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No one can discount the importance of clean headlights. A clear lens allows the headlight to shine brighter and extend its beam farther, therefore giving you better visibility during dark driving conditions. This means that foggy or discolored lenses are a big NO as they can be a safety hazard.
If you've been driving your car for a while, its headlights might be cloudy by now due to humidity, acid rain, insects, road debris, and other elements that can cause oxidation and discoloration. Thankfully, such condition doesn't call for replacement, but restoration instead. Restoring headlights will keep you from the unnecessary disposal of lights that can otherwise be restored to their original clarity.
If you don't want to spend significant amount for headlight restoration kits, you'd better take time to clean your hazy or yellow lights using simple household products. Here are the steps:
1. Prepare the cleaning solution.
Pour about a gallon of warm water into the bucket and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of dish soap (it pays to use an environmentally safe soap). Mix and set the mixture aside. In a bowl, put 3 to 5 tablespoons of baking soda and pour just enough water to make a paste. Set aside for a while.
2. Clean your headlights.
Dip your sponge into the bucket of soapy water and start cleaning the lights by scrubbing them thoroughly. This will help take bugs and other debris off the lens. Apply ample amounts of soapy water and scrub in small, circular motions. Rinse off and make sure there's no soapy residue left on the lens.
3. Apply the baking soda paste.
To do this, get another sponge or thoroughly rinse the one you've used in cleaning the headlamps. With the corner of your sponge, apply baking soda paste evenly across the headlight.
4. Scrub the paste properly.
The right way to scrub the paste into the headlight is through small, circular motions and with minimal pressure. This is the best thing about using baking soda-you need not apply too much pressure in scrubbing. The baking soda will do the trick by absorbing the oxides.
If you fail to achieve your desired results in the first application, just rinse off the solution and repeat steps 3 and 4 until you're satisfied with the results. It's also possible that you'll repeat these steps more times on one headlight than on the other light. It all depends on how thick the oxidation is on each light and how fast the baking soda acts on the oxides during each application.
5. Rinse your headlights thoroughly.
Wipe off the baking soda paste using a rinsed sponge. You can also wash the lights with soapy water once again. Once you're sure that the headlamps are free off baking soda and soap, get the clean cloth and wipe the lights dry. Test the lights by turning them on.
Clearing foggy headlights is a task than can be done well even by a novice DIYer. While there are a lot of aftermarket pastes and headlight restoration kits out there, this one's among the least expensive techniques that will help you achieve the same or even better results.