How To Clean And Restore Headlights

How To Clean And Restore Headlights?

Is it possible to learn how to clean and restore headlights on your own? Of course, it is indeed an easy task that you can perform without seeking the help of external sources. But, unfortunately, most users think that replacing the headlight is the only option.

However, this is not true. You can use readily available items at your home to perform this task. Apart from household items, you can use several advanced methods to clean and restore your headlights. All of them are simplified procedures, which you can apply effectively.

Why Do Headlights Turn Foggy?

It is necessary to understand the factors that cause the fogginess and haze in headlights. Furthermore, it will provide you with more insight into the process of cleaning. The major reasons as to why headlights turn foggy are:

Chemical And Dirt Deposits From Road

You will observe fogginess on the glass of your headlights upon constant road travel. That is due to the accumulation of particles, commonly called ‘road salt.’ Several dirt particles and chemicals such as magnesium chloride will settle on the glass.

Moreover, this is a dangerous situation creating glare in the visibility of the riders coming from the opposite side. This debris causes a lot of fogginess in the glass.

Chemicals In The Atmosphere

Acid rain is another causative factor. It contains pollutants that include paint particles and coatings. When these materials constantly come in contact with your car, it damages the glass quality of headlights.

Polycarbonates are one of the major materials that corrode the surface of the glass. The National Acid Precipitation Program provides reports that elaborately describe the damage caused by them.

UV Light Oxidation

You can observe a yellowish tinge on the headlights upon prolonged usage. The causative factor behind this condition is oxidation. When sunlight shines on the acrylic glass, it causes minor cracks on the outer plastic layer.

Water Vapor

Although manufacturers make headlights with a water-proof cover, they are prone to cracks. That will lead to the formation of condensation on the inside of the glass. It will further impede the visibility at night-time.

You should be aware of how to clean and restore headlights as hazy glass leaves a lot of scope for danger. Moreover, this also acts as a source of distraction for drivers coming from the opposite side.

How to Clean And Restore Headlights

There are multiple methods that you can use to resolve the fogginess issue in your headlights. Most of these methods involve the usage of household products, making them more convenient for you.

You should perform some basic steps before beginning the actual process. That includes cleaning the glass with water and soap. That will remove all the surface-level impurities. Therefore, the further steps will become easier and less time-consuming.

Now, you can begin with the different ways of cleaning. The various approaches include:

Using Toothpaste

Toothpaste has a variety of benefits when it comes to cleaning purposes. However, if the damage is in it is early stages, this is the technique you should opt for.

First, apply some toothpaste onto a piece of cloth. Then, gently rub it onto the glass in a circular motion. You can keep checking if you require more amounts of toothpaste. This step will remove the protective coating of the glass.

Next, you should apply a sealant. Silicone sealants are the best option for this requirement. You can easily find them online. This method will work best for glasses damaged due to road salt.

Using Baking Soda Mixture

The usage of baking soda paste will solve the issue of yellowed glass. You can use a wet cloth to apply this mixture to the outer region at first, and it will remove the damaged plastic covering and clear the fogginess.

You can repeat the same procedure on the inside of the glass as well if it is hazy. However, you should be careful not to touch the bulb, as it might get damaged due to contact.

Using Vinegar

Vinegar is another household cleaning agent that has the potential to clear the haze in your car lights. You can remove the glass from your headlights and immerse it in white vinegar for about an hour.

After this step, you can use a textured cloth to rub the glass in circular motions. That will remove any impurities that are left behind.

Using Sandpaper

Sandpaper is one of the best solutions when you wish to learn how to clean and restore headlights that are extremely clouded. The rugged texture that it provides will eliminate most of the debris and road salt present on the glass’s surface.

However, you need to be careful not to cause scratches on the surface of the glass through this process. First, rub the glass with different sandpapers. The difference lies in the abrasive capacity of each paper. You should begin with the most abrasive variant and proceed to the least.

Furthermore, you need to be aware of the direction in which you rub. Always rub in opposite directions to minimize scratching. Finally, you can use a wax polish or vegetable oil to smoothen out the minor scratches.


Hence, you can use this guide that will offer you information on how to clean and restore headlights. The methods in this compilation are easy and effective. Therefore, you will be able to resolve the issue on your own.

If you are preparing for winter driving, along with restoring your headlights, you might also want to get the best tire chains for a smooth drive.