How To Clean Car Headlights? (3 Easy Methods)

Remember your brand-new car with those spotless, crystal-clear headlights? While the business of life kept you sharp in other areas, your car headlights started to develop a certain tint of yellow haze. Now that you notice them, you wonder if it’s too late.

Is there anything you can do about it without spending a lot? Replacing them would be an unwise financial decision, but you do need them back to their original brilliance. Here are 3 solutions that are sure to shine a light on how to clean them right.

How To Clean Car Headlights with Toothpaste?

If the headlight haze hasn’t become a major issue, and you’ve caught it in the initial stages, this is a good in-house DIY to maintain your car headlights.

Step 1. Get a foil of toothpaste and a clean cloth. Add a good amount of paste to the cloth.

Step 2. Use this cloth to scrub the headlights for a couple of minutes. Scrubbing in circular motions works best.

Step 3. Dampen the cloth with plain warm water.

Step 4. Wipe clean the headlights. If needed, repeat the process multiple times as per your requirement.

MORE: How to Repair Dim Headlights?

How To Clean Car Headlights

How To Clean Car Headlights with Sandpaper and Polishing Compound?

Step 1. Wash and Sand Horizontally

  • Wash the cloudy headlight with warm soapy water.
  • Rinse with plenty of clear water, then let it dry.
  • Then mask the area around the lens so you don’t scratch the paint.
  • Soak the sheets of sandpaper in water, then start with the grit that suits your situation.
  • Sand in one direction. With sandpaper, the higher the number, the finer the grit. If the headlight is just dull or yellowed, start with the 1,500 grit and work up to the 2,500 grits. If there are light scratches, start with the 1,000-grit paper.

Step 2. Rinse and Sand Vertically

Rinse and change direction with the next grit. Keep doing this until you’re finished with the 2,500-grit paper.

Step 3. Buff the Lens with Polish

  • Wash the headlight with plenty of clear, cool water and dry.
  • Wet one corner of the flannel cloth with the polishing compound.
  • Using firm pressure, polish the headlight in a circular pattern until it becomes smooth and clear.

Step 4. Polish the Lens

Allow the polish to dry, then use the clean end of the cloth to buff off any polish residue.

Repeat the polishing process.

Depending on the damage to the headlamp, small areas may still appear foggy. Try repolishing only those spots with polishing compounds. Buff the area again and inspect. The lens should look perfectly clear!

  • To keep foggy headlights clear, wash often with a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush or sponge, flush with plenty of water and dry.
  • Never clean clear plastic with wax, polish or any chemical that’s not formulated for the task. And that is how to clean headlights yourself!
  • Working on a vehicle can be intimidating for non-mechanic types, but some DIY car maintenance is surprisingly easy.

MORE: How to Replace Car Headlights Bulbs?

How To Clean Car Headlights by Using Wd-40?

Step 1. Wipe the headlights for surface-level dust and muck with a damp cloth

Step 2. Spray a generous layer of WD-40 over the headlights and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. While you wait, the specially engineered solution will expertly get under the buildup and muck, making your next step easier.

Step 3. Take a soft, clean loofah and scrub the headlights gently. Next, just wipe the headlights with a clean cloth, and you’re done. An added advantage of using WD-40 is that it doesn’t just help give your car headlights a brand-new shine, it also adds a protective coating over it, that makes the shine last much longer!