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The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Headlights

Updated: Jan 14

how to clean headlights for red truck
how to clean headlights for red truck

Are your car's once-bright headlights now clouded and dim, affecting your visibility during nighttime drives? 

Over time, headlights can become hazy due to oxidation caused by exposure to the sun, environmental pollutants, and general wear and tear. The good news is that restoring your headlights to their former glory is more manageable than it may seem. 

This comprehensive guide will take you through the step-by-step process of cleaning and restoring your headlights to ensure optimal performance and a sleek look for your vehicle. Plus, we'll explore why Renewcar offers the best service in New Zealand, providing you with a professional solution beyond DIY methods.

Understanding Headlight Oxidation

Before diving into the restoration process, it's essential to understand why headlights become cloudy in the first place. Headlights are typically made of polycarbonate plastic, which is durable but prone to oxidation over time. 

Oxidation causes the headlights' surface to become hazy, reducing their clarity and brightness. This affects your vehicle's aesthetics and compromises your safety on the road, especially during low-light conditions.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning and Restoring Your Car Headlights

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To begin the restoration process, gather the following supplies:

  • Mild soap or car wash solution

  • Water

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Toothpaste (optional)

  • Car wax (optional)

  • Headlight restoration kit (optional)

  • Baking Soda 

Step 2: Wash the Headlights

Start by washing the headlights with mild soap or car wash solution and water. Use a microfiber cloth to gently scrub the surface, removing any dirt or grime that may have accumulated.

Step 3: Apply Toothpaste (Optional)

You can use toothpaste to polish the headlights for a simple DIY solution. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a clean, damp cloth and rub it onto the headlights in a circular motion. The mild abrasives in the toothpaste can help remove surface oxidation and restore some clarity to the lenses.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry Your Headlight Lenses

After applying the toothpaste, rinse the headlights thoroughly with water to remove any residue. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to dry the headlights completely.

Step 5: Apply Car Wax (Optional)

Consider applying a layer of car wax to the headlights for added protection and shine. This will enhance their appearance and provide a protective barrier against future oxidation.

Step 6: Consider a Restoration Kit (Optional)

Consider using a kit if the above steps yield unsatisfactory results or your headlights are heavily oxidized. These kits typically include sandpaper, a polishing compound, and a sealant to remove oxidation and restore clarity to the headlights.

Step 7: Consider using Baking Soda


If you don't have a restoration kit, another inexpensive and effective option is to use baking soda. Mix baking soda with water to paste and apply it to the headlights. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing it off with a damp cloth.

Step 8: Regular Maintenance 

To keep your headlights in top shape, regularly wash and wax them as part of your car maintenance routine. This will prevent oxidation from building up and keep your headlights shining bright.

Why Choose Renewcar for Restoring Headlights in New Zealand

Expertise and Experience

Renewcar boasts a team of highly skilled professionals with extensive experience. They understand the unique challenges posed by New Zealand's climate and road conditions, allowing them to tailor their services to deliver exceptional results.

Advanced Techniques and Equipment

Renewcar utilizes advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to restore headlights to their original condition. 

Their methods are tried and tested to ensure that our headlights receive the best possible care without causing any damage to the surrounding areas of your vehicle.

Attention to Detail To Clean Foggy Headlights 

At Renewcar, no detail is overlooked. Their meticulous approach ensures that every aspect of your restoration is handled with care, resulting in headlights that look better and perform optimally, enhancing your safety on the road.

Customized Solutions

Renewcar understands that every vehicle is unique and provides customized solutions tailored to your needs. Whether you have a modern car with complex headlight designs or a classic vehicle with vintage headlights, Renewcar has the expertise to address your restoration needs.

Long-Term Results

Unlike quick fixes, Renewcar's service provides long-term results. Your headlights will look better and maintain clarity for an extended period, ensuring your safety and satisfaction.


In conclusion, restoring your headlights is crucial to maintaining your vehicle's safety and aesthetics. 

While DIY methods can provide temporary relief, a professional service like Renewcar offers long-term solutions with superior results. 

With their expertise, advanced techniques, and commitment to customer satisfaction, Renewcar stands out as the top choice in New Zealand. Say goodbye to cloudy headlights and hello to renewed clarity and brightness with Renewcar's professional restoration service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I perform headlight restoration myself?

You can perform an essential headlight restoration using household items like toothpaste. Still, for severe or long-term cloudiness, it is recommended to use a professional service like Renewcar.

Q2: How long does the process take?

The duration of the process may vary depending on the severity of the oxidation. A DIY method can take about an hour. In contrast, professional services like those offered by Renewcar may take a couple of hours for optimal results.

Q3: How frequently should I restore my car's headlights?

The frequency depends on several factors, such as the environmental conditions your car is exposed to and the type of roads you frequently use. However, typically, professional restoration is suggested every one to two years.

Q4: What is the cost at Renewcar?

For accurate pricing on cleaning car headlights, please get in touch with Renewcar directly. The cost may vary depending on the condition of your headlights and the specifics of your vehicle.

Q5: Is the process safe for my vehicle?

Yes, the DIY process and professional restoration services by Renewcar are safe for your vehicle. Renewcar's advanced techniques ensure no damage to surrounding areas during restoration.

Q6: What causes headlight fogging? 

Headlight fogging is caused by the breakdown and buildup of the protective layer on headlights, which makes them more susceptible to oxidation. Factors such as UV exposure, traffic pollutants, and environmental conditions can accelerate this process. However, proper maintenance and restoration can prevent and reverse headlight fogging.

Also, most headlight lenses these days are made of plastic, which is more prone to oxidation than glass lenses used in the past. This makes regular maintenance and restoration even more critical for modern vehicles. 

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