How to use toothpaste to restore the appearance of your car’s headlights


Fogged or faded headlights are not only unsightly, they can be a hazard. Less light gets through to illuminate the road and other drivers may not see you or be able to judge your distance properly. Fortunately, there’s a great tip for cleaning your fogged headlights. Mechanic Chris Fix shows us that all you have to do is go into your bathroom and grab a bottle of toothpaste. With these simple tools, you’re ready to make your car’s headlights look like new again!

Before we get started, a few things: make sure the toothpaste is an actual paste (not a gel) and that it’s a bit abrasive. If it’s not, add a little baking soda to the paste to give it that gritty texture. Next, grab a spray bottle filled with water, some wax, a clean cloth and a toothbrush to get started.


  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda (if needed)
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Wax
  • Cloth
  • Toothbrush

Step 1: Add baking soda to your toothpaste if it’s not gritty enough for whitening. Once the paste is ready, use your hand to rub it thoroughly into the entire headlight.
Step 2: Use a toothbrush to really work the paste into the light.
Step 3: Spray the headlight with warm water. Use a cloth or paper towel to wash off the paste and dry the light entirely.
Step 4: Cover the headlight with wax to keep the plastic from quickly getting dingy again.
Step 5: Use your cloth to wipe off the wax entirely.

The wax coating may seem random, but it is crucial! The wax acts as a protective barrier that will keep your headlight clear for as long as possible.

Before you even begin cleaning, look at the headlight and touch it with your hand. If the headlight is smooth, the fog may be coming from the inside, which you probably can’t fix yourself.

On the other hand, if the outside of the headlight is bumpy and you can see spots on the outer glass, then this tip is exactly what you need!

Keep in mind that the older and more yellow your headlight is, the longer you will have to scrub to get the paste into the headlight. Depending on the condition of the lighthouse, you may even need to apply two coats of toothpaste to bring your lighthouse back to its full glory.

Although Chris doesn’t use it in this video, he does mention that using a Dremel (a small handheld power tool with a rotating brush on the end) can be helpful. However, if you don’t have this tool, elbow grease will do the trick! If you have a Dremel and want to use it here, be sure to leave it on the lowest setting; putting it too high could melt the plastic of your headlight.

What do you think of this cleaning trick?

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