5 Minutes to Clean Headlights

cleaning headlights
Don’t pay the guys at the car shop $20 to clean your hazy headlights or buy those expensive cleaners, because you can do it yourself for free in five minutes. The cleaner you need is probably in your pantry or laundry room or both. I have heard that you can do this with white tooth paste but all I have is the orange citrus flavored kind. So I thought baking soda should work just fine because that pretty much what white toothpaste is. And you know what, it works like magic and it’s super easy, quick and free. Here’s how to clean headlights in five minutes or less with baking soda.

Step One: Make a thick paste of baking soda and water.

how to clean headlights

I’m using a microfiber cloth but the paste is so thick it doesn’t really matter.

Step Two: Smear paste onto headlights and buff.

Step Three: Rinse baking soda off and dry.

remove haze from headlights


That’s it! Grand total of five minutes to clean headlights (unless you’re taking pictures then maybe ten). I used my all purpose vinegar cleaner to rinse off the baking soda off of the headlights. My microfiber cloth was more useful here drying off the solution and picking up any other lingering dirt. I was really amazed at how much dirt I got off of the headlight and how clear it was after. The really nice thing after cleaning the headlights is that they seem brighter and less dreary. Yay for being able to see in the dark better!

Happy Cleaning!


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37 thoughts on “5 Minutes to Clean Headlights

  1. Pingback: How to Clean Your Car’s Headlights in 5 Minutes

      • Angela thank you for sharing this article. I just have a question: can you tell how much baking soda to water you used to make this cleaner? Also to debunk the toothpaste cleaning of head lights. It’s not meant to be done just by hand but by a air powered sander/buffer! I saw a segment on one of the Saturday car shows that showed cleaning lenses with white toothpaste but using the air tool to buff it into the lense better. Believe me I tried the toothpaste deal before I saw the show.

        Thanks Again,

      • Hi David,

        You’re welcome! I used roughly a 2:1 baking soda to water, just enough water to make the baking soda workable but not runny. You want the baking soda to stay on the headlight and not run off where you don’t want it.

        Thanks for stopping by!

  2. My thoughts are that if this works, there are a lot of companies making money on us suckers by selling us headlight cleaner! Shame on them, and thanks ANG for telling us about the baking soda!

  3. Thank you so much for this tip! I spent $18 on a cleaning kit at the parts store last year! It took more like 30 minutes and a lot of trouble! I don’t think they were any better off than when we started! I will definitly have to try this!!!

  4. …thanks for the tip Angie! Gotta love the baking soda! Hope you don’t mind me following you around on your Blog = )…

  5. That is so awesome!! I am stopping by from The Resourceful Gals. Thanks for letting me know about your blog. I will be using your great tips!

  6. It didn’t work for me. I worked at for ten minutes and at the end even added a bit of vinager and let it sit for a few then scrubbed some more. I will say it helped, one headlight is mostly clear and the other one must be to far gone for this to work. Maybe I’ll try the tooth paste.

    • I did notice when I cleaned mine there was some dirt inside of the headlight, so there might be some on the inside, which you could try to clean if you remove the actual light bulb. I don’t know how to remove the light bulb unfortunately. I was okay with a imperfect result. However, I would try another application or two and be sure to use a little muscle when buffing the headlight.

  7. Be careful with getting baking soda on the car itself. I started using baking soda as a body scrub a few weeks ago. (Works great! Mix it in your hand with a little soap.) I used a brand new razor in the shower, and the next day it had completely corroded and rusted — 24 hours later. I was shocked!

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