How to Remove Fog from Headlights: Causes, Prevention, and Homemade Solutions

Foggy headlights can be a safety hazard, decreasing visibility and increasing the risk of accidents. Understanding the causes of foggy headlights and learning how to remove the fog can help ensure your headlights are always in optimal condition. This article will cover the causes of foggy headlights, prevention methods, and step-by-step instructions for cleaning using homemade solutions.

Causes of Foggy Headlights

  1. Bad roads: Debris and small rocks can cause dents or pits in the polycarbonate lens of modern headlights.
  2. Oxidation: Exposure to ambient air and UV radiation can lead to microscopic cracks in the lenses, causing a foggy or cloudy appearance.
  3. Water vapor: Moisture in the air can create water vapor inside the headlights, scattering light and reducing visibility.
  4. Dirt and chemicals: Over time, headlights can develop a thin layer of chemicals and dirt, which can create a foggy or cloudy appearance.

How to Remove Fog from Headlights: Homemade Solutions

Items needed:

  1. Baking soda or toothpaste
  2. Latex gloves
  3. Clean towels or rags
  4. A soft bristle brush
  5. Rinsing water
  6. Mild cleanser

Step 1: Clean the foggy surface
Clean the headlight surface with a mild cleanser, removing any dead bugs, dirt, or debris. Dry the surface with a clean towel.

Step 2: Apply the headlight restorer
Apply the headlight restorer (baking soda, toothpaste, or a commercial headlight lens restoration product) to the foggy surface. If using baking soda, mix it with a small amount of water to form a thick paste. Allow it to sit and dry on the surface.

Step 3: Clean the cleanser
Using a circular motion, clean the cleanser from the headlight with a soft bristle brush or a magic eraser. Be gentle to avoid gouging the headlamp.

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Step 4: Remove stubborn cleanser
Buff any remaining cleanser with a clean towel or rag, then rinse off any residue and water. Polish the surface with a clean towel until dry. Apply headlight polish and let it dry naturally in the sun.

Prevention: How to Stop Headlights from Fogging Up

To prevent foggy headlights:

  1. Apply polish to the lamps periodically.
  2. Park your vehicle in a garage.
  3. Avoid direct UV sunlight.
  4. Wash the headlights every quarter with automotive soap.
  5. Remove the old clear coat with an abrasive cleanser or sandpaper and apply a protective film if necessary.


  1. Does toothpaste really clean foggy headlights?
    While toothpaste can provide temporary relief, it is not a long-term solution for cleaning foggy headlights caused by non-soil issues.
  2. What household items can I use to clean my headlights?
    Effective household items for cleaning foggy headlights include baking soda, vinegar, toothpaste, and dishwashing liquid or soap.
  3. Does Coke clean headlight lenses?
    Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid, which can help clean headlight lenses, but it may not be as effective or long-lasting as other cleaning agents.
  4. Will Magic Eraser clean foggy headlights?
    Magic erasers can safely remove the cloudiness or fogginess from headlights. Use a wet magic eraser to buff the headlight surface and then rinse with water.


By understanding the causes of foggy headlights and following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively clean and prevent foggy headlights. Regular maintenance and the use of homemade cleaning solutions can help ensure your headlights are always in optimal condition, providing maximum visibility and safety while driving.

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