Introduction: Clean Your Hazy Headlights With Toothpaste

Picture of Clean Your Hazy Headlights With Toothpaste

Here's one trick that every car owner should know! Remember the day when you bought your car, everything was squeaky clean. 5 years later, you'll realize that your headlights are covered with cloudy dirt, cleaning it with soap isn't enough. The solution; toothpaste!

When we went out of town on a road trip, my dad noticed that the light coming from our headlights seem to be faint and diffused. When we finally got home, I noticed this cloudy haze on our headlights. Cleaning the car is one of my chores.

On the other day, I was asked by my dad to try to find and find way of cleaning the hazy headlights. I googled for solutions then I suddenly I came across jessyratfink's write-up, I gave it a try and it worked like Magic!

I'm kinda' starting my YouTube channel so I decided to make this video. BTW, thanks to everyone who supported my previous YouTube project, it turned out to be successful. There's more to come! :D

Step 1: Things You'll Need

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All you need is a foil of toothpaste and a clean piece of cloth (microfiber works well).

Step 2: Squeeze Some Toothpaste!

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Squeeze out enough toothpaste on your finger tip then wipe it on the cloth.

Step 3: Scrub & Buff

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Don't add some water yet! using a cloth, scrub the tooth paste in an elliptical motion.

Step 4: Clean & Dampen Your Cloth

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Go to your sink then dampen your cloth with water. Just water.

Step 5: ​Rinse Your Headlights

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Go back to your car and scrub it again, this time with a damp piece of cloth.

Step 6: Wipe It!

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When your done with the scrubbing, wipe it!

Step 7: Voila!

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Your headlights will look brand new! Just like magic! :D


That's how toothpaste keeps out mouths clean! LOLs :))


KristiRae (author)2016-08-30

I live in Florida and have done this to our headlights. I used cheap arm & hammer toothpaste. The white not the gel. They looked good for about a year before it needed it again and still wasn't as bad as when I initially did it.

ladyloni53 (author)2016-07-29

I used the toothpaste. I looked great for 10 seconds and then it went cloudy again. Has this happened to anyone else?

PatrickC174 (author)2016-06-27

You are a genius!! Just used some cheap Wilkinsons toothpaste my other half bought which was disgusting, worked a treat on the hazy headlights of a car I'm going to sell, fantastic results and saved a mint not buying a special kit and I've nearly got rid of the vile toothpaste, double whammy!!

jasperu81 (author)2015-11-19

I tried the toothpaste to restore my headlights on my 07 Jetta and it worked but only lasted about a week before they faded again, so I looked around for a new product that was one step and easy to use, so I asked a professorial car detailer in my area what he used and he gave me a sample of this stuff called Lenz Clear It worked amazing. I just wiped away the oxidation and its been three months and my headlights are still clear. Hope this helps, Here is there info to see for yourself

JodiStar (author)2014-11-19

mine are hazy from the inside so it didn't really work for me :/

Juiceguy (author)2014-11-19

Great music!

What is it?

ASCAS (author)Juiceguy2014-11-19

Jazz in Paris :))

coni55 (author)2014-11-15

thank you verymuch , very useful.

ke4rjg (author)2014-10-26

The hazing is typically caused by UV exposure. From the factory, there is a UV protective clear-coat on the plastic. Over time, the clear coat wears off. The paste, while polishing the plastic, can also strip off what remains of the protective finish. To keep the plastic from quickly forming a new haze, you need to spray on a new layer of clear coat. It's available at any auto supply store.

ac-dc (author)ke4rjg2014-10-28

It doesn't quickly form a new haze. It slowly forms a new haze that you can polish off quickly about once a year when you detail your ride, or go about 3 years between touch ups if you apply the coating.

If you apply the coating then you must fully remove it the next time you touch them up, then reapply it again, so it's a bit of a wash whether it really helps or is about the same labor in total but with additional cost.

thundrepance (author)ac-dc2014-11-09

yikes! THANK-YOU, ac-dc!!

thundrepance (author)ke4rjg2014-10-28

thanx, ke4'! i have a can of "rustoleum clear lacquer 2x" @ home. do you think that would work?

ke4rjg (author)thundrepance2014-10-29

Probably. Look for a comment for UV protection on the can. I also suggest you practice before spraying the lens. Getting a good coating can be tricky. When I did it, there was a little crazing of the coating when I put it on a little too thick, but it was still much better than the fogged lens I started with. That was about 3 years ago. Maybe its gotten a little hazier since then, but not much.

I'll bet the car wax trick would also work well and probably be easier to apply.

DSFud (author)ke4rjg2014-11-09

You also need to be aware of the dispersant used in the spray as it may react with the plastic, look for something that is safe on plastics.

thundrepance (author)ke4rjg2014-10-29

yeah, great; i think i'll wax, cuz when i sprayed my jewelry & hung it up to dry, it didn't craze, but it slumped to a thick bulb of lacquer @ the bottom of each silver charm [they look cheap & crappy now]. i can just imagine my luck spraying lacquer on a big, plastic lens & having it settle in a permanent, bulbous pouch {might distort light, too}! thank-you, again :D

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-10-26

That's such a cool trick. I had no idea toothpaste had more than the "normal" use. The headlights looks like new, I wonder how much brighter it makes the headlights.

Oh, you have to try this! It makes a huge difference :D

way brighter, but depending how bad your lights are. i did mine but with the 3M kit you can by. it uses a cutting polish and super fine sand paper and a drill. i'm gonna try the toothpaste on my truk next.

Eh Lie Us! (author)mjupiter12014-10-28

Wow! that's a huge difference.

You can also use toothpaste to remove small scratches from CDs and DVDs.

suomy.nona.14 (author)2014-10-29

remember the keyword here:

toothpaste is an abrasive which removes any remaining UV protection remaining on the lense, which causes the oxidation to occour much more quickly than previously. using any abrasive methods to clear oxidised lenses will result in you needing to repeat the treatment approximately monthly in future.

by using a chemical treatment (i use Meguiar's brand lense cleaner) you will only need to do it once ever 6 months or so.
having said that, if your lenses are that old, its time to replace them.

doo da do (author)suomy.nona.142014-10-29

I checked the price for mine, $100.00 each. No budget for that. Doodado

over-coating your lenses with automotive clearcoat is sure to ruiin them in the long runb (you will need to abrade through this layer next time) but there are specific products made to restore the actual UV layer once the lense has been polished

jbaccus (author)2014-10-28

I tried the toothpaste method on mine a while back, but didn't make much of a difference. Mine had a yellow "haze" to them. Saw another video where the guy used Repel Max 40 with 40% Deet, so took a chance with that. It worked great. The yellow haze came right off, almost look like new again. I might try to toothpaste method now to see if I can get that "exra shine" out of them now though.

llinschied (author)jbaccus2014-10-29

I've hear why you use Repel Max 40 with 40% Deet, the haze comes back and it's even worse than before. Did that happen to yours?

jbaccus (author)llinschied2014-10-29

Hasn't yet. Been two months now. But if it does, I will re-post. So far almost good as new.

solo69 (author)2014-10-29

lo voy a probar, creo que lo único que hace falta después de esto es poner una capa de cera y listo.....


I'll try, I think all you need after that is to put a layer of car wax and ready .....

Thank you.

dpomazov (author)2014-10-29

What do you do for a car? Five years of car lights dim! I have a Mazda Demio 10 years car - headlights transparent, and not something I did with them!

cvogt1 (author)dpomazov2014-10-29

That's great, where do you live? Sun may be weak and not haze headlights

BetsyFartBlossom (author)2014-10-29

Well, all I have to say is that is one awesome sink! Love it!:P)

mythicalbyrd (author)2014-10-29

I've tried this before, but it didn't work for me. YMMV. I recommend the kit that Sylvania makes for cleaning headlights.

(Nice instructable though. Your photoset tells a story.)

roger.k.mathers (author)2014-10-29

Yes this will clean the haze, but unless you clear coat the lens, it will be worse than it was very soon

There is also a protective film available ebay etc., works well after haze is removed to keep the lens clear

Soughthorizon9 (author)2014-10-29

how long do the clear results last? The 3m kits didn't last nearly as long as I thought it would, then the lights went hazy again.

ibuddah (author)2014-10-28

Works like a charm.

keith15229 (author)2014-10-28

Wait a minute, you forgot to floss!!!!!!

ElectroFrank (author)2014-10-28

Alternatives: Metal Polish or Bath Cleaner, both of which usually contain very fine abrasive.

mdodd2 (author)2014-10-28

Be sure to use paste. Gel doesn't work as well.

paskall (author)2014-10-28

nice one but for the last step we say voila not viola :D

ccooper-burke (author)paskall2014-10-28


BakersfieldBoy (author)2014-10-28

Because I swing on the lazy side of things, I use the same abrasive principle, but use a vibrating sander and an old sock. Works perfectly, your idea,.....but in like, 5 seconds,......!

onemoroni1 (author)2014-10-28

Soft scrub works too. I use car wax afterwards.

Sashanbad (author)2014-10-28


Sashanbad (author)2014-10-28


roughingitsmoothly (author)2014-10-26

you need an abrasive toothpaste to those who say it doesn't work. But if you don't put clear over it it will just yellow shortly after.

ac-dc (author)roughingitsmoothly2014-10-28

False. It will take several months to slightly get cloudy again, perhaps less time if you park with the lenses directly in the sun all day long. It will take about 3X as long with the clear coat on but the added work of putting it on then stripping it off every time you do a touch up means the clear cote didn't do much except cost you extra money.

liljon944 (author)2014-10-26

Doesn't work

ASCAS (author)liljon9442014-10-27

Like what "roughingitsmoothly" said, you need an abrasive toothpaste :))

StevenH1 (author)ASCAS2014-10-28

how do you know what toothpaste is abrasive and what is not

ac-dc (author)StevenH12014-10-28

More abrasive toothpastes are generally labeled as whitening, tartar control, or smoker's toothpaste. However you are better off just buying a product specifically designed to polish plastic.

I know it's ironic but the best thing to polish plastic is called "Plastic Polish" and it's not hard to find. It may cost a couple dollars more than the toothpaste but in the grand scheme of things, including total cost to own a vehicle and less labor to use the right product, $2 over several years is nothing.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I'm Angelo! I am a 18 y/o college sophomore taking my majors in BS-ECE at the DLSU. I use my course as ... More »
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