Foggy or cloudy headlights is an annoying problem for all drivers. Not only is it unsightly, but it is potentially dangerous, reducing visibility on the road and making your car less visible to other drivers. But, how to clean them? Cloudy or foggy headlights cannot be cleaned with traditional soap and water. However, there are some great homemade remedies to the problem. Below are listed some of my tried and true favorites for removing that cloudy, foggy layer on your headlights.
Soap and Water – Soap and water is a possible solution, but it often fails to remove the film that causes the cloudy appearance. However, it can help improve the overall cleanliness and appearance of your headlights.
Vinegar – Vinegar is a natural deoxidizer that can help break down the cloudy film that can adhere itself to your headlights. Be careful though, as vinegar can strip paint right off your vehicle. You can’t use vinegar the same way you would use soap and water. Use a small amount on a cloth and control your movements as you rub gently.
Toothpaste – As crazy as it sounds, toothpaste makes a great headlight cleaner. There is no certain toothpaste; all seem to do a fairly good job. Toothpaste also has a natural ability to oxidize the fog that adheres to the headlight’s surface, but unlike vinegar, it is not as potentially dangerous to your expensive paint job. Try to avoid any pastes that have colored dyes in them however. There is a risk the dye can transfer to the surface of the headlight during cleaning.
Glass Cleaner – Glass cleaner is another option, but it often cannot remove all of the fogginess. It also requires a bit more elbow grease and a bit more time to get the job done. If you are leery of some of the other options listed here, glass cleaner is a safe alternative to try.
Masking Tape – Masking tape is a non-chemical alternative to cleaning the fog from your headlights. Unlike the others choices, masking tape does not use abrasion to clean, instead it uses adhesion. The adhesive properties of the masking tape attract the molecular compounds that we combine together to form the fog. These tiny molecules attach themselves to the masking tape and are simply lifted away.
All of the above homemade solutions for removing the foggy and cloudy film on your old headlights come with differing success rates. Perhaps the best choice is to try one, and if there is little success, continue trying the others until one of them works sufficiently.