How Can I Clean My Car’s Headlights?

Car's Headlights

One of your car’s most crucial components is its headlights because, without them, you won’t be able to see anything while driving at night.

Because even a thin layer of grime can significantly reduce your headlights’ brightness, it is crucial that you regularly clean them.

Fortunately, cleaning your car’s headlights is a fairly simple task, and there are many available solutions. In fact, toothpaste can be used to remove any accumulated layers of muck and dirt. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about maintaining the headlights on your car.

Why Are Clean Headlights Required?

A car’s headlights must always be kept as spotless as possible for safety reasons. The less effectively your car’s headlights can illuminate the road in front of you, the more dirt there is blocking the light they emit. It might also be more difficult for oncoming traffic and other road users to see you, depending on how much dirt is covering the lenses of your car’s headlights.
If the police believe that your car’s headlights are so filthy that they pose a serious safety risk, they may even pull you over and issue you a fine right away.

Can I Clean My Headlights With A Car Headlight Washer?

Today’s vehicles frequently come equipped with headlight washers that squirt water onto the headlamp when the front bumper retracts the nozzle. These, while useful for cleaning any loose dirt from your car’s headlights, are less successful at getting rid of thicker layers of dirt and grime that have accumulated on the lens.

Keep in mind that for your headlight washes to be most effective, you’ll also need to make sure they’re in top working condition. For instance, the nozzle jets themselves can get clogged with dirt. As a result, it’s best to regularly check that your headlight washers are in good shape.

How Should Plastic Headlights Be Cleaned?

When cleaning headlights, oxidation is one of the biggest issues you face. This happens when the covering that protects your plastic headlights wears off, leaving them vulnerable to UV rays, chemicals, and road debris. All of these can result in the yellowing of your lights, but there are ways to fix it. This article demonstrates how to clean yellow headlights using two unexpected household items. Read our article on how to wash your car if you want to focus on other parts of your vehicle.

Car's Headlights

How To Clean Oxidised Headlights With Toothpaste?

If the damage is internal or external, ascertain it before attempting this method. Although internal issues may require you to replace the headlight, external yellowing can be fixed.

  1. lean headlights with soapy water first.
  2. Use masking tape to shield the nearby paintwork after they have dried.
  3. Apply toothpaste to a damp cloth and wipe your headlights with it.
  4. Whenever necessary, add more water and toothpaste.
  5. To finish, wax after rinsing and letting it air dry.

Because toothpaste is only mildly abrasive, buffing car headlights with it won’t harm them.

How To Clean Foggy Headlights With White Vinegar?

In addition to using toothpaste and vinegar to clean headlights, vinegar also works very well. To clean headlights with vinegar, adhere to these steps:

  1. With hot, soapy water, remove dirt and grime.
  2. Pour a 3:1 mixture of water to white vinegar into a spray bottle.
  3. To remove the fog, apply your vinegar cleaner to the headlights and let them sit for about a minute.
  4. Remove using a soft cloth.
  5. Once dry, wax it to complete the cleaning process.

White vinegar can effectively remove grime and leave your headlights with a polished finish because it has a high acidity level. If white vinegar alone is insufficient to remove clean headlight fog, you can try combining white vinegar and baking soda in a 2:1 ratio and applying using the same technique as described above.

You can restore headlights to their gleaming best now that you know how to clean them to remove fog and yellowing. Who would have thought that the best way to clean headlights was right there in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets? 

  • Start by washing with soapy water.
  • To safeguard paintwork and seals, tape the area around your headlights.
  • Apply your chosen cleaning agent with a soft cloth.
  • Rinse thoroughly, pat dry, and repeat as necessary.
  • Wax to finish.

How To Clean Car Headlights Using A Headlight Cleaner Kit?

Many manufacturers of car cleaning supplies offer kits made especially for keeping headlights spotless for sale. Usually, these will come with sanding discs and cleaning agents that must be used with a high-speed drill.

It’s worth shopping around if you’d prefer to take this route because many brands produce their own distinctive car headlight cleaner kits, and prices can vary widely.

How To Clean Car Headlights On A Budget?

There are thankfully much more affordable ways to remove surface dirt from your car headlight lenses if you can’t quite afford a purpose-built cleaning kit and all the other equipment you’ll need for it. For instance, if you already manually wash your car with car shampoo, you can use that, a cloth, and some warm water to remove any grime.

Any water-based cleaning product should work if you don’t have any car shampoo on hand; just be sure to buff or wipe off any excess residue, as you’ll need to get the cloth and cleaning supplies out again to remove the mark it’ll leave when it dries.

It’s crucial to avoid using cleaning agents with acids or washing up liquid because they can harm the car’s headlights and any other parts they come into contact with.

What Else Can I Do To Maintain A Bright Beam From My Headlights?

Giving your car a once-over on a regular basis is a good way to make sure the headlights are functioning perfectly. To try this, you don’t even need to be handy with a set of tools; even if you can’t fix any issues you find, checking that your car’s headlights and other components are operating as they should be is a simple step you can take to keep it roadworthy.

It also goes without saying that since car shampoos are excellent at cleaning headlights, it is definitely worthwhile to give them a scrub down whenever you are washing your car. After all, why not ensure that your headlights are free of dirt and grime while you’re already cleaning the rest of the car?

Make sure there is no dirt covering other important safety components like your car’s license plate, door mirrors, wiper blades, and windows while you’re cleaning your car. Similar to headlights, if they are too dirty, they can be a safety hazard, and the police may even be able to issue you a fine because your vehicle is in an unsafe state.

Make sure that any cameras or sensors in your car that are used for driver assistance features like cruise control or parking assist are kept clean as well. This is because any dirt that covers them could prevent them from functioning as intended, which isn’t exactly ideal from a safety perspective.

Why Cleaning The Headlights Didn’t Work?

After cleaning them, if your car’s headlights still don’t shine brightly, there may be another factor making them less bright than usual. As an illustration, prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can result in the lens of a car headlight becoming cloudy or the headlight interior becoming condensation-covered. There are restoration kits available that can fix these for you; however, if the issue is severe or lingers, you might need to replace the headlight entirely.


To ensure you receive the most illumination, car headlight cleaning is necessary. Driving with poor visibility is a grave error that can also result in accidents. The likelihood of accidents is decreased when car headlights are properly cleaned because visibility is improved.

Lorraine Winnie

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