A staff member's car got nicked by a lady driving badly the other day. The driver-side directional light was damaged during the accident, but everybody was fine. The RainyDayGarage guys (and gals) found a replacement light online for $27 and replaced the broken one with no problems. But it made us notice the significant difference in clarity between the old headlight cover and the newly installed side light. Can you say RainyDayProject???
We did a few online searches for headlight-cleaning kits but one of our editors, Carolyn, mused thoughtfully, "I bet it will come clean with some baking soda and water and a little elbow grease." Some of us were a little skeptical, but hey...it's a DIY project :-)
There was not much to the prep for this cleaning project. Some water (in the optional short and stout teapot), a box of baking soda, and a sponge were all that was needed. First step was to mix the baking soda with a little water to create a light paste. Wear gloves if you are a delicate flower :-) A little rubbing in a circular motion brought the dull yellow lens back to its clear shiny transparent self pretty quick.
Unconvinced, we asked Carolyn to repeat the process with the other light. So that we could show our certain-to-be-sceptical readership the results more clearly, we asked her to clean just half of one cover. She took us up on the challenge. A vigorous swirling motion with the sponge, a good rinse, and the result was pretty obvious.
Here are the before and after photos of the cover. The baking soda/water cleanser worked amazingly well and our hats are off to Carolyn for this excellent cleaning tip! She says she has more, but won't share any details.
There are commercial headlight restoration kits available from $10 to $30, but we would be surprised if they work better than Carolyn's $0.50 solution. We may do a head-to-head test at some point. For now, we are happy with the results and will repeat as necessary. Got a good "home-brew" remedy for cleaning? Drop us a line! We'll be happy to share it with the rest of the readers! [Permalink] - Headlight Cleaning