How to Clean Headlights With Toothpaste & Restore Oxidation

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean headlights with toothpaste

During the nighttime, the very requirement of cars running on the road is their headlights. But what if they turn foggy? Check again. Maybe that already needs cleaning.

Cleaning it with water alone or a mild soap diluted in water may not help you properly remove what blocked your headlights.

Do you know what remedy you can use to clear them and solve your problem? Simple. A toothpaste can.

This article will guide you on how to clean headlights with toothpaste. Update your cleaning skills with this amazing life hack and see how this one works.

What to Prepare

Does toothpaste clean headlights? Will it be effective? Will the kind of toothpaste matter? Well, you can use toothpaste from any brand, preferably in white color.

To clean your headlights, you will need:

  • Tube of ordinary toothpaste (regardless of the brand)
  • Toothbrush (preferably an old one)
  • Chamois cloth
  • Microfiber towel
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ultraviolet-protecting Sealant
  • Spray bottle of soapy water

Detailed Guide to Clean Headlights With Toothpaste


Cleaning fogged headlights with toothpaste is as easy as counting fingers one to three. If they turn blurry, restore headlights by following these easy steps.

1. Preliminary Work

Before doing the main thing, you have to do temporary cleaning of the headlights.

  • Step 1: Quickly clean and dry the headlights

Spray the headlights with soapy water. Wipe them thoroughly using the microfiber towel. Make sure that every part of them is included in the wiping.

Use the chamois cloth to dry the wet headlights. Do not just simply use any rag. The chamois cloth has a special cleaning factor that does not only leave shiny results, but it leaves no marks and does not scratch the material.

  • Step 2: Use tapes to cover the edges

The painter’s tape is used to cover the edges of the headlights. Use it to avoid including the car paint in cleaning since the toothpaste can damage it when pressed too hard during wiping.

But take note! Do not use any other tape, for it might peel off or remove the car paint.

2. Cleaning Proper

Here are the main steps in cleaning the car headlights:

  • Step 1: Apply the toothpaste and clean

Apply a small amount of toothpaste either directly to the headlight cover or on the microfiber towel. Squeeze an amount that you think will suffice the cleaning.

Start cleaning headlights with toothpaste by wiping the microfiber towel in circular motions repeatedly until all the headlights are included.

You may repeat applying the headlights with toothpaste if you are not yet satisfied with the result before effortlessly rinsing it with water.

  • Step 2: Use baking soda mixed with toothpaste for stubborn marks (optional)

You can also make use of baking soda as a car headlight cleaner. Toothpaste and baking soda can perfectly create a good tandem as cleaning agents. Mixing these can result in more effective headlight restoration.

  • Step 3: Rinse the toothpaste

Rinse off the area with water. You can use the one in the spray bottle. You can use a toothbrush, but do not use it too hard on headlights because it might scratch them off.

Wipe the clean headlight lens using a chamois cloth. Make sure that no traces of the toothpaste is left unwiped.

There is no exact time as to how long to leave toothpaste on headlights. As long as you cover the entire portions of the headlights with toothpaste, you can start wiping them.

Remove the painter’s tape carefully once cleaning is finished.

3. Aftercare Tips

After using toothpaste to clean headlights, that’s not all. You still have the final job to do.

  • Step 1: Polish headlights using an ultraviolet-protecting sealant

You can do so with a microfiber towel. Though toothpaste can be an excellent yellow headlight cleaner, it still cannot protect the headlights from the sun’s heat, so a sealant should come to the rescue.

They become oxidized headlights when exposed to ultraviolet rays more often, discoloring the headlight cover to yellow. That is why they need extra protection.

  • Step 2: Wait for it to dry

For best results, leave the headlights with sealant for about ten minutes to an hour, depending on their exposure to dryness.

If an open area is available at home, park the car there so that drying them would not take much time.

You may take a picture of your headlights before and after cleaning to check if this works for you.

  • Step 3: Further care in the future

Do the entire process at least every 2-4 months or, as the need arises, if your headlights call you to do the cleaning. You always want to keep your headlights shinier, brighter, and clearer than usual.

Why Use Toothpaste in Cleaning the Headlights


With all the cleaning agents available at home, you might wonder why toothpaste can make a good clean. Here’s why:

  • Toothpaste, just like its cleaning factor to teeth, can do the same in headlights.
  • Toothpaste is readily available, and of course, it is cheap.
  • Toothpaste is safe. Its chemical components cannot easily wear away the car paint compared to any other cleaning compounds.
  • It is a DIY way and can be done in no time.

How Effective Is Cleaning the Headlights With Toothpaste

Cleaning the headlights with toothpaste may guarantee almost total restoration to your headlight color. But do you know when it becomes ineffective?

Remember that using toothpaste in cleaning headlights literally and solely refers to the headlight cover. In case you do the cleaning but see less effective to no results at all, maybe the dirt and grime problem is not about the headlight cover.

The inside portion of the headlight could be the culprit. That is why cleaning it so many times will not give satisfactory outcomes. So at least you know this fact, and you will not wonder anymore the next time you do the cleaning yourself.


There are many ways to clean the headlights. A simple wiping or water rinsing can clean them. However, if you want to see a better version of your headlights, using toothpaste can be a good resort.

If you worry about how to clean headlights with toothpaste, the steps above will surely give you relief. You just have to give a little time in doing so to achieve better results.

If you want to make your headlights as catchy as possible, mixing toothpaste with baking soda can help turn the oxidized, yellow headlights to their original color.

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