If your headlight lenses are looking dull and dingy, it is because that oxidation has built up over the years. Fortunately, for those who have caught the problem early one, cleaning your dull headlights should not be much of a chore.

What follows are some simple, yet effective methods for cleaning your dull headlights. You don’t even need to purchase any fancy cleaning products or special equipment. However, if none of these methods work, it is recommended that you simply replace the lenses to your headlights.

Window Cleaner & Toothpaste

First, start off with a standard window cleaning product and a cloth or rag to clean your headlight lenses. Window cleaners contain elements in them that will take away the dust, dirt and debris as well as the oxidation. You should spray on the window cleaner and rub a small section to see the effect. If you are not seeing any improvement you can switch to the toothpaste.

Toothpaste has very mild abrasives that will not only clean your teeth, but also your headlight lens as well without causing any damage. Like the window cleaner, you’ll want to apply the toothpaste to one section of the lens and then start rubbing it in with the cloth. If you have worked the toothpaste in and you still do not see any improvement, it is time for step two.



You’ll need the following supplies to do a more extensive job of cleaning your headlights:

  • Dry Cloth
  • Electrical Tape
  • Cold Water
  • Window Cleaner
  • Coarse & Find Sandpaper
  • Polishing Compound

Use the electrical tape around the frame of the headlights so that you don’t scratch the paint on your vehicle. Once in place, spray on the window cleaner and wipe away any dirt or debris from the headlights with the cloth.

Now, dip the coarse sandpaper into the cold water and start rubbing on one section of the headlights. What you are doing is removing the very top layer which should contain the oxidation that is dulling your headlights. Remember to sand at right angles to get out all the grit. Then, switch to fine sandpaper, dip it into cold water and repeat the process. Once you have completed the sanding, all of the oxidation should be removed.

At this point, use the polishing compound on the headlights to smooth out any roughness left over by the sandpaper and this will also protect your headlights from further oxidation. Again, if this method does not work you will probably have to replace the headlight lenses.