Toad Headlight Hygiene — Does Toothpaste Actually Work?

TheRVgeeks Cleaning 9 Comments

Being dragged around by the nose behind a huge RV for over 13 years doesn’t do much to keep your face clean. Add to that a healthy dose of sun poisoning in the Desert Southwest most winters, and you can understand why our poor little Honda’s eyes have glazed over.

If you saw our original video about restoring the plastic headlight covers on our car, you know that hazy, yellowed headlights aren’t too difficult to rejuvenate. But once the original protective coating has come off the plastic, they tend to haze over again within several months.

The only long-term solutions are to replace the entire headlight assemblies, which can be very expensive, or to re-coat the current lenses with a layer of UV-resistant clear-coat. We’ve avoided the former due to the price, and haven’t bothered with the latter because re-polishing the lenses one or twice a year is so quick and easy. So we just haven’t gotten around to the more involved process of re-coating them.

Even so, there is some cost involved with restoring wipes. Even though they’re not expensive, finding an alternate solution that is, for all intents and purposes, free, is fun. What better way to solve a do-it-yourself challenge than by MacGyvering a technique using something that you already have lying around the house? wink

So when we heard that whitening toothpaste can be used to restore our headlight lenses, we hopped right on it to test it out. This short video shows how it worked out.


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Comments 9

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  3. Hi guys. So we are adding some humor to our videos? It’s about time…Nice tip for cleaning those old headlights. Cheaper than a new car.

    FYI, I use toothpaste to remove stains from coffee cups. Wonderful stuff.

    Now you need to do a video on dryer sheets. Another overlooked wonderful tool. Use old dryer sheets to clean cheese off of diner plates and pots, dried hardened food on casserole dishes, add a little water when cleaning cabinets and kitchen appliances, getting dried bugs off of your windshield and front-end, mirrors. etc. Oh yes, they work good to reduce static on the clothes in the dryer…Use them when you want more cleaning power than a paper towel or in a wet environment as they don’t fall apart, rather they just ball up. And, put ’em in your hat or around your neck to reduce mosquito encroachment.

    And just before that video, you are making, use a dryer sheet to reduce hair static so you look your best.

    cheers, mike in san jose

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      Wow! Who knew that the ubiquitous dryer sheet could do so much. Thanks Mike! But I doubt that I (Peter) will need them for any hair issues… unless they’re good for polishing smooth surfaces. :-P

  4. Cool! It leaves your headlights minty fresh as well!

    I’m thinking that it’s not the whitening in the toothpaste, I used to use plain ole Crest 40+ years ago to polish jewelry. Worked good too! I believe that all toothpaste contains a very fine scrubbing powder, and the whitening type has some sort of bleach.

    Worth noting is that the film on the outside has to be scrubbed off. Using an oil type product has been recommended by some, but really doesn’t do anything but make it shiny, and appear good. The lens will still scatter light to the 4 winds. What’s really striking after doing this is that the lights have their pattern back, with the cutoff line they’re supposed to. Makes a world of difference.

    I had a ’01 Mustang that I had to redo the headlights every three months or so. Really aggravating, especially in NE Ohio winters. I tried a high quality auto finish as well, I might as well have spit on them for all the difference it made. I bought a spray can of high quality clear ENAMEL (Important) for about $15 at a local auto parts store that carried a good line of paint products, and “Painted” them with it. A little over a year later when I sold the car, they still looked like the day I did it. Definately worth it. BTW, it didn’t live in a garage.

    Many cars now just have a couple clips to remove the headlights. Remove the clips and wires, and it’s super easy to clean them. Honda isn’t one of them BTW. It rather seems like they support the front of the car with the headlights. ?

    Thanks for another good video. Always enjoy them. The wife and I sat down and went through the videos from your Australia trip, I think I’m a little jealous. Great videos, and we both really enjoyed them. One thing, it would’ve been nice if they were in order. It was plain that we saw some out of order. Maybe 1,2,3, or 01,02,03 at the beginning of the title?

    Thanks, and welcome back to the States!

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      Hi Dave!

      One reason we want to avoid replacing our headlights is not just the cost, but we fall into the category you mentioned… they hold the bumper on. ;-) Seriously, there would be a ton of dismantling to do to replace them. With too much to do already, it’s just not worth it for us right now.

      So glad to head you’re enjoying our Australia videos. While we didn’t include episode numbers on them, we did publish them in actual chronological order. If you’d like to see them in order, you can visit our Australia page, and work your way from the bottom up through all 26 videos: http://www.thervgeeks.com/australia/ Break out the popcorn! LOL

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