Tired of Yellow Headlights? Make ‘Em Shine, On a Dime!

by Ron & Lisa Beres on July 26, 2012 · 18 comments

Chances are if you’re like Ron and I, you have experienced a yellowing of your vehicle headlights at one time or another.  It’s no fun – especially when you pay your hard earned dollars on a professional car wash; only to find your shiny exterior has suddenly lost its luster when butted up against hazy headlights.  We were both quite frustrated and convinced this dirty film must be on the inside, but were informed by the automotive pros that this is almost always not the case.  What happens with these acrylic covers, found on most cars today, is that the clear UV coating gets worn off via outdoor pollution, environmental factors and even car wash bristles and detergents.  So, what’s a dull and dingy headlight owner to do?  You can do one of (3) things to restore their shine:

1.)    Spend a hefty sum on a professional buff at the car wash or auto-detail shop

2.)    Purchase a headlight restore kit (like those shown on many infomercials)

3.)    Or, for mere dollars (and gas saved from avoiding a trip out), you can attempt our tried and true method…toothpaste!

WATCH below as Ron puts the DIY headlight cleaner to the test.  These eco-friendly results may surprise you!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

spe July 27, 2012 at 3:47 am

Nice tip! I wonder if it would work on my shower door?


Ron & Lisa July 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

Oooh, great question! We’ll have to tackle that one next :)


Charlotte Dwyer July 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

Don’t know! I have shower curtain! Try a small area. See if it works. My Bon Ami windshield scrub takes care of outdoor pollution, dirt and bugs. Not sure how it goes with soap scum.


Charlotte Dwyer July 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

That was a great demo!… Yes, I knew it would work. I have also used BON AMI, a non-abrasive cleanser, to wash my car windshield. It removes ALL build-up, keeping the windows bright and clear and the washers working smoothly. Also… toothpaste (regular) mixed with an equal amount of baking soda, will remove the water stains left by your glasses and cups from your furniture. It has never caused harm to my good tables either. I follow it up with an english type furniture polish that is stained a cherry color. (Yes, I have cherry and mahogany furniture.)


Ron & Lisa July 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

Hello Charlotte~
Thanks for stopping by & sharing your feedback! Love your windshield recipe and glass stain suggestion. What brand of furniture polish are you using? You probably already are aware, but most conventional furniture polishes contain petroleum distillates and solvents which are neurotoxic. Try instead a DIY recipe consisting of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar mixed with 2tsp of olive oil. Good luck & shine on!


Lorraine M July 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I like the idea but it seems very very expensive – unless i save up my left over tubes of toothpase – cut em open and use for this purpose. Then I don’t have to struggle to get the last 15% out of the tube and I don’t spend for a full tube to shine my headlights.


Ron & Lisa July 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm

That is a great idea to cut the tubes to use what otherwise might be wasted. However, not sure why you would feel this is expensive since every other solution to clean yellowing headlights is much more costly. You definitely don’t need to use a whole tube to clean your headlights. In fact, we used less than 1/2 a tube of toothpaste; costing less than $2.00 total to clean them both!!


Charlotte Dwyer July 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

Oh, haven’t you noticed that most supermarkets have great sales on 6-8 oz tubes of toothpaste, and you must not use the expensive gel or whitener types… just the old fashioned “paste”… it is more affordable than the headlight cleaner which starts at about $20.oo! I had to clean my headlight covers last year in order to get my MA inspection sticker! Cutting your tubes in a waste of time and you may injure yourself.


Shannon Shea July 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Wow! I have really yellow headlights and I’m SO going to try this tip! Ron, you are soooo funny, “It will have a great check up at the dentist.” hee hee. Thanks for this awesome green tip, I’m going to pass it on to my FB fans now!


Ron & Lisa July 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm

No headlight cavities and shiny headlights?? What more can a car ask for (LOL). Thanks for stopping by & sharing this link Shannon! Please drop back and let us know how your results turn out!


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Mike July 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm

When your headlights are foggy, cloudy or yellowed means that Oxidation is building up in your plastic lens. Replacing headlight lenses can cost several hundred dollars. Having a detail shop or Auto repair shop professionally restore your headlights can run $75 to $150 per car. No headlights covers remain clear forever. All plastic headlights become cloudy, foggy or yellowed over time. Enjoy Crystal Clear Headlight Covers In Minutes WITHOUT Sanding, Buffing or using Masking Tape with LTC Headlight Cleaner. Headlights treated with LTC Headlight Cleaner will maintain clear for 8-12 months or more, it varies where your car is parked; garaged, streets, *remember that sun is one of the biggest factors why your headlights get oxidized.

Sanding and polishing eventually will scratch and reduce thickness of your plastic headlights. Toothpaste will semi-clean your headlights and leave it without any kind of UV protection. Why pay for something you can do at home for less. Like everything else, there are good and bad 1 step headlight cleaner products and this is considered the Best Headlight Cleaner.

You’re 6 steps away to remove Headlight Oxidation from your headlights with LTC.

1. Wipe off dust from headlight
2. Shake bottle for up to 30 seconds first time, consecutive applications up to 10 seconds.
3. Apply 1/20 oz in a cotton cloth rag.
4. Start rubbing cloth rag with some pressure, chose your desire rubbing pattern and don’t stop rubbing until you see the difference and you’re satisfied with the results.
5. With a clean cotton cloth rag start wiping off until is dry to the touch.
6. Clean edges around headlight removing excess fluid in non plastic surfaces.

Source link: http://trk1.ltcleaner.com/headlightcleaner


CCCIS October 5, 2015 at 10:29 am

great cleaning tips! you just gotta put in a little time and you can make your car look great.


Braden Bills December 9, 2016 at 6:36 am

I want to make my headlights easier to see through. It’s interesting that toothpaste can actually clean them out! I might have to give that a try on my car.


Austin April 8, 2017 at 8:27 am

I tried the toothpaste on my headlight and it didnt work was i using the wrong kind.


Pee Wee September 30, 2017 at 8:26 am

Just need some 3M rubbing compound and a buffer and a little hard work of wiping by hand…


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