Using Bug Spray on Headlights

Using Bug Spray to Clean Headlights: Fact or Fiction?

When your car’s headlights become cloudy or yellowed, it’s tempting to try quick and easy fixes. One such hack that has gained popularity is using bug spray to clean headlights. While this method might offer temporary results, it comes with significant downsides that can cause long-term damage. Let’s dive into why using bug spray on your headlights is a terrible idea and what you should do instead.

The Problem with Bug Spray

Bug sprays often contain DEET, a powerful solvent designed to repel insects. This chemical can temporarily clear the oxidation on your headlights, making them look clearer. However, this quick fix comes with serious consequences:

  1. Chemical Damage to Headlight Plastic
    • Short-Term Effects: DEET can strip away the oxidation layer, making your headlights look clearer for a short period.
    • Long-Term Damage: DEET is not meant for use on plastic surfaces. Over time, it can degrade the plastic, causing it to become brittle and crack. This damage is irreversible and can lead to costly headlight replacements.
  2. Temporary Results
    • Short-Lived Clarity: The improvement in clarity from using bug spray is only temporary without sealing the headlight with a clear coat. The oxidation will return quickly, often within a few days, leaving your headlights cloudy once again.
    • Repeated Application Worsens Damage: Frequent use of bug spray to maintain clarity accelerates the damage to the plastic, causing microcracking, or stress cracks, worsening the condition of your headlights over time.
  3. Safety Concerns
    • Reduced Visibility: Cloudy and damaged headlights significantly reduce your visibility at night and in poor weather conditions, compromising your safety and that of other road users.
    • Legal Issues: In many areas, driving with dim or cloudy headlights can be a violation of vehicle safety standards, leading to potential fines or the need for expensive repairs.

Instead of relying on harmful quick fixes like bug spray, consider using a high quality kit that can restore your headlights to like new clarity.


    While using bug spray on your headlights might seem like a quick and easy solution, the long-term damage and temporary results make it a terrible idea. The chemical in bug spray can degrade the plastic, leading to costly replacements and reduced visibility, which compromises your safety. Instead, opt for our headlight restoration kits to ensure your headlights remain clear and effective for years to come. Investing in the proper care for your headlights will pay off in the long run, keeping you safe and your car looking its best.

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