Driving at night with headlights that seem dim is a common issue, because the headlights have turned cloudy. Exposure to the sun, rain, and road conditions over time has caused your acrylic headlights to wear; in most instances making them turn cloudy or foggy. When the headlights become severely foggy, they can reduce your visibility up to 50%; not only is this a safety hazard, but it mars the aesthetics of your vehicle. We at Dan’s Enterprises would like expound on foggy headlights.
What Makes Headlights Cloudy?
The specific elements that cause cloudy headlights include; chemicals and dirt, debris flying around, oxidation, and water vapors.
– Chemicals and dirt: A thin layer of chemical residues and dirt form on the lenses over time; dimming the beam coming from your headlights from the opaque layer that is created.
– Flying debris: Road salt, gravel, and other debris that gets kicked up and crashes into your vehicle takes some serious abuse as you cruise down the road. The top coat wears down and creates pits and scratches on your headlights, contributing to the cloudiness.
– Oxidation: UV light oxidizes exposed acrylic headlights. Though a clear top protective coating on headlight lenses help prevent this from occurring, the coating wears off over time allowing the sunlight to discolor the hard plastic to yellow.
– Water vapor: Watertight seal are equipped on the headlights when they are manufactured; but deteriorates the seal. Condensation is produced and you are unable to wipe the inside of the lens clean. Further impairment on nighttime visibility can be the product of the water droplets that scatter the beam of light.
How to Prevent Oxidation & Keep Headlights Clear
– Park in the shade: Whenever the opportunity presents itself, park in the garage or under a shady tree. To reduce UV exposure and slow the oxidizing process, face your headlights away from the sun when parking outside when shaded areas are unavailable.
– Polish headlights: To polish your headlight lenses and remove early signs of yellowing use a non-abrasive polishing treatment and a microfiber cloth.
– Wash your car: Wash the headlights with automotive soap to clean the dirt and chemicals that promote fogging on the headlights every 3 months.
How to Clean Foggy Headlights
In minor cases, you can restore the headlights yourself. Wash the lenses with automotive soap before doing any other treatments. After which, any of these methods should remove the haze from your headlights:
– Baking Soda Paste Method: Combine 5 tbsp of baking soda with a few drops of water at a time to create a paste. Generously apply the mixture to both headlights with a sponge and scrub with small circular motions. Rinse and dry the headlights.
– Toothpaste Method: On each headlight, directly apply toothpaste. Scrub with a soft, dry cloth. Rinse the toothpaste away and thoroughly dry.
– Vinegar Bath Method: Soak the headlights in white vinegar for 1 hour after you have removed them. With a rough sponge, scrub them clean, rinse well and completely dry then before you reinstall the lenses.