It is important to keep your headlights clean and clear to avoid getting involved in car accidents. While toothpaste is usually known to clean your teeth, it can be super useful for cleaning your vehicle’s headlights.
The process is very simple, and all you need to clean your headlights is a regular toothpaste, a piece of cloth, water, tape, any glass cleaner of your choice, and a UV-Resistant Sealant.
In this article, we will walk you through a step-by-step on how to clean headlights with toothpaste.
Before starting the cleaning process, there are a couple of things you need to do to prepare your headlights for the cleaning, including:
Washing off your headlights
Prepare your headlights by wiping them off using a small piece of cloth and a couple of glass cleaner of your choice.
First, wipe down any chunks of dirt or dust with your wet cloth. Then spray some of the glass cleaners on and wipe it down thoroughly.
Wipe it down
Once you have finished washing your headlight, it is best to wipe it down with a dry cloth or towel. Make sure you use a lint-free towel to prevent any leftover dust on your headlight, which can stick on instantly and become harder to clean over time.
It is possible to apply the toothpaste when the headlight still contains water to create a bubbly substance like soap, but the choice is yours.
Tape around the headlight
Place tape around your headlight to prevent anything from touching the outside area. We recommend you use painter’s tape or automotive masking tape for better performance.
The reason for taping around the headlights is that you don’t need the toothpaste to damage your vehicle's outer layer. Thus, you want to confirm all the area around the headlights is completely taped and separated before getting started.
Cleaning with Toothpaste
At this point, your headlights should be good to go for applying the toothpaste. Now, follow the next steps:
Apply your toothpaste
After you have completed the preparation, apply your toothpaste either on the towel or a piece of cloth, or you can put it right on the plastic-covered headlight. Then slowly spread the toothpaste in a circular motion, covering the whole area.
If you are aiming for brand-new-like headlights, it’s time for you to start scrubbing. Use a ruff material for a deeper clean, like a sponge. You will need to scrub in a circular motion to dig out any stubborn scraps and dirt.
After a few minutes, you should start noticing your headlight is getting cleaner already.
Rinse with warm water
Now, rinse off your headlights with warm water using a bucket, hose, or spray bottle. Then, take off the tape around the headlights.
It is recommended that you perform a second round of warm water wash off for your headlights and the outer side to take off any toothpaste that escaped the tape. Ignoring this step might result in toothpaste stains in the area around the headlights, which you don’t want to deal with or see.
Apply UV-resistant sealant
Take a piece of cloth and dip it into the UV-Resistant sealant. Then, apply your sealant to the outer layer of both your headlights in a straight line motion. Make sure to cover up the whole headlight unless specified only to create one coat of the sealant.
The UV-Resistant sealant's main role is to protect your headlights from the sun’s rays resulting in headlights oxidation that could harm your headlights.
You can find UV-Resistant Sealant at any car repair shop near you. You are also able to find it at any gas station, convenience stores, and supercenters.
Make sure your vehicle is placed near lots of sunlight. You should leave your vehicle for around 10-45 minutes for it to fully set and become strongly resistant. Depending On the kind of UV-Resistant Sealant, the time for it to set will differ from others, so make sure to check how long your needs.
If you own a UV lamp, it will speed up the process and set your UV-Resistant sealant in under 10-15 minutes. After you have completed the process, make sure not to wash your car for at least 7-8 hours to prevent the coat of UV-Resistant Sealant from ripping off.
To prevent any extreme cluttering of dirt and scrap on your headlights, it is best to repeat this process about 2-3 times a month. Depending on how frequently you use your car, that is how many times you need to clean your headlights.
What kind of toothpaste cleans headlights?
In general, any toothpaste type can be used to clean your foggy headlights. However, some specialists recommend cleaning your headlights with a toothpaste that contains baking soda.
Why do you need to clean your headlights?
Maintaining good visibility when driving is very crucial for safety purposes. Overtime of use and depending on your driving environment, your headlights collect dirt and dust, affecting their performance.
While many people might think of replacing their headlights as they get dim, they should clean the headlights using one of the common materials like toothpaste. By doing that, there is a high chance of restoring the bright condition of their headlights without paying a penny installing a new light.
There are a lot of benefits for cleaning your car’s headlights regularly, including:
- Provide a better vision, especially at night time
- Make your night driving experience much better
- Increase the lifespan of your headlights
- Make your vehicle look newer
How can I Make My Headlights Brighter?
One of the easiest ways to brighten your headlights is by replacing the bulb you currently use with a LED or HID.
LED bulbs are one of the brightest types of lights and have a pure white glow, unlike others with a yellowish tinted glow. They are %500 brighter and stay ten times longer than any other light bulbs.
On the other hand, the HID light bulbs are a little less impressive. If you cannot get the LED light bulb, your second option should be the HID. They can last five times longer than any other light bulbs and are three times stronger.
There are LED and HID kits that allow you to change your bulb to the type of light you desire. You may find these kits at any mechanic or repair shop near you.
What materials can be used to clean your headlights?
You can use different types of material to clean your foggy, dirty, or even oxidized headlights. Some of these common materials include:
Glass cleaner and automotive polish
A polishing compound kit
How much does restoring your headlights cost?
The price of cleaning the headlights depends on the method you prefer to use. Some people prefer to use simple household products like toothpaste, which costs them between $7 and $12.
Other people use sandpaper, wax, sealant, or polishing compound, which costs between $30 and $40.
Some more fancy kits provide faster results, including a polishing compound, a sealant, a buffing pad, a lubricant, and a microfiber piece of towel. This kit usually costs between $10 and $20.
Finally, if you are one of those who don’t feel comfortable or don’t have the time to clean their headlights, it makes more sense for you to have your rights restored by a professional mechanic.
In that case, expect to pay between $75 and $100 per one set of headlights.
Examples of headlights cleaning kits
There is a long list of headlight cleaning kits available in the market. Here are the top ten headlights restoration kits of 2020:
- Cerakote Ceramic Headlights Restoration Kit
- Chemical Guys GAP11516 Headlight Restore and Protect
- Armor All Car Headlights Cleaner Wipes
- 3M Headlight Renewal
- Cerakote Ceramic Trim Coat & Headlight Restoration Kits
- Rust-Oleum HDLCAL Wipe New Headlights Restore
- OPT7 Headlights Restoration Kit w/excl Ceramic Nu Coating Professional Detailers Grade
- Rust-Oleum Wipe New Headlights Restore Kit Cleaner Renew & Protect
- Mothers NuLens DIY Headlight Restoration Kit Powerball Polish Dull Cloudy Lights
- Headlight Cleaner Renewer h22 Car Truck SUV Lens Restoration Polish Kit
It is important to maintain clean headlights to avoid prevent safety issues. Over time of use, your headlights can collect dust and dirt, reducing your headlights' performances, especially at night.
Toothpaste is a great way to solve your problems and by far one of the easiest and cheapest ways to clean headlights. The regular type of toothpaste includes abrasives that break down oxidation caused by the sun’s rays.
There are eight steps on how to clean your headlights with toothpaste. This process is inexpensive and could be done by anyone.
Using just toothpaste and a piece of cloth two to three times a month, you can maintain healthy headlights, make your vehicle look newer, save on installing a new light, and others.