Plastic and polycarbonate headlights both face the effects of oxidation. This problem has been around since the beginnings of this type of headlight in the 1980s. Oxidation can happen to anyone’s headlights, no matter how much care is put into the vehicle. There are many causes of the cloudiness, including debris, chemicals in the atmosphere and UV rays.
It is important to clean this oxidation as soon as possible. Driving with oxidation can cause a reduction in visibility, especially at night. This cleaning is able to be done yourself by utilizing one of the methods below. Continue reading for more information.
Cleaning oxidation with toothpaste
Toothpaste has the ability to remove stains from most surfaces, including headlights. The abrasive ingredient in the product can buff the surface, making visibility much clearer. Below are the steps to follow for using toothpaste.
- 1. Gather car wax, masking tape, a soft cloth, toothpaste and water.
- 2. Clean the headlight with soap and water with a cloth and rinse.
- 3. Cover the surroundings of the headlight with masking tape.
- 4. Put gloves on if your skin is sensitive.
- 5. Put toothpaste on a cloth, and rub the headlights with it. Add more as needed.
- 6. Rinse the headlight with water and let it dry.
- 7. Apply car wax with a clean cloth and rinse afterwards.
Clean oxidation with glass cleaner and car polish
Glass cleaner will prepare the headlight for cleaning. The car polish is more abrasive than toothpaste, allowing any stains to be buffed out.
- 1. Gather car polish, car wax, glass cleaner, masking tape, gloves, a rotary buffer, a cloth and water.
- 2. Tape off the area surrounding the headlight.
- 3. Spray the glass cleaner on the headlights and wipe clean.
- 4. Apply car polish with a clean cloth, adding more as necessary. Use the rotary buff instead of a cloth if you’d like.
- 5. Rinse and air dry. Apple car wax and rinse again.
Clean oxidation with a polishing compound
This method works best on headlights with severe oxidation. This is an intensive method that is best used after other methods have failed. The polishing kits can be found at auto repair stores.
- 1. Gather a polishing compound kit, car wax, cloth, tape, a mild detergent, and sandpaper array.
- 2. Cover the area surrounding the headlight with masking tape.
- 3. Wash the headlight with the detergent and water, then rinse with water.
- 4. Put the polishing compound on the headlight using a cloth.
- 5. Wet sandpaper, and rub each headlight with it. Make sure the sandpaper stays wet.
- 6. Rinse the compound off of the headlight.
- 7. Put car wax on the headlight and rinse again.
Cleaning oxidation on the interior of the headlight
There may be instances in which oxidation occurs on the interior of the headlight. You will know that oxidation has occurred if you see droplets of moisture inside the light. In order to clean this oxidation, it is best to remove the headlight first. From there, the interior of the headlight can be cleaned utilizing one of the three methods that are listed above.
Oxidation on your headlights can be very dangerous to you or your loved ones if it is not cleaned as soon as possible. It is important to use something like glass cleaner, car polish, a polishing compound kit or toothpaste to clean your headlights. These methods will make sure they are oxidation-free.