How to Remove Moisture from Headlights

Clean your vents, use a hairdryer, or replace your headlight assembly.
Written by Brian Hicks
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Do you have moisture in your headlights? A few good ways to dry your headlights include clearing your headlight vent, using a hairdryer, or even replacing the headlight assembly.
If your headlights have been cloudy or foggy at night, it may be due to water droplets accumulating on the inside of the lens. There are a few ways that moisture can get in there, but luckily, there are just as many ways to clean it out. 
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How does moisture get into your headlights?

There are three main ways that water finds its way into your headlamps and stays there. First, your headlight vent could be clogged. This can cause a build up of condensation, as water won’t be able to drain if it gets in there.
Second, your headlight can be improperly sealed. This can occur if you’ve had work done on the headlight and it wasn’t resealed properly. The seal can also deteriorate over time.
Finally, your headlight could be damaged. This is fairly serious, as it will most likely require a replacement for your headlight assembly.

Clearing your headlight vent

Headlight vents can get clogged fairly easily. While it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to your headlights, it is something that you’ll want to take care of. Fortunately, you should be able to do it on your own.
The vent for your headlight housing can be located in a number of different places depending on your car, but they’re usually located at the top and bottom of the headlight casing.
Once you find the vents, it should be easy to see if there is debris blocking them. If there is, use a rag or cloth to clear them (top and bottom if applicable), being careful not to push anything into the headlamp housing. If the moisture doesn’t clear up after time, there may be something else allowing water into your lights.

Using air to dry your headlight

After clearing the vents, you have a few options for drying your headlights. You can wait for them to air dry, use a hairdryer, or use compressed air.
If you want to wait for the headlamps to air dry, be aware that it can take some time, so try to be patient if the headlights aren’t drying up immediately. Factors like temperature, humidity, and precipitation can affect the speed of drying.
If this isn’t going fast enough for you, you can try using compressed air to make sure that the vents are totally clear. The compressed air will also help to remove some of the moisture as it unblocks the vents.
If the condensation problem persists, you can try using a hairdryer. This option is more invasive because it requires you to remove the headlight assembly, which will break the seal around the headlight. After removing the housing and carefully breaking the seal, you can use the hairdryer on the warm setting to help remove the water.
Before using a hairdryer, be sure that you’re comfortable with removing the housing and resealing the headlight. If you aren’t, going to a mechanic might be the best bet for you.

Replacing your headlight assembly

Replacing your headlight assembly is the most drastic step in removing condensation. Before you do this, you’ll want to make sure that it is water that’s causing your
headlight dimness
You should only resort to replacing your headlight assembly if there is damage to it. The seal on the casing can be redone, rubber gaskets can be replaced, and loose bulbs can be tightened, but if the assembly is cracked there’s little that can be done besides replacing it.
If you do need to replace your headlight assembly, it’s recommended that you take your vehicle to a mechanic.

How to find affordable car insurance

Whether it’s for advice on getting condensation out of your headlights or saving money on your insurance costs,
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