How To Clean Plastic Headlights – Detailed DIY Guide (2024)

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One question that is constantly being asked is how to clean plastic headlights and you would be surprised at the answer that you would get. Plastic headlights that are foggy or cloudy can be cleaned up effective using household items and what this simply means is you do not have to pay heavily at a car wash just because you want to wash your plastic headlight cover instead you can make use of some ingredients around your house and clean your plastic headlight.

How To Clean Plastic Headlights

Every good thing about life is bound to have one or two downsides and the same applies to clean plastic headlights with household items or items that can be found around your home. The major downside is cleaning foggy headlights using household items might only produce temporary results and the reason why headlights tend to turn hazy, cloudy, faded or dull is as a result of oxidation and ultraviolet degradation.

Making use of a headlight restoration kit is simply the only tested and trusted the way that that clarity of a faded, dull, hazy or cloudy headlight can be restored permanently. If a headlight kit isn’t used then the headlight lenses might just be replaced.

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However, all headlight restoration kits are not designed or built to be or function the same as there are some that come in the form of pre-mixed chemicals.

It also involves a simple process that requires applying the solution on the foggy or faded headlight using a clean microfiber cloth. Furthermore, other headlight restoration kits can also come with polishing pads or abrasive sanding discs and here is the truth about using this particular type of kit, it permanently gets rid of oxidation, cloudiness and hazing just to make sure that your headlights shine like it just left the factory.

#TIP – After cleaning headlights, ensure that an ultraviolet protectant is used in sealing them

How To Clean Plastic Headlights Using Household Items

For a quick wash or quick cleaning action, a PAM cooking spray, Toothpaste, Coca Cola or even a WD-40 can be used when it comes to cleaning plastic headlights. This is why this review is quite important as it would show you some safe and effective ways that you can clean up plastic headlights without spending money on purchasing headlight restoration kits and other cleaning agents.

How To Clean Plastic Headlights Using WD-40

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As far as we are concerned, the WD-40 is one of the most versatile household items that anyone can find and sometimes people are amazed at what it can do. This product has been found to be very useful for decades now and let’s remind you that the WD-40 is a silicone-based spray that is rightly formulated to help in displacing water. You are quite fortunate if there is a can of WD-40 sitting in your car garage as it can also be used in wiping clean foggy plastic headlights.

The best advice we can give when cleaning plastic headlights using the WD-40 is to first wash the entire headlight using car shampoo and clean water and this is just to make the entire area clean before proceeding with the main washing itself. After washing using car shampoo and clean water, the plastic headlight should be wiped using a clean cloth and after that, the WD-40 should be sprayed on to the foggy plastic headlight.

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After spraying, it should now be wiped clean using a dry towel and after the first wipe, results would start to appear immediately. However, if the plastic headlight is heavily oxidized then the process might need to be carried out two or three more times so as to obtain desired results.

After cleaning, a separate towel should be used in wiping finally and this process can be carried out with a high level of confidence that no damage would come to your vehicle paint.

However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if after cleaning using household items and the plastic headlight becomes clean then it goes back to the way it used to be after a short while. As we have mentioned before in this review, cleaning up plastic headlights using household items would only yield temporary results.

How To Clean Plastic Headlights Using PAM Cooking Spray

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Who thought that when cleaning a plastic headlight, the PAM cooking spray can be used. A small amount of the PAM cooking spray or vegetable oil as most people call it can be used in cleaning up plastic headlights. What one needs to do first of all before anything is to also ensure that the foggy or dull plastic headlights are washed clean using clean water and shampoo. Then it can be wiped clean so as to proceed to the next line of action to do.

Direct application of the oil on the plastic headlight light is next and it should be allowed to stay on for about two minutes. The vegetable oil or cooking spray should be applied on a small cotton ball and then applied on the headlights and after that, a dry microfiber towel should be used in polishing the headlights lightly. If there is also any need for extra oil then do not hesitate to do so.

A separate clean towel should be used when wiping the plastic headlight finally and after wiping, you would find out that the results would be immediate. If the plastic headlight seems to be extremely cloudy or foggy then the process can be repeated one more time. This cooking spray comes with lubricating properties which would help in getting rid of oxidation or stubborn dirt from plastic headlights.

This process can also be done without fear of scratching your headlights but caution should be taken as only clean and soft towels should be used which would fight back nicks and scratches.


Here you have all the information you need when it comes to cleaning up plastic headlights especially when using household items but here is also another piece of information for you, a clear coat for headlight or ultraviolet sealant should be used so as to extend the life of your headlight lenses.

You can also read up our How To Clean Headlights Using Vinegar review and find out more information that might be useful to you