Can You Clean Your Foggy Headlights With Bug Spray?

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Headlights/Image Credit: Hoang Le

Sometimes home remedies are the best remedies. In the case of bringing back cloudy old headlights to ones that are clear and work well, a new remedy is going viral online.  There is no question that spraying bug spray on a cloth and rubbing your headlights will make them less cloudy, but does it really do a good job, and will the treatment last?

Bug Spray Works – At First

If you spray a cloth with bug spray and rub it on your old, cloudy lights they will look better. The chemicals help remove some of the dirt and UV-damaged plastic from the surface of the headlights.

After the application, the lights are not back to the original clarity and seem tacky and a bit cloudy.  We’ve surveyed a wide selection of videos, and the appearance does improve regardless of the brand of the bug-spray.  However, there are much better methods that you can use at home, or that you can have done locally that are not that expensive.

Other Headlight Restoration Methods

The two best methods of restoring cloudy headlights are really the same, but one is a home treatment and the other you can have done at any local body shop or detailer. A detailer will restore the lights by sanding the lights.  It sounds crazy, but the lights can be sanded and/or polished with a few different grades of polishing compounds that will remove the surface plastic and scratches.  The results are excellent.  Detailers we know charge about $40 to $100 for the treatment.

3M Headlight Restorer gives a professional finish

There are home kits made by 3M and others that allow you to do the same type of treatment for about $15. The kits supply a polishing pad that you affix to a drill, or if you don’t have a drill, they will provide a hand-pad.  Trust me, borrow a drill and use that kit.  Using the compounds that the kit provides, you simply polish the lights following the instructions.  The results are also excellent.  Be sure to mask the areas around the lights before you start.  Otherwise, you risk dulling the paint around the lights or damaging the rubber trim.

If you have cloudy headlights and you want them to be somewhat clearer temporarily, bug spray seems like the way to go. However, if you have a vehicle you plan to keep a while and want the job done right, either grab a kit like 3M’s or have a local shop do the job professionally.