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How to Restore Foggy Headlight Lenses With Toothpaste

by Jennifer Hudock

Dust and oxidation build-up from driving can leave your headlight lenses looking foggy. Foggy headlights can impair your driving by dimming lighting and cutting down the range of your headlights. There are a number of expensive ways to clean the film and fog from your headlight lenses, but you can also clean your headlights at home using toothpaste.


Squeeze toothpaste generously onto the headlight. Use between 1/4 and 1/2 of the tube on one headlight.


Smear the toothpaste around on the headlight with a scouring pad, covering the entire surface of the light.


Buff the headlight thoroughly with a handheld buffing tool. You can also buff by hand, using the scouring pad; however, a buffing tool will get the job done more quickly.


Rinse the headlight clean by pouring warm water over it and then drying with a lint-free cotton cloth. Repeat the process on the opposite side.


Wax the headlights with a paste car wax and buff them again to keep dust and residue from building up on your headlights between cleanings.


  • In cases where the fog is building up on the inside of your headlights, you may need to drill a small hole in the side of the light to release moisture and deter it from building up on the plastic.
  • Toothpastes containing baking soda and peroxide may provide better results.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.

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  • Laura Vryhof/Demand Media