Top Ways To Clean Foggy Headlights

Do you know that no matter how much you wash your car, the headlights will eventually become foggy after some time? Foggy headlights refer to less clear headlights due to either oxidation or dirt on the headlamp. This kind of headlights puts you at risk when driving in the dark, rain, or snow.

Should you find your car headlights in this situation, don’t rush to buy new lamps. You can clean the foggy headlights yourself. This article lists the four most efficient ways you can clean the lights to restore them. You will also find the step-by-step process of how to clean the headlights using different methods. Let’s get to it.

4 Most Efficient ways to clean foggy headlights

The following are the most efficient ways to clean your headlights when foggy.

1.    How to clean foggy headlights using a DIY headlight-restoration kit

Cleaning the headlights using a restoration kit is one of the most efficient and most accessible. The kits come in different varieties. When sourcing yours, it would help if you went for one with sandpapers, polishing cloths, polish cleaner, and protective UV coating. Note that a plastic cleaner can also work in this case. One complete kit is enough to clean both headlights.

Step by step process

  1. Before you start this process, keenly read the instruction manual from the manufacturer. Rushing to get started might leave you with a scratched car.
  2. After the first step, tape around the headlight to prevent scratching thecar. Then,carefully scrab the headlights using the sand papers. Don’t rush while doing this. You are dealing with the effects of long-time oxidation and the manufacturer’s protective coating.
  3. While sanding, gently rub the wet headlights using your barehand to feel spots you have missed. These are rough spots that you should work on until the whole headlight is smooth.
  4. After you are done, spray water on the headlights. Despite looking hazy at this point, you shouldn’t worry. Wipe it with the polishing cloth and polish cleaner, then leave it to dry.
  5. Ensure that the headlight is dry, then apply the protective UV sealant. Leave the coat to dry for several hours before using the vehicle. Your headlight should be crystal clear at this point.

2.    How to clean foggy headlights with toothpaste

You can also use toothpaste. The toothpaste should have a grittiness to help you when scrubbing the rough surface. Don’t use a gel for this purpose. You should also consider the ingredients in the paste. The toothpaste should have peroxide and baking soda in it to clear the oxidation fog.

Step-by-step process

  1. Evenly apply the toothpaste on the headlights.
  2. Using a toothbrush, brush the headlights until you are sure that you have done it enough. Alternatively, you can use a Dremel attached to a buffing wheel to scrub the headlights.
  3. Wash the headlight using water, then wipe them with a clean and dry paper towel.
  4. You will apply wax on the dry headlights.
  5. After approximately 5 minutes, remove the wax with a clean towel. The wax will protect the headlight for some time.

3.    How to clean foggy headlights using vinegar and baking soda

You can also use vinegar and baking soda if they are available. You will need a clean towel for this procedure.

Step-by-step process

  1. You will firstly mix the vinegar with clean water in a spray bottle.
  2. Dust your headlamps, then spray the cleaning concoction of water and vinegar on the headlights. You will then wipe them with a towel.
  3. After the second step, you will then mix the baking soda with vinegar on a ratio of 2:1. The vinegar should be two and the baking soda 1. The chemical reaction you will get from the mixture is harmless to you.
  4. Apply the paste to your dry headlights. You will then wipe it in a circular motion using the towel until you get a desirable result.
  5. In this last step, you can use either the towel( you will need to rinse it) or get a sponge with water and rinse your headlights.

4.    How to clean foggy headlights using dish soap

If you find the other methods time-consuming or hard to follow, you can use dish soap. Since this is available in our kitchen, the process is safe and straightforward. However, you might need wet wipes and a towel for the cleaning.

Step-by-step process

  1. Dust off the headlight using the wet wipes.
  2. Wash the headlight with hot water and then apply dish soap.After using the soap, leave it to dry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Using the towel, start wiping the headlight in a circular motion.
  4. You will then rinse the light using hot water. At this point, your headlight should be clear. If not, you can repeat the process until you are satisfied.

At times the foggy headlight might be due to moisture in it. In this case, you will need a different method to dry up the moisture before it kills your light.

How to clean foggy headlight with moisture in it

Here is the process:

Step-by-step process

  1. You will first remove the headlight by unscrewing it. After unscrewing, disconnect all the electrical cables, then remove the bulb.
  2. Fill the headlight with water. You will do this to find out where there is a leakage.
  3. After finding the leakage and being sure, it’s the only one, remove the water and dry the headlight.
  4. You will then clean the surface of the headlights using glass cleaner if available. If not, you can use soapy water. If the headlight is rough, you can sand it and wipe it till it’s smooth.
  5. Then you will apply silicon on the leaking part and evenly spread it, then leave it to dry.
  6. If you want to confirm if you got it right, you can fill water in the headlight again and test it out.

Let’s get to work

A foggy headlight not only makes your car unattractive but also poses a danger. In some extreme cases, the lights might deem to the point that you can’t use them in the dark. However, with the information in this article, you should be able to clear the foggy headlights.

Restoring the headlights is a better option than buying new ones altogether. Are you experiencing this problem with your car? Get to work now and regain the beauty of your vehicle.


Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.