Headlights are some of the most important features of a car, but they aren’t as cared for as other components, leading to their condition worsening over time.
However, you might have heard that toothpaste can be used to clean headlights, but before you take a shot with it, you may like to confirm if it’s true. If so, keep reading!
Does Toothpaste Clean Headlights?
You can use toothpaste to clean headlights, and it works in place of the costlier cleaning kits that are made specifically for headlights. How toothpaste works on your headlights is more or less the same as it works on your teeth, as the gentle abrasives it contains are effective against different types of buildup.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about using toothpaste to clean your headlights, including how to do it, other household items you can use and more!
How Do I Clean Headlights Using Toothpaste?
To clean your headlights using toothpaste, follow these steps:
- Spray glass cleaner or warm soapy water on the headlights
- Use a microfiber cloth to clean any excess dust, dirt and other grime from the headlights
- Get a soft lint-free absorbent towel and use it to dry them. Using a lint-free towel ensures you don’t leave small fibers behind that could get stuck in the crevices, while being soft ensures you don’t create small scratches on the surface
- Tape around the headlights so you don’t touch the paint when cleaning
- Squeeze a small bit of toothpaste onto a sponge, cloth or directly onto the headlights
- Polish the headlights using a microfiber cloth or sponge by spreading the toothpaste outwards in circles, and repeat this until the whole surface of each headlight is covered
- If the headlights don’t clear up after your first few rounds, add some more toothpaste. You could also switch to a toothbrush with soft bristles so you can scrub harder
- When they look clear enough, rinse them off with warm water. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear to know you’ve gotten everything out
- Remove the tape gently so you don’t ruin your paint or leave any adhesive behind
During this process, keep the following in mind:
- As stated in the first section, the abrasives in toothpaste are what perform the cleaning, so you should avoid gel variants because they contain very abrasives
- Avoid toothpaste types that are made to be more delicate, such as those made for kids and people with cavities or tooth sensitivities because they are made with less abrasives
- You can add some baking soda to the toothpaste to make it more effective
- You don’t have to wipe down the headlights after you first clean them in step 1 You can apply the toothpaste to the wet surface so it lathers
- Your choice of tape should not be too strong, because if it is, it could leave behind some of its adhesive or even chip away your paint when you remove it. Avoid electrical and duct tape, use something weaker like painter’s or masking tape
- Make sure the tape is wide enough to keep any of your activity from moving beyond the headlights because the chemicals might be bad for your paint
After you’re done, you can apply a UV sealant to the headlights. Oxidation causes them to fog up on contact with UV rays, and the sealant protects them from exposure. Repeat this process every few months to ensure that your headlights stay clear.
What Kind Of Toothpaste Do You Need to Clean Headlights?
When using toothpaste to clean foggy headlights, you should go for something with a high concentration of abrasives, as those are what scrub away the impurities on the headlights.
Therefore, you should avoid toothpastes for kids, people with sensitive teeth or gums and gel types.
Does Crest Toothpaste Clean Headlights?
Crest, like most other toothpastes, can be used to clean headlights. If you choose this brand, you should go for one of their options with a higher amount of abrasives because those are what do most of the cleaning.
According to Crest, the ones with few abrasives include:
- Crest Gum and Enamel repair
- Crest Sensitivity Protection
- Crest Cavity Protection
Therefore, avoid these Crest tootpastes, because they would be less effective.
How Long Do You Let Toothpaste Stay On Your Headlights?
When using toothpaste to clean your headlights, you don’t have to leave it on after you apply it.
As soon as you get onto the headlights you should spread, scrub and rinse it off without needing to wait.
If anything, leaving the toothpaste on the headlights for too long will dry up and leave a cloudy film that you’ll have to clean off.
Does Toothpaste Work On Oxidized Headlights?
Toothpaste can clean oxidized headlights through its abrasives that buff out any impurities on their surface.
Does Toothpaste Clean Yellow Headlights?
Yellow headlights are caused by oxidation when they come into contact with UV light and you can clean them up using toothpaste.
Does Toothpaste and Baking Soda Clean Headlights?
When cleaning your headlights using toothpaste, you can add some baking soda to make it more effective as you’re scrubbing.
To know more, you can also see our posts on whether or not LED headlights are better, how long do headlights last, and when to turn on headlights.
Toothpaste can be used to clean headlights by doing a preliminary cleaning of the headlight. Use warm soapy water and masking tape to protect the paint before scrubbing them with a small amount of toothpaste.
This method works by using the small abrasives present in most toothpaste types so you should avoid the ones that have little amounts so the process is more effective, such as gel and children’s toothpaste.