Help on removing rubbing alcohol residue inside headlight

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Help on removing rubbing alcohol residue inside headlight

Postby Sam7heLamb » Wed May 18, 2022 12:01 am

Hey guys

Hope this is the right place for this question in the forum.

So, I decided to black out my headlights and add halos myself to my Liberty. I was well prepared and everything and I did a seemingly pretty good job for doing something like this first time.

One thing I screwed over, however, was that when it came to putting everything back together I decided to clean my headlight covers. So, on the outside I just wiped it down with general purpose cleaner. And on the inside I had a few hand smudges and dust so I thought I'd use rubbing alcohol on a microfibre towel

Had no idea the inside of the headlight had a film or something that got a cloudy residue with the rubbing alcohol and learnt the hardway you're not supposed to use rubbing alcohol directly on the inside. I don't have photos at the moment but it's basically a transparent cloudy residue that's on the inside of the headlight cover.

I don't want to sell my liver to buy a replacement headlight just for the cover so I was wondering if anyone has any advice to remove the residue. Or should I just buy a new headlight to replace the cover?
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Re: Help on removing rubbing alcohol residue inside headligh

Postby bigBADbenny » Sun Jan 01, 2023 7:17 pm

The main issue is all the lenses and prisms moulded into the reverse side of the lens, the surface is irregular (maybe I’m imagining this?), potentially trapping the alcohol and burning the polycarbonate?

Have you tried a rinse with distilled water and compressed air?

I’d try a new dry brush once you’ve baked the headlight assy in a 100C warm oven for 5/10 minutes, then gently separate the lens from the housing.

When the lens cools off, try the dry brush to test the surface, see if the cloudiness will budge.

Illumo com au sell oem type resealing strips.

If the residue is permanently etched into the polycarbonate, I’d try:

Very light passes with a lit hydrogen only gas torch (experimental).
Any acrylic fabrication shop might have a hydrogen torch as used for polishing the cut ends of acrylic sheet.

Or less intrusive, a detailers chemical atomisation headlight restoration heating cup jug, which from what I can tell, uses either distilled water or a proprietary fluid (you might find the active ingredient in the solution MSDS).
The jugs are very affordable online eg eBay, Amazon etc.
I’m still researching this technique, is the active ingredient choloroform? :shock:
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=how+ ... nEnVBPWPsI

Yep, be sure to read that MSDS before proceeding with that technique.

So the hydrogen torch might work similarly, more safely, acrylic fabs use it because it’s fast and the flame contains less carbon or soot that might contaminate the work piece.


I’d be tempted to get a can of 2k clear yellow and spray the inside of the lens as per French passenger vehicles in the 50-70’s era.
Eg state the severity of your grand touring intent. :swoon:



I collect spare headlights for their parts, what’s your specific headlight type?
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