The front of your car is most prone to stubborn contaminants. Whether it’s road tar or bug splatters, they almost always end up on the front of your car.
As you drive along, bugs, moths, and other insects will be dive-bombing towards your headlights resulting in a horrible splat that you now have to clean off your car.
You may also be following another car closely as they drive over soft tar, resulting in tar being flung onto the front of your car and headlights.
If you leave either of these contaminants on your headlights for a long time, they can be very hard to remove, they may even require the clay bar treatment.
The idea is to remove them before it gets to that stage, However, in this article you’ll find out whether clay bar will work on headlights and how to clay bar your car headlights effectively.
Can You Clay Bar Car Headlights?
It doesn’t matter if they’re glass or plastic, YES, you can clay bar car headlights.
There are certain precautions that I like to take to make sure that I don’t damage the headlights.
Make sure to use a high-quality clay that is soft and pliable. I recommend Griots Garage.
I also recommend using plenty of clay bar lubrication, whether it’s soapy water or Chemical Guys Clay Luber.
As long as you do both of these things, you shouldn’t have any issues. It’s perfectly safe to clay bar the headlights if you are sensible and know what you’re doing.
Will Clay Bar Work On Headlights?
Clay bars are designed to lift all contamination from hard surfaces around your car. This means it can be used on your paintwork, windshield, and car headlights.
Using a clay bar with plenty of lubrication will remove all of those pesky bugs and tar spots from your headlights without any issues.
If you want to be extra safe, you could always phone the clay manufacturer and ask if their clay is produced to work on headlights.
That being said, in my time detailing, I’ve never had any issues claying headlights.
Cleaning Car Headlights With Clay Bar
Whenever you’re clay barring an area of your car, regardless of what it is, you should always clean the area first.
This means that you will perform a full wash (snow foam & contact wash), and try to remove contaminants using bug & tar remover before considering clay.
In a lot of situations, doing the above will show a massive difference and you may not feel the need to clay your headlights.
If you’ve washed your headlights properly and want to clay them follow the steps below:
- Apply Clay Bar Lubricant To Your Headlight – Because we’re working on a delicate surface that’s prone to scratching you will want to apply a lot of lubricant.
Using a lot of lubricant will prevent scratching and allow you to potentially clay bar the headlight in one go, providing you keep your clay clean.
- Clay Bar Your Headlight – Now that you’ve saturated the headlight in lubrication, it’s time to do the claying.
Move the clay back and forward in a straight line. Don’t go round in circles, that will just create swirl marks that need to be polished out later on.
If you’re claying the headlight in one go, you should regularly check the clay for contamination.
When the clay is showing contamination, fold it over and give yourself fresh clay to work with, otherwise it will begin to scratch the surface.
- Wipe away any residue – Once you’re satisfied that the headlight is no longer contaminated, wipe away any residue that is left using a clean microfiber towel.
Now that your headlight is completely free of contamination, you can now polish it with peace of mind.
Will Clay Bar Remove Light Scratches?
This question can be interpreted in two ways.
Will Clay barring remove scratches from your light? No.
Will clay barring remove light scratches from your paintwork, windshield or headlights? Still no.
A Clay Bar is designed to remove surface contaminants, not surface defects. If you want to remove scratches from a surface on your car, you will need to use an abrasive polish of some sort.