Magic erasers are more than just a household cleaning product. They can also be used to clean headlights as well.
Known for their ability to get rid of the toughest grime, these pieces of sponge can help restore dirty and foggy headlights.
Even though it is considered unsafe for use on car paint because of its abrasiveness, a magic eraser will remove dirt, the yellow coloring that forms on your headlights, and any other contaminants that are affecting the functionality and looks of your vehicle’s headlights.
This article will look at how useful the magic eraser is at cleaning headlights, how to use it, and other methods you can use to restore foggy headlights.
Table of Contents
- What is Magic Eraser?
- Is It Safe to Use Magic Eraser on Headlights?
- How Do I Clean Headlights Using Magic Eraser?
- Why Do Headlights Get Foggy?
- How Can Magic Eraser Clean Oxidation, Dirt, and Debris from Headlights?
- What are Other Uses of Magic Eraser in Cars?
- Other than Magic Eraser, What Else Can You Use to Restore Foggy Headlights?
- Magic Eraser vs. Professional Headlight Restoration
What is Magic Eraser?
Before we dig deeper into the effectiveness of the magic eraser at restoring headlights, what do you know about this product?
Currently, there are plenty of magic erasers on the market. However, the original version, popularly known as Mr. Clean, was introduced in 2003.
Ever since, this nifty tool has been used for cleaning purposes in homes, cars, and even businesses.
Magic erasers have a very simple design, yet they tend to be very effective and easy to use. All you need is some water, and the sponge will be ready to do its job.
It is also used for temperature and sound insulation in the construction industry. Today, however, we are going to focus more on its cleaning purposes.
The melanin foam is a blend of nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen structures, which are both soft and hard. It is designed to get rid of stains without harming the surface beneath.
To use a magic eraser, you have to soak the sponge in water. From the outward appearance, magic erasers look like regular sponges, but you will be surprised at how fast and easy they can get rid of dirt and stains.
The unique thing about them is that they don’t need soap or chemicals to do their job.
Another key feature of the magic eraser is the porosity of melamine foam. This sponge acts like fine sandpaper. This is why it is so useful for removing fogginess or oxidation from headlights.
It may feel soft to the touch, but the abrasives will scrub the headlights’ surface, and the presence of small air pockets on the magic erasers lift the dirt revealing a clean and smooth surface.
Is It Safe to Use Magic Eraser on Headlights?
Sure you can. Many people use this method, and there haven’t been any incidences where the magic eraser damaged headlights.
The only place where you shouldn’t use a magic eraser is on the paint. Magic erasers shouldn’t be used on delicate or polished surfaces.
The material’s abrasiveness will leave fine scratches on your paint, and it can even eat through the clear coat leaving your paint vulnerable to damage and fading.
Otherwise, magic erasers are considered safe for household and automotive use. They do not contain any toxic materials that can hurt either you or the headlights. You should also avoid using a magic eraser on car parts that can be scratched easily.
How Do I Clean Headlights Using Magic Eraser?
Other than being effective, cleaning headlights using a magic eraser is a fairly easy procedure. You do not need any other special tools.
Just get some magic eraser, damp it in water, and start scrubbing. Depending on how dirty or fogged up your headlights are, you may need to use scrub severally.
It is also important to know that melamine foam is very porous and therefore wears out very fast. If you are working on a couple of foggy headlights, you may need to use several magic erasers.
Why Do Headlights Get Foggy?
Foggy headlights are a very common issue. This is something that almost every car owner has experienced. Most people don’t accord foggy headlights the immediate attention they deserve.
They assume that as long as the headlights are working, there is nothing to worry about. However, driving around with foggy headlights is quite risky.
The cloudier the headlights, the less visibility you will have when driving at night, do we need to explain the dangers of driving with limited visibility?
There are a couple of factors that can make your vehicle’s headlights foggy. They are;
This layer’s role is to protect the headlights from damage, contamination, and UV rays. After a while, this layer wears out and when they are exposed, the UV lights cause the hard plastic covering of the headlights to turn yellow. This is what we refer to as oxidation.
The good news is that a magic eraser paired up with some elbow grease can get rid of oxidation and restore the previous look of your headlights.
Another cause of foggy headlights is water vapor. Have you discovered some mist inside the plastic cover of your headlights? Manufacturers today create a watertight seal in car headlights.
This seal, however, also wears out with time, allowing condensation to occur inside the headlights. This settles on the lens, and it becomes foggy.
The problem with water vapor settling on your headlight lens is that you can’t clean it using a magic eraser. The headlights have to be removed, wiped, and returned inside.
Dirt and debris
Located at the front of the car, headlights are also a victim of flying debris and dirt. The likes of debris will scratch the plastic and contribute to its cloudy appearance.
A build-up of dirt will also hinder visibility. The dirt can be scrubbed off with a magic eraser.
How Can Magic Eraser Clean Oxidation, Dirt, and Debris from Headlights?
As discussed earlier, a magic eraser is made using melamine foam, one of the best stain-removing materials.
An oxidized surface contains a thin sheet of oxidized skin that can be removed by a scrubbing agent such as a magic eraser.
A product such as a magic eraser, thanks to its abrasiveness, scrubs debris, dirt, and oxidation from the surface of your headlights.
What are Other Uses of Magic Eraser in Cars?
We have already ruled out that a magic eraser can’t be used on paint. It is, however, ideal to use on foggy headlights.
This isn’t the only purpose that a magic eraser can serve you when it comes to vehicles. You can also use it to do the following;
• Remove stains on leather seats.
• Clean stains from your car mats.
• Get rid of dried nail polish in your car interior.
• Eliminate permanent marker stains.
Other than Magic Eraser, What Else Can You Use to Restore Foggy Headlights?
Depending on the level of oxidation or fogginess of the headlights, you may not get the best results. This is why you need to have a bunch of cleaning alternatives. So, here are other methods you can use to restore foggy headlights.
It can be shocking to find out that a beverage that we love so much can be used to clean foggy headlights. However, that is a story for another day.
Coca-Cola, similar to a magic eraser, can be used to restore foggy headlights. All you have to do is spray it on the headlights, and let it sit for a couple of minutes before cleaning it with a cloth.
Another household product that has many uses is WD-40. To restore foggy headlights with WD-40, you should clean them first. Then spray some WD-40, and let it sit on the surface before wiping it off.
Rub the Headlights with Bug Spray Containing Deet
Despite being one of the most unusual methods of cleaning headlights, bug spray is also effective at removing oxidation and dirt from headlights.
Deet is the secret ingredient in this case. Spray some bug spray on the headlights and rub it with a clean and dry microfiber cloth.
This is one of the oldest DIY applications used to clean headlights. Toothpaste, when scrubbed with a dry cloth, will restore the appearance of an oxidized lens.
Baking soda paste
A popular alternative to toothpaste, baking soda mixed with water and rubbed on headlights will remove fogginess, oxidation, or dirt.
A vinegar bath is ideal if you are dealing with moisture that is trapped inside the lenses. Scrubbing them can also help with cleaning the lenses.
Magic Eraser vs. Professional Headlight Restoration
These are two incomparable things. Though an effective DIY headlight restoration option, the Magic eraser is no match for professional headlight cleaning and restoration. With a magic eraser, we rely on the abrasiveness of the melamine foam.
However, professional headlight restoration entails sanding, which removes oxidation, polishing that gets rid of scratches, replacing the watertight seal to prevent condensation, and sealing the headlight with a clear coat that protects it from UV rays, dirt, and debris that may make it foggy.