Clean Oxidized Headlights

How To Clean Oxidized Headlights Easily

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Whether you love late-night drive or simply prefer cruising on the lonely paths, headlights are critical to your overall safety. Sometimes, these beams can get oxidized or turn cloudy that they affect your visibility when driving while defacing the aesthetics of your car. It’s time to clean the oxidized headlights.

The cloudy headlights feature fogs which make your car’s headlamp appear old, dim, and unkempt.  More gravely, they reduce the brightness of your headlight, meaning that you would have to strain your eyes to be able to see at night. It’s important to clean regularly because that will prevent your headlights from becoming oxidized. Eventually let you down, you’ll need to know beforehand how to clean oxidized headlights.

What are Oxidized Headlights?

An oxidized headlight features lenses that have become foggy and discolored due to the action of the Sun’s UV rays. Oxidation of a vehicle’s headlight can occur either on the inner enclosed glass surface or on the exposed surface.

Oxidized headlights were once normal and sparky headlights before oxidation happened. The oxidation process is a quiet one and you may not easily notice that it is taking place right under your nose. Oxidation of a headlight can take place in both new and old vehicles alike.

Although it is much easier to clean headlights that were oxidized on their outer surface, you could also get a new headlight because oxidation would resurface again even after you have cleaned up the old one.

How to Clean Oxidized Headlights?

There are two basic methods to clean oxidized headlights.

Using Headlight Restoration Cleaning Kit Method

This method requires the following materials. Clean towels, Paper towels, Polish, Sandpapers, Clean water, Masking tape, Spray bottle, Headlight restoration kit, UV headlight sealant, Wax, and Soap.

Most experts use this method of cleaning oxidized headlamp, and for the best results, you should follow the directions included in your restoration kit guide. However, the general procedure for this method include:

  • Step 1

The very first step is to wash the headlights. With your soap and clean water aid, proceed to wash the headlight and its surroundings. After that, mop up the area with clean towels.

  • Step 2

Place the masking tape about the headlight’s circumference to ensure your vehicle’s paint is protected from reacting with all the chemicals that will be applied to the headlight.

  • Step 3

With the help of the spraying bottle, spray some of the soapy water on the surface of the headlights and use the toughest sandpaper in the restoration kit to scrub the oxidized glass surface. Note that the sandpaper must be wet while in use.

  • Step 4

Sand the lens in only one direction: horizontal direction throughout. And after sanding, clean the lens’s surface with a soft piece of cloth.

  • Step 5

Using the polish, wipe the headlight in repeated circular motions, after which you can add the UV sealant and leave the headlight in the sun for some time. The idea behind the application of the UV sealant is to protect the lenses of the headlights from hazing. It’s time for a protective layer because you had removed all the original oxidized sealant in the process of sanding.

To add the sealant, you’ll need a paper towel soaked in water.  Apply the UV sealant in a broad stroke manner. Depending on the instruction o the kit manual, you can choose whether to cover the entire portion of a part of it. After applying the sealant, drive your car to a safe, dry place to allow the sealant to cure the portion.

The polishing and waxing stage is quite critical to achieving the desired result. Here, you’ll have to clean and wipe off the oxidized headlights.

  • Step 6

After this, you should apply and rub the polishing compound around the lenses, using a microfiber towel in a circular motion. Alternatively, you can make use of the orbital buffer to get things done quicker.

After polishing, wax the lenses as you would do when you try to remove paint from your car.  Waxing helps to protect the lenses ahead of replacing the headlight.

  • Step 7

You can now replace your cleaned up and sparky headlight in your vehicle. After this, you should test the waters to know whether the procedure works.

Using Toothpaste Method

The toothpaste method is a temporary measure of cleaning an oxidized headlight. There’s no guarantee that your headlight won’t oxidize again.

The toothpaste method requires the following. Ultraviolet ray sealant, Soap and clean water, Baking Soda, Automotive-grade masking tape (to protect the surrounding area from unintended abrasion), Toothpaste, Microfiber towels, Car wax, and Vinyl or plastic gloves.


  • Step 1

The first step here is similar to what you do under the restoration kit method. You must wash the plastic or glass of the headlight with soap and water after moping up the water droplets with a clean towel.

  • Step 2

With the help of a masking tape, encircle the headlamp area. This will help protect the headlamp’s paint from damage while you continue the cleaning.

Step 3

Next, you must apply soapy water to the headlight. And with the toothpaste already placed on a towel working in a circular pattern, clean up the headlight’s surface.

  • Step 4

Put on gloves if you have sensitive skin.

  • Step 5

After washing off the toothpaste with clean water; You will then go on to add a layer of wax and UV headlamp sealant to the newly cleaned headlamp surface.

  • Step 6

 For the sealing process to take place, you must keep the headlight under sunlight.

Clean Oxidized Headlights

Final Thoughts

With this simple-to-follow guide, you can easily clean your car’s oxidized headlights in a way that will restore the tainted image of your car. You don’t have to be a professional or an auto expert to do this.

You cannot avoid having a foggy headlight. What you must do is to clean it as soon as you discover that there’s a buildup of fogs or dirt around your car’s headlights.

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