How to Clean Foggy or Yellow Auto Lights

Night driving can be made more dangerous if the headlights are dirty or cloudy. Hazy or dirty headlights may have as little as one half the brightness of clear lights. This not only makes it difficult for the driver to see the road ahead, but it also makes it difficult for other drivers to see the oncoming vehicle as well.

fog light

Things Needed to Clean and Restore Cloudy Headlights

-A soft cloth
-Window cleaner
-Baking soda
-Water

Various Options for Cleaning Faded Auto Lights

There are special cleaners that are designed for cleaning hazy and faded headlights, such as plastic headlight lens cleaners. Some persons have even used Pam cooking spray, with varying degrees of success, to clean their car’s oxidized lights. If Pam is safe enough to eat, it is safe for car lights; try some on a small portion of the lights to see if it works.

While some persons use sandpaper, toothpaste and other abrasive methods to clean their auto lights, the practice is not recommended because those methods tend to scratch the lenses and in some cases remove the protective UV layer. The initial results may look good, but the lights tend become hazy even quicker than before due to exposure to UV sunrays, especially if a lens sealant is not applied afterward.

How to Clean Yellow Looking Headlights

-Wash the headlights clean of any dirt, sand, tar and grease with water and soap and let dry.
-Mix about three tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to make a paste.
-Dab the paste onto each light, in small patches, and use the cloth buff lights.
-As the cleaning process progresses the lights should start to look clearer as the paste removes oxidation and other contaminants. It is primarily the buffing process that clears the lights, so there is little need to leave the paste on for an extended period of time.
-Repeat the procedure to restore each light to a clean clear finish.
-Once the procedure is complete, use a mild cleaner and water to clean any of the paste that remains; a window cleaner is usually a good candidate for this job.

After Cleaning Hazy Lights

It is nearly impossible to completely prevent car lights from oxidizing, especially if they are exposed to the elements (sun and rain). However, applying a lens sealant, after the lights have been cleaned, can slow the rate at which they start to become yellow and cloudy. After the lights have been cleaned, apply a lens sealant, according to the instructions of the manufacturer.

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