How to Clean Foggy Headlights: Easily Do It On Your Own

How to clean foggy headlights

Are you thinking of how to clean foggy headlights? Read this post and learn from the discussions below. I will help you to carry out this simple task quickly. There is no need to pay someone for the job. With a little time and effort to spare, it will not take long before your headlights will sparkle and provide the illumination that you need while on the road.

Cleaning your headlight is a routine you should not ignore. Aside from making the headlights look aesthetically-pleasing, this is also important for promoting your highest level of safety. This will significantly improve your vision, especially when driving at night. You will easily see hazards on the road and accidents can be prevented. It is one of the essentials for having a well-maintained car.

In the case of most headlights, the main material used is polycarbonate plastic. While it can deliver exceptional strength, it is inevitable that it will be cloudy over time. The harsh heat of the sun, dust, and other external elements can make it look hazy. With this, keep on reading and know more about how you can effectively clean your headlights.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial?

To clean your foggy headlights, here are some of the things that you need to have:

  • Toothpaste
  • Sponge
  • Masking tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Cold water
  • Buffing compound
  • Plastic adhesion

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Foggy Headlights

In this post, we will share with you several effective ways to clean your foggy headlights. Let’s start with an effective solution that uses a common household item – toothpaste. Here are the steps to do this:

  • 1. Start by dabbing a small amount of toothpaste with a clean sponge. Toothpaste will be effective because of the components that remove plaque, which will also be responsible for getting rid of dirt and grime.
  • 2. Rub the sponge with toothpaste on the headlight, creating a circular motion. Start from one side until you are able to cover the entire portion.
  • 3. Using a clean cloth, rub the headlights until there is no more residue left.
  • 4. Repeat the process at least once every two months.

Another solution that can prove to be equally effective is sanding. In this case, the following are the steps you should follow:

  • 1. Start by washing the entire car, focusing on the headlights. This will be the initial step to get rid of dirt that causes the fogging.
  • 2. Next, mask the area around the headlight. This will help to define the areas that will be sanded, making sure that you will not be touching the paint of the car. Sanding the latter can cause visible scratches.
  • 3. By now, you are ready to get started with the sanding process. Use a sandpaper to scruff the surface, which will help to get rid of the particles that are causing the haziness. A 1,000-grit sandpaper is recommended to be used. Before sanding, dip in in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Once it is ready, sand the surface in straight strokes. Rinse once you are done.

Once you are done sanding, it will also be good to proceed with polishing. This will not only improve clarity, but will also make the headlights look shiny.

  • 1. Pick a buffing compound. Aluminum polishers are the best because they do not cause abrasion.
  • 2. In a clean cloth, apply a small amount of your chosen buffing product.
  • 3. Buff the surface of the headlight in a circular motion. You should do this slowly at first and gradually increase your speed. Continue buffing until you are completely happy with what you are seeing.
  • 4. Once you are done, you can also consider spraying plastic adhesion. This will be an excellent way to extend the functional life of the headlights and to prevent it from getting hazy just soon after it is cleaned.

To make things easier, there are polishing kits that are available in the market. They are complete with everything that you need, including comprehensive instructions to provide you with clear steps on how to achieve optimal results. They might be a little expensive compared to the materials needed in the solutions above, but as long as you choose the right products, it will be worth your money.

Pro Tips

To make you succeed with the task of cleaning foggy headlights, here are some of the tips you might want to keep in mind:

  • It is important to do the cleaning regularly. As much as possible, do this at least once every one or two months. If dirt stays longer on the surface, it will grow harder and will be more difficult to remove.
  • Inspect the headlights carefully before deciding how to clean it. The extent of the problem will determine the best approach to cleaning. Keep in mind that there are some problems that can be too serious, which means that it already needs professional care.
  • Aside from buffing, the application of sealant after cleaning will also be a good idea. This is going to protect the surface of the headlights and will make it less prone to attracting dirt and dust.
  • It will also be good if you can park your car in the right areas. Exposure to the direct heat of the sun can speed up wear and tear of the headlights. To add, cool and damp areas can make the headlights moist, which will lead to condensation and haziness.


It is important to be familiar with how to clean foggy headlights. It may seem like a tricky task at first, but once you are aware of the right way of doing it, things can be a lot easier. You just need to have the right materials. This can help you save a few bucks since there is no more need to bring your car to your trusted neighborhood mechanic. By following the steps and tips mentioned above, it will be easier to have clear and well-maintained headlights, which will make you drive safer.

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