page title icon How To Clean Headlights With Toothpaste – Ultimate Guide

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how to clean headlights with toothpaste

Headlights are an imperative safety element in vehicles. The last thing to bother when driving in rainy or windy weather is dirty car headlights. While the former can sometimes be unavoidable and exasperating, dealing with them is certainly possible.

Before one heads out to restore their headlights, they must consider restoring them by giving some DIYs a try. The same is inexpensive and will save the hassle of driving to the nearest service store to get the replacement done.

In this article, we will discuss how one can clean headlights with toothpaste. Keep reading ahead to learn how.

What Kind Of Toothpaste Cleans Headlights?

Regular white toothpaste would do. Try avoiding the use of gel tubes of toothpaste.

How Long Do You Let Toothpaste Sit On Headlights?

One can let toothpaste sit on the headlights for about a minute or two, and you must continue to buff it all over the surface to do its job well.

Clean Car Headlights With Toothpaste (Preparation)

Let us see how one can clean and restore headlights with all things from your home. Akin to how toothpaste can remove the enamel and food off your teeth, it can cleanse headlights’ surface and remove the dirt and grime immensely. Here is how One can do this.

Pre-Wash The Headlights

You will have to pre-wash the headlights well. Spray/ pour water over the surface of the headlights. After that, apply a cleaning liquid. You can also use Windex. Once done, wipe off the product residue, if any using a clean microfiber cloth.

Apply Toothpaste

Now that the headlights are partially wet apply white toothpaste atop them to produce a good lather. You can also choose to completely dry the headlights and then apply the toothpaste. However, for the sake of lather, I prefer to do it this way.

Scrub, Scrub, Scrub!

Use a damp cloth, paper towel, or an old toothbrush and scrub the headlights’ surface with medium pressure. One can also use a Dremel on the low setting for this purpose. Again, do not be too harsh, but make sure you buff the toothpaste onto the headlight well. If needed, you can also go for two coats of toothpaste.

red toothbrush

Rinse It Off

Rinse off with water and buff with a lint-free cloth. Yes, there comes the final reveal.

Apply UV protection

Use a UV protection product on the headlights now that they are all dry and clean. You can also use polish. This step is recommended to prevent the yellowing of the headlights.

How Often Should I Clean Car Headlights With Toothpaste?

From our personal experience, cleaning car headlights once every three to four months is good enough.

How To Clean Foggy Headlights?

For cleaning foggy headlights, one can follow the same procedure from steps 1 to 4 as listed above. These steps can then be followed up by a polish procedure for which will be discussed shortly after.

How To Polish Headlights?

Sanding headlights can help eliminate the yellow layer atop the headlights’ surface and make them immensely clear. Polishing headlights can make them shiny, prevent yellowing and act as a surface protectant to increase the material’s longevity. Polishing headlights will require wet and dry sandpaper, latex gloves, masking tape, flannel polishing cloth, and of course, plastic polish.

Moisten The Sandpaper

Soak the sandpaper in water. Meanwhile, you can carry out steps 1 to 4 listed above if your headlights aren’t clean.


Begin sanding with low grit sandpaper. 1000 grit is good for a start—sand in one direction. One can gradually proceed towards sanding with sandpaper for more grit.

Go for 1500 grit and eventually 2500 grit when needed. 1000 grit sandpaper is good for light scratches. Each time you change the sandpaper, change the direction of sanding too.

For example, if until now you were sanding with a 1000 grit sandpaper vertically upwards, you should now sand horizontally with a 1500 grit sandpaper. Finish off the process with 2500 grit sandpaper.

using sandpapaper to clean headlights

Wash And Dry

Use water to wash the headlight thoroughly and let it dry.


Apply a bit of polish to the flannel cloth. Use this cloth in a circular motion on the headlight to polish it. Polish will make it shiny and clear.

Air Dry

Let the polish air dry. Once it is dry, use a clean cloth to buff off the polish residue, if any. Repeat the process when and where required.

How To Apply A Sealant?

Here is how one can apply a butyl headlamp sealant to headlights.

Remove The Existing Sealant

First things first, one needs to get rid of the old sealant. This step can be time-consuming; hence doing it on the weekend would be our recommendation. Once the headlights have been opened and are ready to reseal, start removing the old sealant residue. Skipping on this step is unrecommended because this will ensure a water-tight seal.

Insert New Sealant

Insert the automotive-grade butyl into the headlight’s housing channel. The butyl must be pressed firmly to avoid any gap. Once this is done, please get rid of the excess or unwanted parts by trimming them.

Heat the housing to make the butyl warm. When the butyl is heated, One must carefully remove the headlight from the oven. Now, firmly press the housing and the lens together. Next, reinstall the screws in place. They are imperative for ensuring the housing stays together.

Press The Housing

Make use of locking pliers to press the housing at maximum places and points. Pressing with pliers is done to ensure a firm seal. The housing must now be placed into the oven again. Heat it for another 5-6 minutes at 250 degrees. The butyl will now fully seal the headlight housing. Remove the headlights and let them cool before installing them on the vehicle.

Install Breathers

If needed, one can also install breather patches. They are rather easy to apply and keep condensation and water out.

How To Use A DIY Headlight-Restoration Kit?

Headlight restoration kits available in the market are effective but tend to be expensive too. A headlight restoration kit typically costs anything between $15-$20 or more. Let us see how one can use them effectively.

It is imperative to carefully follow all the directions mentioned on the product packaging for achieving desirable results. Hence, the first step would be to carefully go through all the instructions.

Do Toothpaste And Baking Soda Clean Headlights?

Well, we would like to hear your views on this once you have tried out these DIYs. So ask us; it certainly works because it has been working so far for us.

Wrap Up

Did you find answers to what you were looking for? If you choose to give DIY a try, get back here and type the experience in the comment section. Thank you so much for your attention and participation.

Also, do not forget to share the article with friends and family likely to find the above information handy. Finally, let us know what more you want to read, and we would be happy to bring the same forth for you.