How to Clean Yellow Headlights at Home | Easy Solutions

In a car, headlights turning yellow over time is a common trait. But, however common it may be, it is still an annoying thing for and it reduces the capability of the headlight. The light-emitting from the headlight reduces in quantity over time if this is not solved. Today, we are going to discuss why headlights get foggy, how to prevent this, and how to clean yellow headlights at home with household equipment.


Why Headlights Turn Yellow Over Time?

A car is meant to be driven all the time of the year, in any condition. So it is pretty common that the outside thing will take a toll on the car’s body and the equipment. The key reasons why a car’s headlight turns yellow is mentioned below.

Getting Hit with Debris

When you are driving the car, the headlights are coming in contact with debris, gravels, road salts, flying dust, and many more things. These things are scratching the headlight and the top coating is slowly becoming full of micro and even big scratches. When the amount of scratch is too much in quantity, the headlight turns cloudy and foggy.


When you are driving your car under direct sunlight, the acrylic headlights are coming in contact with the UV light. In most cases, the headlights have a topcoat designed to protect them from these UV lights. But, with time and scratching from the debris, this top coat wears off. Then the plastic in the headlight comes into direct contact with the UV lights and turns yellow.


When the car is being used regularly for several years, the headlight collects various chemicals and dirt on top of it and plain, quick washing can not get all the chemicals away. These chemicals form and create a layer over the headlight, which makes it turn foggy and cloudy.

Vapored Water

All the headlights are built in a way that no water can get inside them. But, over time, this watertight state becomes compromised and water gets inside the headlight. And in the heat from the light, it vapors and covers the front of the headlight. This results in a cloudy headlight and hampers heavily in the nighttime visibility.

How To Prevent Yellow Headlights In Your Car?

Now you know the cause, there are some things you can do to prevent the headlight from turning yellow.

Park in a garage or shadow

If you are parking your car at your home – in the driveway or the side of the streets, try to park it in a garage. When you are Parking at work or school or anywhere, try to avoid the sunlight. If no garage space is available, try to find a place with shadow, or under a tree. This will help protect your car from direct sunlight and those harmful UV rays.

Wash Your Car Properly

Try to wash your car on a regular or weekly basis either at home or at car washes. And every 2 to 3 months, try to give a thorough wash and clean. On the outside, wash with automotive soap and give the thorough wash slowly. This will take out the chemicals and dirt from the headlights which could have caused foggy headlights.

Polish the headlights

To keep the headlights shiny and clear, try to polish them once a week or once a month. Polishing them regularly will prevent oxidation and also repair the scratches.  Use a proper non-abrasive polish along with microfibre cloths to get the maximum shine and clarity from your car headlights.

How To Clean Yellow Headlights At Home With Household Items?

You can clear the fogginess or the yellow tone of your headlights with items that are already present at your home.

Clean Yellow Headlights With Toothpaste

Along with keeping our teeth healthy, toothpaste is also really popular as one of the best cure-all solutions. Toothpaste can clear the yellowness in the headlights in a really short time, and you can do this easily in your free time.


  • Toothpaste
  • A piece of soft cloth
  • Water

Step 1: Apply the toothpaste

Put some toothpaste directly onto the middle of the headlight. Don’t worry about too little or too much as you can always put a bit more if it is little in quantity.

Step 2: Spread with the cloth

Take the soft cloth, and start to spread the toothpaste in a circular motion. From the center, go all the way to each area of the headlight and make sure no area is left without this toothpaste coat.

Step 3: Wipe Down

Continue spreading the toothpaste, and you will see it slowly becoming wiped away from the headlight. Continue this circular motion till toothpaste from all over the headlight is wiped away.

Step 4: Rinse

Rinse the headlight with clear water, and you will see that the yellow tone and cloudiness is replaced with a clear and shiny headlight.

Clean Yellow Headlights With Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most common household materials, and have a vast reputation as a cure for yellow and foggy headlights.


  • 5 Tablespoons of baking soda
  • A bowl
  • Some warm water
  • Soap
  • A sponge
  • A piece of clean cloth
  • Tape

Step 1: Clean the headlights

Give your yellow headlights a basic cleaning with some soap and water before you proceed to clean the yellowness with the baking soda. This will remove the usual dirt and dust from the headlight and make the baking soda work better on the fogginess.

Step 2: Cover the areas around the headlight

Take some tape and cover the areas of your car body, right around with the headlight. This step will prevent any of the baking soda to get in contact with the body of the car, as it will make the paint damaged.

Step 3: Mix the baking soda

In the bowl, mix around 5 tablespoons of baking soda with a little warm water to make a paste. You don’t need the accurate measurements, but just enough to make sure the paste is not too runny or too thick.

Step 4: Apply and polish

Apply the baking soda and water paste to the surface of the headlight. Again, there are no accurate measurements, just put as much as you think is needed to cover and polish the entire headlight.

Then, take the cloth, and rub it on the headlight in a circular motion. The baking soda solution soaks up the yellow oxidation and any other chemicals, so you don’t need to put too much force into the polishing.

Continue polishing in a circular motion until all of the yellowness or fogginess is gone.

Step 5: Rinse The Headlight

When the headlight has become clear from all the baking soda action and polishing, rinse it with water. If there is any more yellowness left, apply the paste and polish again, and then rinse with water again.

Step 6: Clean and Dry

After rinsing, give a quick wash with soap and water to clear any baking soda left over the headlight. Then, dry the headlights, and you will end up with clean, shiny, and polished headlights on your car.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to clean the fogginess of headlights?
Use toothpaste, baking soda, sandpaper, etc to clear the fogginess of the headlight.

Why Do headlights turn yellow?
Headlights turn yellow from oxidation by the UV lights in the sunlight.

What causes water vapor in the headlight?
With time, the water-tightness of a headlight reduces, and water starts to get in. Then with the temperature of the light and in direct sunlight, it evaporates and sits under the top cover of the headlight.


Headlights becoming yellow or foggy is one of the most common things in a car. But, when you know how to clean yellow headlights at home, you can solve this problem all by yourself and without any hassle. Hopefully, these solutions and preventing tips will help you keep your headlight away from turning yellow.

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