Thursday, October 9, 2014

Restoring old foggy headlights with toothpaste!

This trick actually helped me a great deal. My car’s headlights where looking pretty bad. The plastic was foggy and yellowish due to oxidation. A little toothpaste and some elbow grease fixed that.
Here’s the four steps to restore a plastic lens headlight to like-new condition.

1)Sandpaper. If the headlight is very deteriorated, cracks, yellowish oxidation and looks pitted, you want to start with sandpaper. Start with 500grit if there’s a lot of damage, then move to 1000 and finally 2000 grit. If the headlight isn’t too deteriorated, doesn’t look pitted and cracked, you may skip this step entirely. Once you removed scratches, yellow oxidation and any pitting, rinse with water and move to the next step.
2)Toothpaste. Any toothpaste will do but whitening toothpaste may be more abrasive and do a better job. You’re looking to polish the lens with the toothpaste, so use a cloth rag since paper will easily fall apart. Patience and plenty of elbow grease may be needed here, depending on how damaged the lens is.
3)Once you’re done, rinse with water and dry the headlight. It should look completely translucent. If you’re not happy with the results repeat step 2.
4)Once the headlight is dry, use a silicone based product to treat the newly polished lens. Any dashboard spray or liquid, even tire shine may work as long as it has silicone in it. Silicone restores your car’s plastic components and creates a film which prevents from oxidation. Spread it over the lens and let it absorb some into the plastic. After an hour or so wipe clean with a dry cloth and buff until your headlights look shiny.

I was about to buy new ones for my car, but doing this saved me a few bucks and it didn’t cost a single cent. The car looked MUCH better with the new looking headlights too, and it illuminates the road better, making it safer to drive.



Penny Pincher Personal Finance said...

Thanks! I was just in Auto Zone yesterday, and was staring at the headlight restoration products and wondering if they were overpriced.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I've been wondering if it was possible to restore old headlights like this. I'm definitely going to try this when I get home. Will report back with results. Thanks Ferfal!

Lazlo Toth said...

My neighbor, a trucker, showed me that aluminum polish works very well too.