How to Clean Foggy Headlights: Procedure And Products To Use

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Making sure that one’s headlights are in top condition is one of the most crucial safety measures a person can take. It is important when driving at night or in situations with poor vision. But did you realize that these safety measures go beyond merely making sure your headlamp bulbs are in good condition? In reality, fogging of the headlight lenses can also reduce the effectiveness of your headlights. Let’s examine what causes foggy headlights in more detail, as well as how to clean foggy headlights.

How to Clean Foggy Headlights? – Quick Steps

Foggy headlights can make your car look old and reduce visibility at night. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to clean them and restore their clarity. But now the query should be how to clean foggy headlights. Here are some steps to help you clean foggy headlights:

Gather your supplies:

You’ll need some water, a bucket, soap or detergent, a microfiber towel, sandpaper, and a polishing compound. You can find these items at any auto parts store or online.

Clean the headlights:

Mix some soap or detergent with water in a bucket and use a microfiber towel to clean the headlights thoroughly. Make sure to remove any dirt or debris that might be stuck to the surface.

Sand the headlights:

Use sandpaper to remove any scratches or stains on the headlights. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper, such as 1000-grit, and then move on to a finer grit, such as 2000-grit. Wet the sandpaper before using it to avoid scratching the headlights.

Polish the headlights:

Apply a polishing compound to a clean microfiber towel and rub it onto the headlights in circular motions. The polishing compound will remove any remaining scratches and stains on the headlights. Keep polishing until the headlights are clear and shiny.

Rinse and dry:

Rinse the headlights with clean water and then dry them with a clean microfiber towel. Make sure there are no streaks or water spots left on the headlights.

Protect the headlights:

To prevent your headlights from getting foggy again, apply a protective coating to the surface. You can find headlight protectant sprays or waxes at auto parts stores or online. Follow the instructions on the product to apply it to the headlights.

By following these steps, you can restore the clarity of your headlights and improve your visibility on the road.

If your headlights are broken or have become too much foggy that even after cleaning, it still looks hazy, then it’s time to replace your car headlights. You can get durable and low-cost headlight parts from us
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What Products to Use When Cleaning Foggy Headlights?

cleaning headlights with toothpaste

When it comes to cleaning foggy headlights, there are a variety of products that you can use. Here are some of the most effective products for cleaning foggy headlights:

Soap or Detergent:

Soap or detergent is an essential cleaning product that comes into use in removing dirt and grime from the surface of the headlight. It is important to use a mild soap or detergent that is specifically designed for car cleaning.


Water is also an essential product that is used for cleaning foggy headlights. It is used to rinse off the soap or detergent and to remove any remaining dirt or debris.


Sandpaper is used to remove the outer layer of the headlight that has become cloudy or foggy due to exposure to the elements. It is available in different grits, ranging from coarse to fine, and it is important to choose the appropriate grit based on the level of fogging on the headlight.

Polishing Compound:

A polishing compound is used to restore the clarity and shine of the headlight after it has been sanded. It is a specialized product that is designed to remove scratches and stains from the headlight and give it a smooth, polished finish.

Microfiber Towel:

A microfiber towel comes in use to dry the headlight after it has been cleaned and to apply the polishing compound. It is important to use a soft, lint-free towel to avoid scratching the surface of the headlight.

Headlight Restoration Kit:

A headlight restoration kit is a convenient and effective solution for cleaning foggy headlights. It typically includes all the products mentioned above, along with instructions on how to use them. It is a great option for those who want to clean their headlights quickly and easily without having to purchase each product separately.

When choosing products to clean foggy headlights, it is important to look for high-quality products that are specifically designed for automotive use. Using the right products will ensure the restoration of headlights to their original clarity and shine and that they remain clear and bright for longer.

How to Clean Foggy Headlights With Toothpaste?

Cleaning headlights with toothpaste is a simple and inexpensive method that can help remove surface oxidation and restore clarity to the plastic covers. Here are the steps to follow:

Materials you will need:

  • Toothpaste (preferably whitening or baking soda toothpaste)
  • Water
  • Microfiber towel
  • Bucket


  • Fill a bucket with water and wet the microfiber towel.
  • Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto the damp towel, enough to cover the entire headlight surface.
  • Rub the toothpaste onto the headlight cover in a circular motion, making sure to cover the entire surface evenly.
  • Continue rubbing the toothpaste for a few minutes, adding water as needed to prevent the toothpaste from drying out.
  • Rinse the headlight cover with water and wipe it dry with a clean microfiber towel.
  • Inspect the headlight cover to ensure it is clean and clear. If necessary, repeat the process

What Are the Reasons Behind Foggy Headlights?

Headlights can become foggy or hazy due to a variety of reasons, including:

UV damage:

The plastic covers of most headlights get a shape from polycarbonate, which is prone to damage from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. This can cause the plastic to become hazy or discolored over time.


Another common reason for foggy headlights is oxidation, which occurs when the protective coating on the plastic covers wears off. It leaves the plastic exposed to air and moisture, which can cause it to oxidize and turn cloudy.

Road debris:

Driving on dusty or gravelly roads can cause small rocks and debris to kick up and hit the headlights, creating tiny scratches on the surface of the plastic covers. Over time, these scratches can accumulate and make the headlights look cloudy.

Chemical damage:

Some car wash soaps and cleaning agents contain harsh chemicals that can damage the plastic covers of the headlights, making them appear foggy.

Environmental factors:

Foggy headlights can also happen by environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, high humidity, and exposure to salt and other chemicals used on the roads during winter months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes headlights to become foggy or hazy?

Headlights can become foggy due to a variety of reasons. It includes UV damage, oxidation, road debris, chemical damage, and environmental factors.

Can I use household items to clean my foggy headlights?

Yes, there are several household items that you can use to clean foggy headlights. It includes toothpaste, baking soda, vinegar, and glass cleaner.

How do I clean my headlights with baking soda and vinegar?

To clean headlights with baking soda and vinegar, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with enough vinegar to form a paste. Apply the paste to the headlights and scrub gently with a microfiber cloth. Rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.

Can I use sandpaper to clean my foggy headlights?

While sandpaper may be effective in removing heavy oxidation and scratches from headlights, it can also damage the plastic covers if not used correctly. Experts recommend using a less abrasive method first before resorting to sandpaper.

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Automotive Specialist , Spare Vehicle Part
Since childhood, I have had a passion for car engines. I travel across the world, have met famous car engineers, visit auto expos, and love to share my thoughts on evolving auto industry.
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Teressa Wallace

Since childhood, I have had a passion for car engines. I travel across the world, have met famous car engineers, visit auto expos, and love to share my thoughts on evolving auto industry.

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