When it comes to driving at night, fews things are as important as your car’s headlights. Keeping them in optimal working condition is crucial for road safety. Many people fail to realize, though, that dirty headlights can be nearly as dangerous as headlights that don’t work. Foggy, yellowed, cloudy headlights can make them less effective at night. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to get your headlights shined up and working as good as new.
Why Headlights Fog
To some degree, foggy headlights are inevitable. These days, most headlight lenses are made of thick plastic. Unlike the glass lenses of yesteryear, plastic is much more durable and scratch-resistant. Over time, though, as plastic is exposed to UV rays from the sun, the outer layer begins to degrade. This can causes lenses to absorb blue light from the bulbs and create a less potent, yellow light. The good news? Headlights are fairly easy to clean – if you know what you’re doing.
How to Clean Your Headlights
Most auto supply stores have products designed to clean headlights with ease. Be on the lookout for products labeled “headlight restoration kit” or “headlight lens restoration.” These offer quick, straightforward fixes to the most common causes of yellowing headlights. Of course, such products are really just the tip of the iceberg. Baking soda and toothpaste have shown to be very effective, as they’re abrasive enough to cut through grime without damaging the headlights themselves. Polishing compounds like Rain-X are also useful. Keep a selection of these options on hand if you’re planning to develop a regular car wash routine.
When you’re ready to get started, be sure to put on a pair of latex gloves to protect your skin from chemical cleansers. You’ll also want a soft-bristled brush, water, and some old rags or towels. Before getting to work on the UV damage, clean the surface of dirt and debris. Then towel down the headlights and dry them completely before applying headlight restorer. Whether you’re using baking soda, toothpaste, or a product designed specifically for the job, work in circular motions so you don’t guage the surface. As you work your way around, you’ll see the yellowness begin to disappear. Clean off the excess and you’ll be good to go!
Level Up Your Car Wash Routine
With your headlights in good condition, it’s time to take care of the rest of your car. Economy Express Wash can help you keep your car looking and feeling fresh. Our monthly plans are an ideal way to maintain your hard work, no matter the season.