How to Clean Your Car's Headlights

How to Clean Your Car's Headlights

8th Mar 2018

image of car headlights

Keep Headlights Clean

Do you struggle to see when driving at night? Assuming your headlights aren't blown, the problem could be related to dirty or otherwise cloudy headlight covers. Over time, micro-sized particles of dirt and debris will become embedded on your car's headlight covers, restricting the amount of light that passes through. When this occurs, it can make it difficult, and dangerous, to see when driving at night or in the rain. Before replacing your headlight covers, though, you should consider cleaning them using the tips listed below.

Prepare Your Headlight Covers

The first step in cleaning your headlight covers is to isolate them using painter's tape. Simply create a perimeter of painter's tape around your headlight covers so that your car's paint is protected from any possible damage. Many headlight cleaning solutions -- both homemade and store-bought -- can damage your car's paint. By creating a perimeter with tape, however, you'll protect your car's paint from such damage.


With its abrasive texture -- used to remove food particles from between your teeth -- toothpaste is actually an effective solution for cleaning and restoring headlight covers. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste out of the tube and rub it onto the surface of your headlight covers. Next, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub your headlight covers, after which you can remove any excess toothpaste using water and a washcloth.

Baking Soda

Another homemade cleaning solution that works great on headlight covers is baking soda. Simply dilute the baking soda with a small amount of distilled water to create a paste-like consistency. Next, apply the paste to your headlight covers using the same steps previously mentioned. When finished, clean any lingering baking soda from your headlight covers.

Headlight Cleaning Products

Of course, you can also use a headlight cleaning product to restore your car's headlights. Most auto parts stores sell a variety of headlight cleaning products. You typically spray the product on your headlights, allow it to sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for more information on how to use the product.

These are just a few ways to clean and restore your headlight covers. If all else fails, you can always replace them with new covers. Depending on the type of car you drive, though, this will probably require more time, money and work. The good news is that new headlight covers is sure to increase your visibility when driving at night and during rainy weather.

clean headlight graphic