How to Prevent Headlights From Yellowing

Do you have hazy and yellow headlights on your favorite car, truck, or SUV? If so, you’ve probably noticed just how awful they look – almost as if the vehicle was never well cared for. Not only are discolored headlights unsightly, but they can also reduce the amount of light emitted from them-putting your safety at risk when driving after dark.

Whether you’re looking to keep your headlights in excellent condition or want to reverse the yellowing process, here are a few simple tips on how to prevent headlights from yellowing.

How to Prevent Headlights From Yellowing

Luckily with a few steps, you can easily prevent your headlights from getting that dreaded “yellow” hue! In this post, we’ll discuss some effective ways to keep your lights shining bright with clear visibility – think of it like a crafty way to decorate other items to protect them and keep them looking beautiful!

What Will You Need?

Before you get started, you’ll need some protective and cleaning products to help maintain your headlights. Here’s a list of items that are recommended:

  • Car wax
  • Headlight protector spray or sealer
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Plastic razor blades

Once you have all the necessary items, you’re ready to get started!

10 Easy Steps on How to Prevent Headlights From Yellowing

Step 1. Wax Your Vehicle Regularly

Waxing your car regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent headlights from yellowing. The wax acts as a protective barrier between the headlight and any contaminants that might damage it over time. Wax also helps improve the clarity and shine of the lens, making it less likely to yellow in the long run.

Step 2. Apply a Headlight Protector

A headlight protector spray or sealer is essential for keeping your headlights looking clear and new for as long as possible. This product helps protect your headlights from UV rays, road debris, chemicals, and other elements that can cause discoloration. It also works to repel water, improving visibility when driving in wet conditions.

Step 3. Clean Regularly

Cleaning Your Headlight Lenses Regularly

Cleaning your headlight lenses regularly should be part of your car maintenance routine to reduce the chances of yellowing due to accumulated dirt and grime. Use a microfiber cloth and mild soap or cleaner specifically designed for headlights to gently clean the lenses. As with any cleaning process, always make sure to dry the lenses completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 4. Use Plastic Razor Blades

To remove stubborn dirt and grime, you can use a plastic razor blade with light pressure to avoid scratching the lens. Make sure to use a new blade each time, as older blades may be dull and cause scratches in the headlight lens. If you’re having trouble removing heavy build-up, use a specialized headlight restoration kit for the best results.

Step 5. Protect Your Headlights from Prolonged Sun Exposure

Exposing your headlights to direct sunlight for prolonged periods can contribute to yellowing over time due to UV damage, so it’s important to keep them covered up when not in use or parked outside for long periods. This is especially important if you live in an area with very sunny weather. Be careful when using car covers, though, as they can trap moisture underneath and cause further discoloration.

Step 6. Apply a UV Protectant Film

Applying a UV protectant film to your headlights can help protect them from the sun’s damaging rays and reduce the chances of yellowing. This film also helps keep water droplets from forming on the lens, giving you better visibility when driving in wet conditions. Don’t forget to apply the film to both sides of your headlights!

Step 7. Avoid Using Harsh Cleaners or Abrasives

Using harsh cleaners or abrasives on your headlight lenses can cause etching or discoloration over time, so it’s important to avoid them altogether when cleaning your headlights. Stick to mild soaps and cleaners that are specifically designed for headlights, as they are much gentler and won’t cause any damage. Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents as they can further discolor your headlights.

Step 8. Avoid Using Hot Water

Too hot water can cause the lens to warp and eventually turn yellow over time, so it’s important to avoid using hot water when cleaning your headlights. Stick to lukewarm or cool water instead, as this will help keep the lens from becoming brittle and discolored. Additionally, make sure you completely dry your headlights off after cleaning to avoid any water spots.

Avoid Using Hot Water When Cleaning Your Headlights

Step 9. Touch Up Headlight Lenses with Paint

If you notice small scratches and chips in your headlight lenses, then you can use automotive touch-up paint to fill them in and prevent further damage from occurring over time. This will help keep your headlights looking like new for longer! Remember, though, that paint can chip and flake off if not applied properly, so do your research before attempting this method.

Step 10. Replace Old Headlights Regularly

Old headlights can become brittle and yellow over time, so replacing them regularly is important to keep your vehicle looking its best. Look for headlight replacements that are designed specifically for your make and model of vehicle to ensure a perfect fit. You can also look for headlight replacements that are designed to be brighter and more efficient so that you can get the most out of your headlights.

Keeping your headlights clean and protected is essential for maintaining optimal visibility when driving at night or in low-light conditions. Following these tips to prevent headlights from yellowing will keep your lights shining bright and help you stay safe on the road!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

1. You can buy a headlight restoration kit to restore the yellowed headlights. These kits typically contain products like sandpaper, polishing pads, and wax. Follow the instructions to achieve the best results.

2. Regularly clean your headlights with a special headlight cleaner that is formulated for automotive plastic. This will help reduce the buildup of dirt and debris, which can contribute to yellowing over time.

3. If you live in an area with high humidity levels, consider applying a wax coating or sealant to prevent UV light from penetrating through the clear coat on your headlights.

4. Consider replacing any damaged or cracked headlights as soon as possible to prevent further damage and yellowing from exposure to UV rays and other elements like road salt during winter.

5. Be sure to check your headlights periodically for signs of yellowing before it becomes too difficult to treat. If you spot yellowing early on, then you may be able to restore your headlights with a headlight restoration kit or other products specifically designed for headlights.

Check Your Headlights Periodically for Signs of Yellowing

Following these tips and tricks will help ensure your headlights look their best for years to come and are not affected by yellowing caused by UV light. Keeping your headlights clean and replacing them when necessary can help extend their life and ensure they look great. With the right maintenance, you can prevent your headlights from yellowing and keep them looking bright for years to come.

6 Things You Should Avoid

1. Don’t apply oil or grease to your headlights, as this can make the yellowing worse.

2. Never leave your headlights uncovered, as this can lead to yellowing due to exposure to UV light.

3. Never use a pressure washer on your headlights, as the high pressure can cause damage and lead to yellowing.

4. Do not polish your headlights with a dry cloth or paper towel, as this will scratch the plastic and can cause yellowing over time.

5. Avoid leaving your car parked in direct sunlight for long periods of time, as this will make it more likely that your headlights will become discolored or yellowed due to exposure to UV rays.

6. Don’t use any harsh chemical cleaners, solvents or abrasives on your headlights, as this can cause further discoloration and damage. Stick to mild soaps and special headlight cleaning products instead.

Don't Use Any Harsh Chemical Cleaners

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can help to prevent your headlights from yellowing and keep them looking great. Taking the time to care for your headlights properly is a great way to ensure they last and look their best for years. With the right maintenance, you can ensure optimal performance and visibility on the road.


A little prevention can go a long way regarding your headlights. Taking the time to clean and treat your headlights before they turn yellow properly will help ensure that you keep your car looking as good as possible. If all else fails, plenty of headlight restorers on the market can help turn back the hands of time on faded headlights. By performing these easy steps, you can enjoy properly functioning and great-looking headlights for years to come.

Hopefully, the article on how to prevent headlights from yellowing has been helpful in maintaining the performance and visibility of your car.

So don’t wait until your lights are yellowing – why not invest in a good-quality headlight cover or craft item today? You’ll be glad you did when those pesky yellow headlights don’t become an issue in the future. Thanks for reading!

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