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How to Clean Inside the Headlights on Your Car

by Shae Hazelton

A dirty headlight lens can dull the light cast by your headlight. This can turn into a serious safety issue for you and anyone else that uses your car. You don’t need to take your car to the mechanic in order to clean the headlight, though. You can clean the headlight yourself once you understand the inner workings of your vehicle’s headlight. Read your owner’s manual carefully so that you can learn the subtle intricacies of the headlight system before you attempt to remove your headlight for cleaning.

Step 1

Open the hood of the car. Inside, you should see some screws near the opening on either side of the car. These should be the screws that hold your headlights in place. The location of these screws may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

Step 2

Carefully lift the headlight out of its crevice after you loosen the screws. You may even ask a friend to hold them in place while you unscrew them and unplug the electrical cords. Set them onto a dry towel.

Step 3

Pry the headlight lens off the headlight assembly. The headlight assembly can look different for many vehicles, so once again refer to your manual for the proper way to remove the lens.

Step 4

Fill a one-gallon bucket with hot water. Add a strong cleaning detergent into the water to help remove the grime buildup inside your headlight.

Step 5

Dip an abrasive pad into the warm water. Use the abrasive pad to scrub away any built up filth on the backside of the headlight lens. Do not press hard enough to scratch the lens with the abrasive pad, though.

Step 6

Dry off the lens and apply a layer of glass polish. The glass polish will keep the inside of the lens clean for a longer period.

Fit the headlight lens back onto the housing and reinstall it into your car. Once again, you may ask a friend to hold the headlight in place while you reconnect the electrical wiring and screw it back into place.

Warning

  • Do not touch the reflective coating that surrounds the bulb. It is delicate and it may dull under your touch.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver
  • 1-gallon bucket
  • Water
  • Cleaning detergent
  • Abrasive pad
  • Glass polish

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