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This Bathroom Staple Can Clean Your Car’s Cloudy Headlights

A person holds a toothbrush in front of a car.
Cautivante.co/Shutterstock.com

You’ve washed your car, and everything looks shiny and new—except the headlights. If they’re looking cloudier than the rest of your perfectly clean vehicle, the solution is in your bathroom.

It might seem farfetched, but you can actually use toothpaste to clean cloudy, dirty headlights. Headlights are made of plastic or a material called polycarbonate. Even if you maintain your car well, over time, the material will get cloudy due to oxidation from things like atmospheric changes and road debris.

Luckily, for an easy fix, you can just grab a tube of toothpaste, and follow these steps:

  1. Wash your headlights with a soapy cloth, and then rinse with clean water.
  2. After they’ve dried completely, apply some masking or painter’s tape around the edges of the light to protect the paint from the abrasiveness of the toothpaste.
  3. Dampen a cloth, squeeze a bit of toothpaste on it, and then scrub the surface of your headlights in small circles adding more water and toothpaste as you go.
  4. Rinse with water and allow the headlights to dry once again.

For those who want something a bit more efficient and specifically designed for the job, there are headlight kits. Many include a scrubber, cleaning agent, and sealer. Basically, it’s everything you need and can basically guarantee stellar results.

Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit

Get your headlights sparkling.

Perhaps the most important part of the cleaning process, though, is sealing the headlight. If you use toothpaste and not an official kit, you’re buffing away the oxidized layer. Unless you reseal it, the oxidation will just return. Products like Blue Magic easily cover the headlight and protect it after each cleaning.

If you’ve noticed your headlights going foggy, it might be another thing to add to your spring cleaning to-do list.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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