Cleaning headlights
#11
  
What have you found that cleans headlight lenses to improve clarity? Top part of lenses are cloudy...made of plastic. Thanks
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#12
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
Got a kit at Advance Auto -- pad that fit drill with assorted grits of sandpaper and polisher.  Don't try to use it with a die grinder -- too fast and will burn lens Rolleyes

Takes about 15 minutes to do both and lasts a couple of years. Cool
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#13
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
I've used the kits (3M, purchased @ Menards I believe).

THEN when researching something else, found someone indicating Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish on a buffing wheel chucked in a drill works every bit as well.  I have Mother's because I use it to polish lots of stuff.

So next time I'll try the Mother's.  Just remember to tape-off painted surfaces so you don't buff them.  You'll eff-up the paint.
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#14
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
I've used four different methods over the years.

The first was simply plastic cleaner and then plastic polish; bought these on the recommendation of the guy at the Napa auto parts desk.  Unsatisfactory results.

Several years later, the next go round was the 3M kit.  Much better result, though after a few months, the lens started clouding again.  It was going to be a yearly drill going into the winter season.

One year, I didn't have any of the grit and polishing compounds available, and I wanted to get it done, so I used small strips of my micromesh abrasive, and worked my way up by hand to 12000 grit.  Credible job, and not as laborious as one might think.  My reasoning was that I used micromesh to polish acrylic pens blanks, so it should work for the plastic headlight lens.  And it did.

Last year I used the Meguiars kit (available at the auto parts store or online.)  Best results of all the methods I've tried.  I think it gave me better results than the 3M kit, plus it came with a protective coating to put on at the end.  It also seemed to go faster and was less work than the 3M kit.

It seemed like the protective coating was helping, but the old Highlander that I used it on got totaled and we don't don't have it anymore.  

Bottom line:  The Meguiars kit is my choice.
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#15
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
I've used a Magic Eraser sponge with just water and it did help quite a bit.  It's much easier then the kits as you don't have to worry about getting stuff on your paint on in all the crevices.
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#16
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
I've tried most of the kits. Nope, none lasted long. Several months maybe.

Best I've found, buy a can of Deep Woods Off. Yep, bug spray.
Spray to coat, let it stay for 2-3 minutes, then simply wipe it off with a rag. It will last 6-8 months, depending on your climate.
Steve





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#17
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
(01-26-2019, 09:38 PM)Stwood_ Wrote: I've tried most of the kits. Nope, none lasted long. Several months maybe.

Best I've found, buy a can of Deep Woods Off. Yep, bug spray.
Spray to coat, let it stay for 2-3 minutes, then simply wipe it off with a rag. It will last 6-8 months, depending on your climate.

That makes sense.  The kits at the auto store use abrasives to take off the top layer of the plastic, while the insect repellent is probably doing that chemically.  The instructions on the back of the insect repellent contain warnings against contact with plastic surfaces and synthetic fabrics.

I do know that the stronger varieties of DW Off are pretty rough on my skin.  They feel like a chemical burn.

Make sure you don't get any of that bug spray on surrounding plastics; I'd keep it off the paint, too.

One thing I've noticed is that yellowing and cloudiness return more quickly after you have to start renewing the headlights.  I think that's because some of the micro-pitting remains, capturing dirt and grime more quickly.  Some of the cloudiness is caused by UV light.  That's just a fact of life.  I think the post-cleaning application of those protective coatings are to provide a barrier to dirt and grime.  Don't have and scientific basis to know how well they work, but they're included in some of the kits so I use them.
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#18
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
Interesting...the 100% DEET stuff does melt plastics...I've had that happen with mechanical pencils in the woods. I'd use the wipe on stuff instead of the spray to control where it goes.
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#19
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
Just spray it on a rag if you can't control the spray.
Steve





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#20
  Re: Cleaning headlights by Bill Mains (What have you found ...)
A power buffer + toothpaste. It worked for me back in 1967 on my Alfa Romeo. A fine polishing compound would work also. Get it smooth and shiny and it will be clear.

Note: toothpaste has a very mild and fine abrasive in it
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