Nothing is more frustrating than being on a dark road and not being able to tell if your headlights are on or off. Aside from being annoying, cloudy headlights can also be dangerous as their job is to make sure they illuminate the road ahead. Although there are many techniques and products on the market […]
Nothing is more frustrating than being on a dark road and not being able to tell if your headlights are on or off. Aside from being annoying, cloudy headlights can also be dangerous as their job is to make sure they illuminate the road ahead. Although there are many techniques and products on the market that can do the job, this one is simple and uses a product a lot of people will have under the kitchen sink or be able to get very easily. So, if you find that your headlights are dull, here’s a little DIY you can try to make your headlights sparkle like new and brighten the path in front of you.
Step #1: Wet the Headlight Lens with a Cloth or Sponge
The first thing you will want to do is lightly soak a cloth or sponge with water and apply liberally to the lens you’re about to clean. Assuming the dirt and debris have been sitting on the lens for some time, wetting the surface will ensure it loosens the dirt enough to wipe away easily.
Step #2: Wipe Away Lose Dirt & Debris
Using the same damp cloth or sponge, gently wipe away any loosened top-level debris from the headlight lens. Should you find some debris more difficult to wipe away, re-dampen your cloth or sponge and wipe away applying a bit more pressure. Don’t worry if there are some really stubborn spots. As long as the majority of dirt is removed, any excess can be cleaned when you begin “defogging” your lenses.
Step #3: Apply Bar Keepers Friend on Headlight Lens
Once the dirt and debris have been sufficiently wiped away from the headlight lens, it’s time to apply the cleanser. For the purpose of cleaning headlights (modern vehicles generally use polycarbonate plastic), we recommend using the classic Bar Keepers Secret powder. Lightly sprinkle some cleanser (as a little goes a long way) onto the surface of the headlight. Make sure that the surface is still wet when you apply it . Alternatively, you could make a paste by mixing Bar Keepers Friend and water to the consistency of toothpaste and then begin applying the mixture to the headlight lens.
Step #4: Rub Cleanser Gently Into Lens
Begin polishing the lens in a circular motion with a wet rag, adding more of the paste as necessary. Start with a lighter touch and apply more pressure as needed making sure not to be too aggressive as some ingredients in Bar Keepers Friend may etch or dull delicate surfaces. Keep rubbing until you notice that the lens is evenly coated in the mixture of water and cleanser.
Step #5: Rinse Thoroughly After One Minute
After the headlight lens surface has been evenly coated in the BKF cleanser, allow it to sit for no more than one minute. Once a full minute is up, rinse the headlight lens thoroughly with warm water. Continue to rinse (and wipe) until any residue from the cleanser is completely washed away and the surface of the lens begins to shine. If, for any reason, your headlights are still foggy after wiping down the lens and rinsing, we recommend repeating steps #3 for #5 and wiping a little more vigorously.
Step #6: Wipe Dry to Reveal Clean Headlights
When your headlight lens has been thoroughly rinsed – revealing a clear shine -take a clean microfibre cloth and wipe the surface dry. Now that your car’s headlights have been thoroughly cleaned, you can test the lights. If you find that the headlights are still cloudy, you can repeat this process until your headlights become clear.
Although there are a lot of other methods for polishing your headlights including sanding and buffing with wax as well as kits that come with sandpaper and some polishing solutions, this method is quite a bit simpler and honestly, less intimidating for most DIYers. So, next time you are taking a road trip and need your headlights to be their brightest, give this technique a try. If you think that your headlights are a bit beyond this DIY repair and that they might need to be replaced, book a service visit with one of Gerry’s OK Tire‘s professional service technicians. We are always happy to assist.