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Old 20th December 2016, 11:49   #1
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Default DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

I'm sure like mine, your Facebook feed is full of 'life hacks'. Many of them car related. I finally decided to try one out:

Headlight Restoration Using Toothpaste
Let the images do the talking:

- Let's see some before pictures:
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-1.-original-left.jpg
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-2.-original-right.jpg

- While the headlamps were fine, it's the fog lamps that had gone really bad:
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-3.-fog-left.jpg
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-4.-fog-right.jpg

- The BEST thing about this 'hack' was lack of complexity. Below are the only tools you require:
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-5.-tools.jpg

- Initially, clean the area somewhat with water to remove some external dirt. Apply toothpaste evenly across the glass surface:
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-6.-application-left.jpg
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-7.-application-right.jpg

- Let is stay for 5~10 minutes, then rinse it out. The results were AWESOME:
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-8.-after-left.jpg
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-9.-after-right.jpg

- Looking at specifically the fog lamps:
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-10.-fog-left.jpg
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-11.-fog-right.jpg

- And to wrap this up, a BEFORE & AFTER comparison:
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-12.-comp-left.jpg
DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!-13.-comp-right.jpg

Regards,
Rohan Sachar
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Old 20th December 2016, 13:35   #2
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the DIY Section. Thanks for sharing!

Here's another great thread - link (Home remedies, tips & tricks for your car.).
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Old 20th December 2016, 23:42   #3
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Great Work.

Put some wax on the lights Asap. Otherwise the UV rays from the SUN will yellow them again quite quickly.
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Old 21st December 2016, 01:10   #4
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Eureka! My Accent was long overdue with her fog lamp turning fatty. I would definitely try this and see how it fares. Secondly, wax, can somebody shed some light on what kind of wax you guys are referring as to. I've heard Carnauba Wax being used for car windshields, will it suffice?

Cheers!
VJ
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Old 21st December 2016, 09:55   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
Great Work.

Put some wax on the lights Asap. Otherwise the UV rays from the SUN will yellow them again quite quickly.
Thanks AbhiJ. Fortunately, I had a treatment done for the car a few weeks later in which, the put protection for all cars of the glass as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
Eureka! My Accent was long overdue with her fog lamp turning fatty. I would definitely try this and see how it fares. Secondly, wax, can somebody shed some light on what kind of wax you guys are referring as to. I've heard Carnauba Wax being used for car windshields, will it suffice?
Definitely give it a go. Doesn't require much effort & time.
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Old 21st December 2016, 13:46   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
I've heard Carnauba Wax being used for car windshields, will it suffice?
VJ

I would not suggest any wax on the windshields, I have tried it and when you use the wipers during rain the visibility deteriorates drastically. But on the headlamps and fog lamps it should be no problem.
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Old 21st December 2016, 13:59   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Thanks for the simple but very effective tip.

Same magic will work for the windshields as well, I have done this few times before night drives and it helps a lot. But for no reason I have missed trying the same for headlamps and fog-lamps

Last edited by gadadhar : 21st December 2016 at 14:01.
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Old 21st December 2016, 14:02   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

I did the same trick with my Tooky here (Pre-owned Hyundai Tucson: The initiation of Ms. Tooky-san).
I didn't know about the polish part, though I read in some places that one should put a coat of clear coat to maintain the clarity for longer.
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Old 21st December 2016, 14:41   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Dear All,

I have my doubts about the long-term effect of using toothpaste for cleaning head/fog lights.

Reasons:
1. Headlight lens are made of plastic resin (Polycarbonate)
2. Toothpaste contains micro crystals.

So constant use of toothpaste to clean the head/fog lamps may cause micro-abrasion on the Polycarbonate headlamp lens. So in long-term, may cause more harm than good.

You can try rubbing some toothpaste on a plastic bag that has something printed on it. One can see the ink coming off when toothpaste is rubbed on the plastic bag. Shows the abrasion effect it can cause on the lens.

May be i'm just over cautious

Best Regards,
T-Bone
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Old 21st December 2016, 17:17   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
Dear All,

I have my doubts about the long-term effect of using toothpaste for cleaning head/fog lights. You can try rubbing some toothpaste on a plastic bag that has something printed on it. One can see the ink coming off when toothpaste is rubbed on the plastic bag. Shows the abrasion effect it can cause on the lens.
Good question. Tooth paste doesn't contain any hard crystals. The particles like addictive get diluted to form foam as water and friction is involved. Some toothpastes contain soft plastics to give blue tint to the paste, which again is safe.

As long as your teeth are safe, you don't have to worry using toothpaste to clean your Headlights

Last edited by GTO : 22nd December 2016 at 10:01. Reason: Typos
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Old 21st December 2016, 19:19   #11
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Post Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiplash7 View Post

I would not suggest any wax on the windshields, I have tried it and when you use the wipers during rain the visibility deteriorates drastically. But on the headlamps and fog lamps it should be no problem.
Thank you much. Precisely, my thoughts how a waxed windshield will react to a something like a wiper which would definitely make it milky mess. Advice taken on headlamp and foglights. So, from your point, I infer that Carnauba can be used on headlamps and foglamps?

Thanks again!

Cheers!
VJ
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Old 21st December 2016, 21:58   #12
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Talking Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
Precisely, my thoughts how a waxed windshield will react to a something like a wiper which would definitely make it milky mess.
I have used Collinite No. 845 and Collinite No. 476 on the windshield, once each. The wax results in a good rain driving experience, as there is water beading across the windshield.

During heavy downpour it's all good but during very light splash or using your car windshield washing system, you will get annoyed by the excessive chattering that the wipers produce while wiping a waxed windshield. Same for windows too, there will be good water beading throughout but windows also produce a chattering noise while being rolled down.

Additionally something very similar to this happens when windshield is waxed:


Quote:
Advice taken on headlamp and foglights. So, from your point, I infer that Carnauba can be used on headlamps and foglamps?
Wax on headlamps should help, but I doubt if aerodynamics would allow any water to stay on the headlamps of a quickly moving car; even if they aren't waxed. BTW, my car headlamps as well as the sections of windshield like the top left; which always remains unwiped, entire lower 20% as well as right hand side 10% - where wiper blades stop, is always waxed, It helps quite well and there is no chattering noise too.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 09:48   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
I have my doubts about the long-term effect of using toothpaste for cleaning head/fog lights.

So constant use of toothpaste to clean the head/fog lamps may cause micro-abrasion on the Polycarbonate headlamp lens. So in long-term, may cause more harm than good.
As long as it's a once a year, or in my case, once in 2 years, don't think it should be an issue.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 13:42   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohansachar View Post
I'm sure like mine, your Facebook feed is full of 'life hacks'. Many of them car related. I finally decided to try one out:
Thank you. I will try and do the same on my cars.
I'll also use it to see how Baba Ramdev's products perform against the Colgates of the world.
Initial hypothesis being that Ramdev's products should be less successful at it. Will report.
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Old 23rd December 2016, 11:15   #15
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Default Re: DIY: Headlight restoration using toothpaste!

A little off-topic.
Another use for toothpaste.

I use it for removing light scratches from the clear coat. (I think there's a thread with a video somewhere on the forum, but I can't find it right now)
As I said, LIGHT scratches or a bump where the other guy's paint is on your car. It works well, but if deep scratches are present it will be of no use. Also on very careful and keen observation, the original scratch can be seen.

Method: Clean the area with water first, then apply toothpaste and rub on the damp area. Follow this up with one more round of washing.

PS: Out of the different brands of toothpaste I have tried, I have found that Colgate (the regular one) works the best.
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