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How to Use Toothpaste to Clean Your Headlights

Updated on June 19, 2013

I just learned this nifty little trick a few months ago but honestly had forgotten all about it until I noticed my headlights were looking "foggy" again.

I decided to try it again and to my pleasant surprise; realized it wasn't a fluke that it had worked the first time!

This, as with anything else, is not a complete guarantee that your headlights will look perfectly brand new but you will be able to see the difference which means others on the road will too.

What You Will Need

1 Tube of Fluoride Toothpaste

4 Washcloths (2 for each headlight)

How to Apply Toothpaste to Headlight

Squeeze a generous amount of toothpaste to a washcloth.

Spread the toothpaste over the headlight in a circular motion until the entire headlight is covered.

Using a damp, but not soaking washcloth, rub the toothpaste off the headlight, again in a circular motion.

With the other side of the washcloth, clean the remaining toothpaste excess off of the headlight in a straight across motion.

Repeat with other headlight.

Keeping your headlights clean and clear will help ensure others see you on the road.
Keeping your headlights clean and clear will help ensure others see you on the road.

More Car Care Tips

Some of these you may know and some you may not:

1) Use newspaper with the window cleaner instead of cloths that leave streaks and cloth particles behind. Newspaper is an effective, non-streaking method to cleaning your windows. (Including the mirrors and rims)

2) Use a Q-Tip to reach the creases you can't reach with a cleaning pad. Use them for the vents, the gear shift crease and those coin slots that typically hold more "gook" than coins.

3) Cut up old t-shirts to wipe down your rims. Even the softest washcloths can cause scratching of your rims and you didn't pay good money to have that happen!

4) When at the car wash, skip the hand brush. Yes, the brushes are a quick and easy way to scrub down your vehicle but they also scratch your vehicle AND eat up your time. If you use a chamois or drying cloth to dry your car off, you are removing more than the brush will anyway (and less spots left behind).

5) Save money on the air fresheners that hang from the rear view mirror. They don't last that long anyway. Buy a small bottle of your favorite body spray and spray the car whenever you are wanting that refreshing smell.

What Did You Think?

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    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      Sydneyspence, it would take a long time to tell you because I just replaced the foggy headlights a few months ago. They had turned yellowish.

    • sydneyspence profile imageAUTHOR

      Sydney Spence 

      5 years ago from Austin Texas

      Hi WalterPoon! Yes, fluoride toothpaste works the best ~ a lot of the exterior fogginess is on the outside though the interior can get pretty fogged up too! Let me know how it works for you!

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      Sydneyspence, I was always under the impression that the fogginess of the headlamps are due to the inside surface, rather than the outside. Should give your method a try one day! Must be it fluoride toothpaste, or any type will do?

    • hardlymoving profile image


      5 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Some good advice. What I use is a buffing wheel with a fine abrasive polish/compound set at a low speed. With light pressure and constant movement, most of the plastic oxidation get rubbed away. The common mistake people make is buffing at a high speed with too much pressure. The plastic headlights get warm and reduces the cutting action of the abrasive. Next time I try using toothpaste and see what happens. Also, you can also start with 3000 grit wet sandpaper to get the heavy oxidation off.


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