How to Clean Foggy Headlights: A Simple Guide

juan-lara 2022-05-15

If you’ve ever been driving in the rain or a low-light situation and noticed that your headlights weren’t shining as brightly as they usually do, there’s a good chance that your headlights became foggy. Maintaining your car’s headlights is essential for driving safely and keeping your vehicle in good condition. And while most people are probably familiar with the importance of replacing headlight bulbs when they burn out, many don’t know how to clean cloudy headlights. In this article, we’ll look at how to clean foggy headlights so that you can see better while driving, especially in adverse conditions.


What Causes Foggy Headlights?

There are a few things that can cause your headlights to become foggy.

Water Vapor. Headlights are manufactured with a watertight seal, but wear and tear can cause this seal to fail. Condensation begins to develop inside the lens where you can’t wipe it away. The water droplets scatter the beam of light, impairing nighttime visibility.

Oxidation. Over time, the headlights’ clear coat can become damaged, which will allow the plastic to oxidize. Oxidized plastic will cause a milky white film to form on the headlights’ surface.

Debris or Dirt. If you regularly drive your car on unpaved roads, small stones and other debris can scratch and damage the topcoat of the headlight lens. Dirt and chemicals from the road can also form an opaque film over the lenses, dimming the beam.

How to Clean Foggy Headlights

If your headlights have become cloudy, you can clean them yourself using a few simple steps.


Glass cleaner
Bucket or bowl
Soft cloths or paper towels


The first step is to remove the headlight lens cover. On most cars, this is a plastic cover that can be popped off by prying it with a flathead screwdriver.

Next, fill a bucket or bowl with half glass cleaner and half vinegar. Soak a soft cloth in the solution and begin cleaning the surface of the headlight lens. Be sure to scrub all of the dirt and debris away, making sure to pay special attention to the edges of the lens.

Finally, rinse the headlight lens with clean water and dry it off with a soft cloth or paper towel. Reattach the headlight lens cover and you’re done!

Preventing Foggy Headlights

  1. Prevent your headlights from becoming foggy in the first place by implementing these practices.
  2. Reapply car wax, plastic protectant, or a restoration product to your headlights regularly.
  3. Make sure the headlight seal is in good condition and properly sealed.
    Use a quality glass cleaner to clean the headlights regularly.

Professional Headlight Restoration

If you’re not comfortable cleaning your headlights yourself, or if the fogging is too severe, you can take your car to a professional for headlight restoration. This process will clean and restore the headlights to a like-new condition.

It’s important to note that while professional headlight restoration may be more expensive than doing it yourself, it’s a much more thorough and effective process. And it will definitely be worth the investment if it means improved visibility while driving, especially at night.

Make a Headlight Restoration Appointment Today

Contact Maintenance Professionals

If you’re in need of professional automotive maintenance or repair, you can rely on us. We are available for your car emergencies and the little details that keep your car running smoothly and efficiently. Contact Lafayette German Car Repair by calling (925) 2284 – 3390. We offer great deals, excellent service, and long-lasting results!