Headlights Covered In Gunk? Clean Them With These Tips

If gunk covers the surfaces of your headlights and nothing you do removes it, it's time to find a better solution to get your headlights clean. Your headlights can build up with mud, dead bugs and other debris over time. The lenses can also lose their protective clear coatings as they age. Both of these issues can make the light passing through the lenses appear dimmer than it actually is. 

It can be very dangerous at night for you if you drive with obstructed headlights. Other drivers, and even pedestrians, may not see your vehicle when you drive down the road, pull out of parking lots or turn around busy street corners. Here are tips you can use to clean up your dirty headlights.

Wash the Headlights

Washing away the gunk on your headlights is the first step to staying safe on the road. To break down and remove the cloudy film, combine 3 cups of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 gallon of warm soapy water. Vinegar and baking soda contain acids that eat through dirt and other debris.

Now, follow these steps to clean one headlight at a time:

  1. Wet a thick towel or firm-bristled brush with the cleaning solution. 
  2. Clean the headlight by making small circles with your towel or brush. Use firm but gentle pressure as you clean the lens. Placing too much pressure on the headlight can damage or crack it.
  3. Add more water to the headlight to keep the surface wet as you clean it. A wet surface will help the debris break up better.
  4. Run a water hose over the light to rinse it off. 

After you wash both headlights, remove any scratches on the lenses with toothpaste.

Remove Scratches From the Headlights

Toothpaste contains abrasive chemicals that smooth away scratches, scuffs and other surface problems. However, it's a good idea that you use a toothpaste that contains scrubbing beads as the ingredients. The beads will help buff away the scratches.

To use toothpaste on your headlights, follow the instructions below:

  1. Dampen the surfaces of one headlight with cold water.
  2. Squirt a thick line of toothpaste across the surface of the headlight.
  3. Wet a cotton or chamois towel with water, then gently rub the toothpaste into the headlight.
  4. Make large circles over the headlight to cover more area and save time.
  5. Continue step 4 for 15 minutes, then rinse the headlight off with cool water.
  6. Repeat all of the steps with the other headlight.

You can use a soft towel to dry the headlights off. The lenses should appear shiny and free of scratches.

If you still see scratches or gunk on the headlights after you clean them, contact an auto body shop for repairs. One place you can call is High Point Body & Paint.