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man cleaning car headlights outdoors

DIY methods for Restoring Cloudy Headlights

Take a walk through a parking lot anywhere and you will see that Foggy or Cloudy headlights are a problem that many of us face. Yellowed, dingy headlights can be a major safety hazard, and replacing them can be expensive. Here are a few options for restoring your headlight visibility today!

What’ s the Cause?

Headlights are made of thick plastic comprised of polycarbonates. This plastic is used because it is far more resilient than its predecessor, the glass headlight. However, it begins to break down over time by exposure to UV rays.  This degradation is the reason for the fogginess or cloudiness that creates that dingy, yellow light. No worries here are a few methods to restore those beams yourself.

Baking Soda & Vinegar Method

This at-home method is the least abrasive and may not be up to the challenge if your fogging is severe. However, since these ingredients are commonly stocked in most people's homes its an excellent place to start.

  • Clean the headlight thoroughly
  • Mix baking soda with enough vinegar to make a thick paste
  • Rub the paste onto the surface of the headlight using a microfiber rag or toothbrush
  • Rinse and Repeat if necessary

Toothpaste Method

The toothpaste method works surprisingly well. It’s worth your time to give it a try before opting for an expensive alternative. Toothpaste with baking soda is recommended.

  • Clean headlight thoroughly
  • Wet headlight with water
  • Apply toothpaste using a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Scrub, scrub, scrub
  • Rinse and dry

Restoration Kit

There are a variety of Defogging Kits on the market using different methods. Make sure you read the directions thoroughly before purchasing to ensure that you are comfortable with the process. Despite some mixed reviews for which one is the best, the most notable products on the market right now are:

  • 3M Brand Headlight Restoration Kit
  • Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit
  • Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Restorer Kit

Why Make the Effort?

Cloudy headlights only produce 20 percent of the light that a new clear headlight would provide, this results in unsafe night-time driving conditions. Whether you’re comfortable with do-it-yourself projects or you would rather leave it to the professionals make sure to prioritize your visibility on the road.

If you have any other safety concerns with your headlights don’t forget to bring your vehicle into the professionals at North Hills Auto for a North Hills Auto Safety Inspection!

Call North Hills Auto today: Augusta St (864) 233-9002 or Butler Rd (864) 234-1002.

Request Appointment


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