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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.

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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

  • Toothpaste
  • Scouring pad
  • Handheld buffer
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Lint-free cotton cloth
  • Paste car wax

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