Thursday, October 23, 2014

Drivel - Car Headlight Haze

Ok, this post has absolutely nothing to do with homesteading. Frugality yes, homesteading no. But what the hey. 

The headlight covers on one of our cars have heavily hazed over. I checked into buying new plastic covers.  Egads, mucho bucks. So I washed the headlights the best I could and lived with them. Then one of my friends said that they used Deep Woods Off to clean up their headlight covers. So that got me into investigating the problem. On the Internet I saw suggestions of using various polishing compounds found around the house, including toothpaste. Hummmmm. And I also saw the Popular Mechanics has detailed instructions of how to refurbish the headlight covers yourself. So on one extreme is the toothpaste or Deep Woods Off idea, and on the other extreme is the full effort, total refinishing. Plus I saw that there are kits you can buy at the auto supply store that do something in between the two extremes. 

Not being a car fanatic, I opted for the low tech approach. I figured I'd try both the toothpaste and the Off. 

Car before starting. 
Though its hard to tell, the haze has a slight amber tint. Yeah, I washed the mud off before starting. But washing did nothing about removing any haze. 

Next I cleaned one half of each headlight cover in order to compare the before and after. One I used toothpaste, the other Off. I used a piece of terry cloth rag and got a lot of amber colored 'dirt" off of each headlight cover. In the photo below, the right side has been cleaned and the left side hasn't. There's quite a visible difference. By the way, the toothpaste and the Off seemed to work equally well. 

After a couple minutes of rubbing, The job seemed to be done as best as it was going to be. The headlight covers are not perfect, to be sure, but they are a lot better than before I started. 

So for the sake of frugality, a rough rag and some toothpaste (or Off) does a decent job. 

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