat of grime that can inhibit how effective the lights are at illuminating the road in front of you. By effectively putting a filter in front of the light, the dirt that covers your headlight can dim your lights or cause yellowing, making them less effective at shining the way whilst you are driving.
Over time, it is possible for those dirty deposits to actually damage your headlight as, even though the light is covered with plastic, it can break down or get damaged. If that does occur it is, needless to say, a bigger issue.
Much like how you should occasionally wash your windscreen by hand to help remove any stubborn dirt, you should do the same with your headlights. Although a large number of modern cars come with headlight washers, cleaning them by hand can really make sure you lift any excess dirt that a simple spray can’t remove.
By cleaning your headlights you can ensure that they always remain at peak efficiency. You can also ensure that you help prevent any potential damage to the light itself.
Luckily, there are a few easy methods for cleaning your headlights that can get them clean again quickly and efficiently.
Using a Headlight Cleaning Kit
The first method for cleaning your headlights is arguably the easiest way to get a professional style finish and that is through using a headlight cleaning kit. The good news is that headlight cleaning kits aren’t too expensive, and the typical kit will set you back between €15 and €30.
Depending on the kit will depend on what is included, however, a typical kit may contain one or two different compounds to use on your car. These include polishes, sealants, or deep cleaning substances that can help you remove any stubborn marks. The typical kit also includes cloths and, on occasion, they can include wet-sanding papers as well.
When using a kit it is always absolutely vital to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Through using a kit incorrectly, you may not get the desired effect, and with certain kits you may even end up accidentally damaging your headlights. That said, by using a kit correctly, you should be able to get a fantastic finish on your headlights that will help improve their illuminating ability.
Headlight cleaning kits are available at most car maintenance stores, or they can be purchased online.
How To Clean Headlights Using Home-Grown Methods
The good news is that, if you do not want to use a kit, then there are home-grown methods available. The first of these is by using a mixture baking soda and vinegar.
Cleaning Headlights with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Mixing baking soda and vinegar seems to be a miracle substance for home cleaning. Mixed together into a paste, they can cut through dirt and grime with ease. What is more, the two substances can be used on headlights to help them shine.
To use this method it is a very simple process.
- Firstly, wipe down your headlights using soapy water. The goal is that you want to remove as much dirt as possible for this method to really work, so rinse your headlights first to remove any loose grime. In hot weather you may also want to run a dry cloth over your headlights before you rinse them down to remove any dust.
- Mix together a tablespoon of baking soda with a splash of vinegar. You want to create a paste that you can then apply to the headlamps. The paste should be a thick consistency, similar to toothpaste.
- Massage the paste into the light using circular motions. The baking soda/vinegar solution will act as a polish.
- Once you have completed “polishing” your headlight then it is time to rinse and repeat.
It is possible that this will take a few applications before getting the desired results. You can mix more of the baking soda and vinegar solution as needed and depending on how many lights you want to clean.
Cleaning Headlights with Toothpaste
Last but not least we have arguably the most famous method of cleaning car headlamps, and that is through using toothpaste. It turns out that toothpaste isn’t just good for your teeth, but great for your headlights as well.
Cleaning your headlights with toothpaste is very similar to using the baking soda and vinegar method.
- Wipe down your headlights and rinse with water.
- Apply toothpaste to a brush, and rub on to the headlight using circular motions. For this you are going to need to use a toothpaste that is actually a paste, and not a gel. The goal is to use the toothpaste as a polish to clean the headlight, helping to remove dirt and help reduce the effects of oxidation on the outside of the light.
- Spray warm water onto the area and, using a cloth or paper towel, buff out the toothpaste.
Again, you may need to reapply as necessary, however, after a couple of applications your headlights should be noticeably clearer.
Cleaning Your Headlights
No matter how dirty your headlights are, throughout this article we have explored several methods of cleaning them. These methods should help you clean your lights, to get them shining again.
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