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Old 08-11-2003, 06:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
Should I use acetone to clean my headlights?

I've searched through google already but a good explanation is hard to find.

Has anyone done this before??
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Old 08-11-2003, 06:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
Location: Australia
Dude, dont use anything like that. Most cars these days have plastic lens on their headlights. I reckon the safe bet is warm water, with just a few bubbles.....
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.

Samuel Goldwyn
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Old 08-12-2003, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Acetone will melt plastic headlight covers. Don't ask how I know this.
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Old 08-12-2003, 08:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you should never use it even if your headlights are glass. the bumper below it is plastic. One drop will melt the bumper and wreck its looks.
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Old 08-12-2003, 10:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
Okay car+acetone= don't do it

Got it.

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Old 08-13-2003, 06:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
what's wrong with some soap and elbow grease?
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
Location: In the garage, under the car.
What are you trying to clean off of them?
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Old 08-13-2003, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
Location: Riverside, CA
I got the same problem on my car (Acura Integra), the lens looks foggy. I used soap, water and a 3M washpad.
I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it. - Jack Handy

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Old 08-13-2003, 10:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Alpharetta, GA
acetone bad, very bad

it would make your car look like my avitar
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Old 08-13-2003, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
Location: Florida
I used it (diluted, in nail polish remover form) to clean the cloudy yellow haze off my headlights. That was a major problem in 80s-90s Fords. It did the trick just fine and didn't hurt anything at all, but I've since found it's easier (and probably safer for the plastic) to use fine cut polishing compound or toothpaste and a coat of wax. That works wonders!
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
shakran's Avatar
yeah, if your headlights look foggy it can be because either tiny pieces of grit have over the years pitted the glass and made it less clear or because water has gotten inside the headlight and is fogging up the inside.

toothpaste works wonders on the pitted headlight. Just enough polishing grit to polish the glass without scratching it.

If it's got condensation in it, the trick is to remove the headlight and dry it out with a hair dryer (set on no heat). Then get silicone caulk and re-seal all the seams in the headlight. Check the gasket in the headlamp holder as well. Reinstall and it shouldn't get water in there anymore.

Some guys also drop a silica packet (those "do not eat" packets you get in stereo boxes) in the headlamp. It absorbs the moisture and keeps it from fogging up.
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Old 08-30-2003, 02:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
yeah acetones probably not the go. try something a bit milder like some turps.

and shakran thats a good idea about the silicone packets, my lights have been fogging up latley....would never have thought of it
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Old 08-30-2003, 06:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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DEI37's Avatar
Location: Wisconsin
Actually, use glass cleaner. If that doesn't work, replace the headlamp assembly. I know that sounds rash, but if they've fogged up, or hazed over, it's because the seal between the lens and the housing isn't sealing properly and allowing moisture to get it. It's REALLY hard to fix that.
Generally speaking, if you were to get what you really deserve, you might be unpleasantly surprised.
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Old 08-31-2003, 10:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: CT
I'd like to mention that I'm going to kill my brother because acetone causes clearcoat to bubble. Youo'd think he would've gotten the point when Itold him to clean the superglue off of sutff ten feet away from the car.
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acetone, clean, headlights

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