Do you have cloudy headlight covers? Try using a little toothpaste

Do you have cloudy headlight covers? Try using a little toothpaste

Hello loyal Beaverton readers!

Many thanks to everyone who has called and written in asking for help with all kinds of automotive issues. From buying or selling a new or used car to common or unusual problems, I really appreciate the opportunity to save you time and money.

Over the course of the last few months, I have had a few readers ask about cloudy headlamps and how to get them spiffy again. The answer, to their relief, was as simple as brushing ones teeth. Yes, it’s toothpaste to the rescue!

Using toothpaste to clean oxidized, faded or cloudy headlights

Gather the correct materials. To clean your headlights using the toothpaste method, you will need the following: car wax, masking tape, plastic or vinyl gloves (optional), soft cloth, toothpaste (any kind), water

Start by cleaning with soap. First wash with soap and water using firm, back-and-forth movements with a cloth or sponge, then rinse with plain water. After allowing some time to air dry, look at your headlights again closely.

Protect surrounding area with masking tape. Using masking tape, cover the areas surrounding your headlights to protect them from accidental scuffing.

Wear gloves. Wear plastic or vinyl gloves if you have sensitive skin. Dampen a clean, soft cloth in water, and add a dab of toothpaste.

Use toothpaste laden cloth. Firmly rub the surface of your headlights with the toothpaste-laden cloth in small circles. Add water and toothpaste as needed, and expect to spend up to five minutes cleaning each affected light.

Rinse. Next, rinse with water and allow to air dry.

Apply car wax. To help protect your headlights from future damage, you may consider applying car wax to your lights using a clean cloth in a circular motion, followed by another rinse with water.

Why it works

Just as toothpaste can remove unwanted particles from the enamel on your teeth, it can remove stains from your headlights. This is because toothpaste – even gel and whitening varieties – contains a mild abrasive that buffs out the surface for a smooth feel and look that translates into clearer headlights.

Thank You all for reading. I sure hope this information is useful. Remember people, do not pay too much for a new or used car or truck, of any kind!

Got an automotive question? Please feel free to email me at or call (503) 930-1493.