How to Clean Yellow Headlights at Home

Are your headlights looking a little yellow? Don’t worry, and you can clean them at home without spending a fortune. This blog post will show you how to clean yellow headlights at home and make them look new again.


Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to achieve amazing results in just a few minutes. If you’re like most drivers, you probably don’t think about your car’s headlights until they look a little dirty.

And when they do get dirty, it can be tough to know how to clean them properly. So please read on for instructions on how to return your headlights to their former glory!

Summary: Yellowed headlights can significantly reduce the efficiency of a vehicle’s lighting system, affecting visibility and safety on the road. Over time, headlights tend to become discolored or hazy due to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, dirt, and other environmental factors. This oxidation process can lead to a dull and yellow appearance on the headlight lens, which diminishes the effectiveness of the headlight beams. Fortunately, there are several cost-effective methods to clean and restore yellowed headlights at home, improving both the appearance and functionality of the vehicle.

One popular method to clean yellowed headlights involves using toothpaste, which acts as a mild abrasive to remove the oxidation layer. To begin, clean the headlight surface with soap and water to remove dirt and debris. Then, apply a generous amount of toothpaste onto a soft cloth or sponge and gently rub it onto the headlight in a circular motion.

Rinse the headlight with water and repeat the process if necessary. Once satisfied with the results, dry the headlight and apply a UV-protectant spray to prevent further yellowing. Alternatively, a DIY headlight restoration kit can be used, which typically includes sandpaper, polishing compound, and a protective sealant. Follow the kit’s instructions to sand, polish, and seal the headlight, effectively restoring its clarity and appearance.

8 Reasons That Causes Yellow or Foggy Headlights

1. Weather and Road Conditions

Over time, your headlights can become oxidized from exposure to the elements. Sunlight, rain, snow, and even dirt and debris can cause a film to build up on the surface of your headlights, making them appear yellow and dull.

2. Bug Splatters

Summertime means more time on the road – and more bug splatters on your windshield and headlights. If you don’t clean these off right away, they can harden and become difficult to remove.


In addition, the acid in bug splatters can eat away at the protective coating on your headlights, causing them to become dull and yellowed.

3. Failing to Clean Your Headlights Regularly

You should be cleaning your headlights (and taillights) every time you wash your car. However, many people forget or don’t have the time. If you don’t clean your headlights regularly, the dirt and debris will build up and cause them to become yellow and dull.

4. Chemical Cleaners

Many people try to clean their headlights with household cleaners like window cleaner or vinegar. However, these chemicals can damage the protective coating on your headlights, causing them to become yellow and dull.

5. Using the Wrong Cleaning Product

Many headlight cleaning products are on the market, but not all of them are created equal. In addition, some headlight cleaners can damage your headlights, so it’s important to choose one that is specifically designed for use on automotive lights.

6. Abrasive Cleaning

You should never use an abrasive cleaner or scrubber on your headlights. These can damage the surface of your headlights and make them more likely to yellow in the future. Instead, try one of the headlight cleaning products listed above.


7. Not Sealing Your Headlights

After cleaning your headlights, it’s essential to seal them with a clear coat or sealant. This will protect them from future yellowing and make them last longer. You can find headlight sealants at auto parts stores or online.

8. Driving Without Headlights

Believe it or not, driving without your headlights on can cause them to become yellow over time. This is because the UV rays from the sun can damage the plastic, causing it to become dull and discolored.

10 Effective Ways on How to Clean Yellow Headlights at Home:

1. Use Soapy Water and a Soft Cloth

The first step is to mix some soap and water in a bowl. Then, take a soft cloth and dampen it in the mixture. Next, gently rub the cloth over the headlights in a circular motion. To avoid spreading dirt and grime, be sure to rinse the cloth frequently in soapy water.

2. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great way to clean yellow headlights because it’s gentle yet effective. Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and then use a soft cloth to rub it onto the headlights. Rinse with clean water when you’re finished.


3. Use Vinegar and Water

If soap and water aren’t doing the trick, you can try mixing vinegar and water. The ratio should be about 1:1, or slightly more vinegar than water.

Rub this mixture onto your headlights with a cloth and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off. You should see a difference in the clarity of your headlights.

4. Using Toothpaste

Toothpaste is another household item that can be used to clean yellow headlights. Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste to a clean cloth and rub it onto the headlight in a circular motion.

Next, rinse the headlight off with water and dry it with a clean towel. You may need to repeat this process a few times to eliminate all the yellowing.

5. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a great way to clean yellow headlights because it’s strong enough to remove the build-up but gentle enough that it won’t damage the headlight. Apply some rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and rub it over the headlight. Rinse with clean water and dry with a towel.

6. Use WD-40

WD-40 is another great option for cleaning yellow headlights. Simply spray WD-40 onto the headlight and wipe it off with a clean cloth. You may need to repeat this process a few times to eliminate all the yellowing.


7. Use a Headlight Cleaning Kit

If you want to simplify things, you can purchase a headlight cleaning kit. These kits have everything you need to clean your headlights, including cleaners, polishes, and protection products.

8. Use Sandpaper

If your headlights are yellow and nothing else seems to be working, you can try using sandpaper. Be sure to use very fine grit sandpaper so you don’t damage the headlight.

Gently rub the sandpaper over the headlight in a circular motion until you see the yellowing disappear. Rinse with clean water and dry with a towel.

9. Buy a Commercial Headlight Cleaner

There are many commercial headlight cleaners on the market that can be used to clean your headlights. These cleaners are typically more expensive than other options, but they may be worth the investment if nothing else seems to be working.


10. Take Your Car to a Professional

If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your headlights yourself, you can always take your car to a professional. Many auto detailers, car washes, and even mechanics offer headlight restoration services.

While this option is usually more expensive than cleaning your headlights yourself, it can save you time and ensure that the job is done correctly. Plus, professionals usually offer a warranty on their work, so you can ensure that your headlights will stay looking good for a long time.

Some Tips to Maintain Your Headlights Regularly

1. Regularly clean your headlights with soap and water to remove any build-up.

2. Use a headlight cleaning kit or commercial headlight cleaner every few months to keep your headlights looking their best.

3. Take your car to a professional for headlight restoration every few years or as needed.

4. Be sure to sand any rough edges off your headlights before cleaning them.

5. Use a clean cloth or sponge when cleaning your headlights to avoid scratching them.

6. Rinse your headlights with clean water after cleaning them to remove any residue.

7. Dry your headlights with a clean towel or air dry them to prevent water spots.

8. Apply a headlight protection product after cleaning your headlights to keep them looking new.

Why is Cleaning Yellow Headlights Important?

Over time, the UV rays from the sun can cause the plastic headlight covers to yellow and become opaque. This not only diminishes the look of your car, but it can also make it more difficult to see at night.


While you could take your car to a professional to restore the headlights, it is easy to clean them yourself at home. By regularly cleaning your headlights, you can keep them looking new and prevent them from yellowing over time.

Cleaning your headlights is also important for safety reasons. When your headlights are yellowed, they aren’t as effective at illuminating the road in front of you.

This can make it more difficult to see at night and can increase your risk of getting into an accident. By cleaning your headlights regularly, you can help to keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road.

Why Do Headlights Turn Yellow Overtime?

Headlights turn yellow over time due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and the accumulation of road grime. The UV rays cause the plastic to oxidize, while the road grime can etch into the plastic and cause it to become dull. Cleaning your headlights regularly can help prevent the build-up of grime and keep them looking clear.

Can You Clean Yellow Headlights With Denatured Alcohol?

Yes, you can use denatured alcohol to clean yellow headlights. Pour a small amount of alcohol onto a clean cloth and rub it over the headlight in a circular motion.

You may need to repeat this process a few times to remove all the yellowing. Be sure to rinse the headlight with clean water and dry it with a towel afterward. You can also use a headlight cleaning kit that contains alcohol to clean your headlights.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ):

No, vinegar is a very effective way to clean your headlights. Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl and then pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the headlight and let it sit for a few minutes.

Then, use a clean cloth to wipe away the dirt and grime. You may need to repeat this process a few times to clean your headlights. Finally, rinse the headlights with clean water and dry them with a towel afterward.

You can do a few things to help prevent your headlights from turning yellow. Firstly, make sure to clean them regularly with soapy water or a headlight cleaning solution. Secondly, use a headlight sealant to create a barrier between the headlight and the elements.

Finally, don’t forget to wax your headlights regularly to help protect them from the sun and other environmental factors. If you do find that your headlights have turned yellow, be sure to follow the guidelines on how to clean yellow headlights at home.

Toothpaste is a common household product that can be used for a variety of purposes, including cleaning. Toothpaste contains abrasives that can help to remove build-up and yellowing from surfaces.

When cleaning your headlights with toothpaste, use a non-gel variety and apply it to a soft cloth rather than directly onto the headlight. Rub the toothpaste onto the headlight in a circular motion until the build-up is removed. Rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.

Final Words

Headlights are an important part of your car and must be kept clean. They help you see better while driving, but they also make your car look nicer. Unfortunately, dirty headlights can cause decreased visibility while driving, and they can also lower the value of your car if you decide to sell it in the future.

In this post, we’ve shown you how to clean yellow headlights at home using a few simple ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have clean, clear headlights in no time!

If you are stuck somewhere or have any queries feel free to ask in the comment section below. We hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. If so, please share it with your friends and family!

Leave a Comment