Headlights Restoration without Chemicals

Headlights Restoration without Chemicals

February 20, 2023 Off By Joe K

Headlights are a crucial component of your vehicle. They allow you to see the road ahead and ensure that other drivers can see you, especially during nighttime and low light conditions. Over time, however, your headlights may become dull, yellowed, or cloudy due to sun exposure, oxidation, and other environmental factors. This not only affects your visibility while driving, but it also makes your car look less attractive. So, it is important to know how to do headlights restoration. But first, let use understand what causes yellowness/cloudy headlights.

What causes headlights to go cloudy/yellow?

Over time, plastic headlights can become cloudy or yellowed due to several factors, including:

UV Exposure

Plastic headlights are vulnerable to damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. This exposure causes the headlight lens to degrade and become cloudy or yellowed.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as dirt, grime, and pollution can also contribute to headlight damage. Dust and debris can scratch the surface of the headlight, while chemicals from the environment can react with the plastic and cause discoloration.

Chemical Exposure

Some chemicals, such as those found in certain cleaners or car wash solutions, can cause damage to the plastic headlights. These chemicals can react with the plastic and cause it to become cloudy or yellowed.

Heat and Friction

Heat and friction from the headlights being on for long periods can also contribute to the damage. This can cause the plastic to warp or become discolored.

It’s important to note that cloudy or yellowed headlights can not only detract from the appearance of your car, but also affect visibility while driving. It’s essential to restore cloudy or yellowed headlights to improve visibility and ensure safe driving conditions.

Headlight Restoration by Hand – use Simple Available Products

Fortunately, you don’t need a kit for headlights restoration to their former glory. Here are some tips on headlight restoration without a kit:

Toothpaste

Believe it or not, toothpaste can work wonders on cloudy headlights. Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste to a soft cloth or sponge and rub it in a circular motion onto the headlight. Rinse the headlight with water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth. Toothpaste contains mild abrasives that can remove the top layer of dirt and grime on your headlights, revealing a clearer and brighter lens.

Baking soda

Another household item that can help restore your headlights is baking soda. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to form a paste, then apply it to your headlights with a soft cloth. Rub the paste onto the headlight in a circular motion, then rinse it off with water and dry it with a clean cloth. Baking soda can remove dirt and grime from your headlights and improve their clarity.

Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can remove dirt, grime, and oxidation from your headlights. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, then apply the solution onto the headlight with a soft cloth. Rub the headlight in a circular motion, then rinse it off with water and dry it with a clean cloth. Vinegar can help remove stubborn stains and bring back the shine of your headlights.

Sandpaper

For more severe cases of headlight oxidation, sandpaper can be used to restore the lens. Start with a coarser grit sandpaper, such as 600 grit, and wet the surface of the headlight with water. Sand the headlight in a back-and-forth motion until the surface is smooth, then repeat the process with a finer grit sandpaper, such as 1000 grit. Finish by polishing the headlight with a soft cloth and some polishing compound.

Headlight Restoration by Hand – Step by Step Guide

Restoring headlights by hand can be a cost-effective and simple way to improve visibility while driving and make your car look better. Over time, plastic headlights can become hazy or discolored, which can dim the brightness of your headlights and reduce your visibility. Let’s explore how to restore headlights by hand and improve the overall appearance of your car.

Step 1: Clean the Headlights

Before you begin restoring your headlights, it’s important to clean them thoroughly. Use a mild soap and water to wash away dirt and grime from the headlights. Be sure to dry the headlights completely with a soft cloth to avoid water spots.

Step 2: Sanding

The first step in restoring the headlights by hand is to use sandpaper to remove any damage on the surface. Use a low-grit sandpaper (around 400 to 600 grit) and sand in one direction, horizontally, across the headlight, keeping the sandpaper wet at all times. This helps avoid scratching the headlight. Be careful to avoid sanding too aggressively, as this could cause further damage. Sand the surface of the headlight until it appears to be clear.

Step 3: Polishing

After sanding, you can use a polishing compound to make the headlights appear clearer. Apply a small amount of polishing compound to a microfiber cloth and polish the headlight in a circular motion, being sure to apply a moderate amount of pressure. The compound will help smooth out any small scratches and restore the surface of the headlight. Continue this process until the headlight has a shiny appearance.

Step 4: Protecting

Once the headlight has been sanded and polished, you can apply a protectant to help maintain the clarity. You can use a clear coat or wax that’s safe for plastic. Apply a small amount of the protectant to a clean cloth and apply it to the surface of the headlight in a circular motion. The protectant will help maintain the clarity of the headlight and protect it from further damage.

In conclusion, restoring headlights by hand can be an easy and cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your car and enhance visibility while driving. By following these simple steps, you can make your headlights look like new again.

Products you need to restore headlights by hand

Restoring headlights by hand requires a few products that can be easily found at an auto parts store, online, or even at home. Here are the products you will need to restore headlights by hand:

Sandpaper

To remove the haze and any scratches on the surface of the headlight, you will need sandpaper. Use a low-grit sandpaper, such as 400 or 600 grit, and then move to a higher-grit sandpaper, such as 800 or 1000 grit. The sandpaper should be wet/dry sandpaper, meaning it can be used with or without water.

Water

You will need water to keep the sandpaper and headlight wet while sanding. This will help prevent the sandpaper from scratching the surface of the headlight.

Polishing compound

A polishing compound is used to restore the clarity and shine to the surface of the headlight after sanding. Look for a polishing compound that is specifically designed for plastic surfaces.

Microfiber cloth

You will need a soft microfiber cloth to apply the polishing compound to the surface of the headlight. This will help prevent scratching the surface.

Protectant

Once the headlight has been sanded and polished, a protectant should be applied to help maintain the clarity and protect the surface from future damage. You can use a clear coat or wax that is safe for plastic surfaces.

In addition to these products, you may also need gloves, a bucket of water, and a spray bottle to help wet the sandpaper and the headlight during the sanding process.

Restoring headlights by hand can be a simple and cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your car and enhance visibility while driving. With these products, you can make your headlights look like new again without having to spend a lot of money on a professional restoration service.

How to prevent headlights from oxidizing

Headlights play a crucial role in providing visibility while driving at night, in poor weather conditions, and low light situations. However, over time, headlights can become cloudy, hazy, and yellowed due to oxidation. This can not only impact the appearance of your car but also affect visibility, making it more challenging to see at night or in low light conditions. Here are some tips on how to prevent headlights from oxidizing.

Park in the shade

The sun’s UV rays are one of the primary culprits behind headlight oxidation. UV exposure causes the plastic to break down, which leads to cloudy, hazy headlights. By parking your car in the shade or garage, you can reduce the amount of exposure to the sun’s UV rays, preventing the plastic from breaking down and oxidizing.

Wax your car regularly

Waxing your car regularly can help protect the headlight lens from the elements, including UV rays, which can cause oxidation. When you apply wax to your car, it creates a barrier between the plastic lens and the environment, including pollutants and contaminants that can cause oxidation.

Clean your headlights regularly

Cleaning your headlights regularly is an effective way to prevent oxidation. Use a mild soap and water solution to remove dirt and debris from the surface of the headlight. Avoid using harsh chemicals, which can cause the plastic to become brittle and lead to cracking.

Use a protective film

Applying a protective film to the surface of the headlight can also help prevent oxidation. Protective films act as a barrier between the plastic lens and the environment, including UV rays and pollutants. They are easy to apply and are an affordable way to extend the life of your headlights.

Invest in headlight covers

If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, investing in headlight covers can help protect your headlights from the elements, including sun, rain, and snow. Headlight covers act as a barrier between the environment and the plastic lens, helping to prevent oxidation.

Top 5 car cleaning hacks that will restore your dim headlights – Headlights Restoration Hacks

Having dim headlights can be a nuisance, and it can also be a hazard to you and other drivers on the road. While there are many headlight restoration kits on the market, there are also several car cleaning hacks you can try to restore your dim headlights. Here are the top five car cleaning hacks to help restore your dim headlights.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste can be an effective way to restore your dim headlights. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto a microfiber cloth, and gently rub it onto the headlight lens in a circular motion. Rinse the headlight with water, and dry it with a clean towel. Toothpaste contains abrasives that can help remove the layer of grime and buildup on your headlights, restoring clarity.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can also be an effective way to restore your dim headlights. Mix three tablespoons of baking soda with enough white vinegar to make a paste. Apply the mixture to the headlight lens, and use a microfiber cloth to rub it in. Let the mixture sit for five to ten minutes, then rinse it off with water and dry it with a clean towel.

WD-40

WD-40 is a multi-purpose lubricant that can also help restore your dim headlights. Spray a small amount of WD-40 onto a microfiber cloth and rub it onto the headlight lens. The chemicals in the WD-40 can help remove dirt, grime, and buildup, restoring clarity to the headlight.

Glass Cleaner

Glass cleaner can also be an effective way to restore your dim headlights. Spray a small amount of glass cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and rub it onto the headlight lens. The cleaning agents in the glass cleaner can help remove buildup, restoring clarity to the headlight.

Sandpaper

If your headlights are severely discolored, using sandpaper can help restore them. Start with 600-grit sandpaper, and sand the headlight lens in a circular motion. Rinse the headlight with water and dry it with a clean towel. Repeat the process with 1000-grit sandpaper, and finish with 2000-grit sandpaper. After using the sandpaper, apply a coat of wax to protect the headlight.

Final Words: Headlights restoration can be done using everyday household items. These car cleaning hacks are easy and affordable, and they can help improve visibility while driving. With a little elbow grease and some simple cleaning products, you can restore your dim headlights and make your car look as good as new.