Headlight oxidation can be really annoying to deal with. Ever since the switch to the plastic headlights, instead of glass, oxidation has been an issue with car drivers everywhere. Oxidation, is why you’ve seen either your own, or another driver’s, headlights looking really foggy. This fogginess is often caused by dirt on the roads, condensation, the UV light from the sun, and other atmospheric chemicals.
The problem with oxidation, is that it decreases visibility. It makes it really difficult to see the road ahead of you, especially if you are driving at night. A quick solution, would be to drive with your bright lights on; however, that is not a good experience for the drivers in front of you.
The best solution to the oxidation that occurs to your headlights, is to clean them as soon as you notice it is happening. You can clean your headlights yourself with a variety of products that you already have at home. Try any of the methods, before choosing to pay for an oxidation light repair. It will save you money. You will pay anywhere from $65-$150 for headlight restoration.
Household Cleaners that Can Clear Up Oxidation:
- White vinegar
You will need warm water, vinegar, a spray bottle, and a microfiber cleaning cloth. In your spray bottle, add in three parts water, and one part white vinegar. Mix the solution up. Then start spraying it on your headlights, be sure to saturate it with the solution. Let it sit for two minutes. Use circular motions to rub away the solution. Repeat, if needed, to completely remove the fogginess on your headlights.
- Baking soda
You will need rubber gloves, warm water, a small bucket or bowl, and the baking soda. Add 1/3 of the box of baking soda to the bowl/small bucket of warm water. Mix it until it turns into a paste. Wet the headlights with plain warm water. Then, with small circles, begin to rub the paste into your headlights. Continue to rub the paste into the headlight until you get the clearness you desire. It is important that you do not get any of this paste on your car’s paint job. When you are happy with your results, give your headlights a rinse with warm water, and let them air dry.
- Dishwashing liquid
You will need warm water, a bucket, a sponge, and the dish washing liquid. Fill your bucket up with hot water and add in the dish washing liquid. Saturate the oxidized headlight with the soapy water, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then go in with your sponge, and in small circles, start scrubbing the oxidation off of your headlights.
You will need toothpaste, rubber gloves, a cleaning cloth, and water. Put on your rubber gloves first to protect your hands from the mess. Wet the cleaning cloth slightly, then add the toothpaste to the cleaning cloth and begin applying to the oxidized headlight. Be sure to apply the toothpaste in small circles, and cover the entire headlight. Feel free to add more water and toothpaste as necessary. Once completed, allow the toothpaste to sit on the headlights for 5 minutes. While it is sitting rinse your cleaning cloth of the toothpaste. After the 5 minutes, rinse well with hot water and air dry. You may need to repeat the process twice.
- Bug spray
Yes, bug spray. You will need a microfiber cleaning cloth, and the bug spray of course. Spray the bug spray onto your microfiber cleaning cloth. Work the bug spray into your foggy headlights, using small circular motions. The chemicals in the bug spray will help to remove the dirt from the headlights. You may need to use a little bit of water to remove any excess residue.
Whichever method you choose to clear up your oxidized headlights, will save you some money. However, if your headlights are beyond repair, you may have to replace them. If you notice your visibility is still decreased at night due to your headlights, that is a pretty good sign they need to be replaced. If after your first trial with one of the methods, you notice that the oxidation is on the inside, instead of the outside, you’ll surely need them replaced. Your local, professional mechanic will be able to find your headlights and replace them with new ones for you.
I know you’re thinking, well isn’t there a way to just prevent all of this? The short answer is simply, no. There is no real way to prevent oxidation from happening, it just does. You will find several ways to treat it, to clean it off, but not prevent it from happening altogether.