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How do you clean a dirty headlight lens?

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Answered 2014-08-30 19:04:30

------------- i have the plastic light lenses on my car they were all foggy and yellowish i put a small buffer pad on a drill applied sone mild polishing compound on it and buffed away then did it with wax they came out like brand new it was very easy -----------------------------------

Cleaning a dirty headlight lens requires a product or products and techniques suited to the material the lens is made of and the kind of "dirt" on the lens. Let's look.

Generally the problem is oxidation, If uninhibited it will form naturally on acrylics exposed to heat and moisture creating a thin veil over the lens that gets thicker over time. There are two ways to address oxidation.

There is the easy way:

1. Use a acrylic lens deoxidizer,

I recommend Pittman Original ALR. its a non abrasive DIY solution that takes seconds

Or you could do it the hard way

2. Use a polish , which is abrasive which I don't advise for oxidation removal on acrylic or plastic.

First you need to have a better understanding about headlight construction before you start.

A lens could be made of glass. In this case, just about any glass cleaner would work. (Avoid abrasives; they could scratch the glass.) If road tar or tree sap is the problem, a solvent will be needed, and car parts places as well as good hardware stores have what you need.

In the case of a plastic lens, cleaning is accomplished with glass or plastic cleaner in a manner similar to what is used on a glass lens. If road tar or other gunk that is not water soluble ends up on the lens, a solvent is called for. Be sure to get one that won't attack the plastic. (Try a tiny amount in a lower corner before applying it wholesale.) Lastly, a plastic lens can oxidize where a glass lens will not. Often we see a plastic lens take on a "white-ish" or possibly a "frosted" look. In this case, the surface layer of the plastic will have to be removed, and it will have to be "polished off" by some means.

The reconditioning of a plastic auto headlight lens is probably best left to professionals who have equipment as well as the appropriate polishing compound (s). But if you are a hard core do-it-yourselfer, start researching the materials and equipment you'll need to do the job. There are kits out there you might try, too. Do your homework, and begin at an auto parts place, hit some body shops, and particularly some big auto detail shops. Certainly the web can help.

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