How Do You Make Headlights Clear?

There are DIY solutions to cloudy or yellow headlights. Source: Motor-works

Are your headlights foggy and are they turning into yellow headlights? You don’t need to search Google for “Headlight restoration near me” over and over again because there are several ways you can make your headlights clear again by doing the restoration yourself.

Remove Surface Dirt

First, remove any surface dirt from your car’s headlights by thoroughly washing them with warm water. Use soap and a soft cloth or sponge to clean the surface. Once done, rinse, and air dry.

Protect the Surrounding Area

If your headlights do not have rubber trimmer around them, cover their surrounding areas with masking tape to prevent accidental scuffing. Don’t forget to wear your gloves for protection.

A. Using Toothpaste on Headlights
1. Damp a clean, soft cloth in water. Add a dab of toothpaste on it.
2. Rub the headlights in small circles using the cloth with toothpaste.
3. Rinse with clean water and wipe to dry.

B. Using Mosquito Repellent
1. Get a mosquito repellent that contains DEET.
2. Spray the mosquito repellent on a dry cloth. Make sure not to spray near your car.
3. Gently rub the cloth with repellent on the headlights in circular motion.
4. Wash the headlights to get rid of the excess mosquito repellent on your headlights.

C. Using Vinegar and Baking Soda
1. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl then add vinegar. The mixture will form a thick paste.
2. Using a clean cloth, scoop a good amount of the paste and apply it on the headlights.
3. Rub it gently with the cloth until the whole surface is covered.
4. Wipe the headlights afterwards to get rid of the paste.
5. Wash your headlights with clean water to remove the remaining residue then dry them off.

D. Sanding Headlights
1. Soak a 1000 grit sandpaper in cold water for 10 minutes.
2. Once done, gently sand the entire headlights in straight strokes. Keep the surface wet while sanding and the strokes in one direction.
3. Keep on sanding until the fog/discoloration is gone. Clean and dry the area afterwards.
4. Repeat the same process but with 1500, 2000, 2500, and 3000 grit sandpaper, respectively, all at right angles. Keep the sandpaper wet and clean up the surface after until it looks clear.
5. Using a microfiber cloth, apply polish in circular motion until your headlights are shiny.
6. Once the polishing compounds are completely gone, finish it off by applying paste car wax on your headlights. This will protect them from acid rain and dirt.

You may check the JC Whitney site for car wax:

7. If the protective coating of your headlights is completely removed due to sanding, it is best to apply UV sealant /clear coat before waxing. Make sure to cover your car first before applying the coat to protect its paint.

Author: JC Whitney

JC Whitney is the largest and oldest catalog and Internet direct-to-consumer auto parts and accessories retailer in America. Since 1915, JC Whitney has been filling the needs of customers by providing the right part at the best price. You can always shop with confidence at

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