Can you restore your car's headlights with toothpaste or WD-40?
11:11

Can you restore your car's headlights with toothpaste or WD-40?

Roadshow
Speaker 1: Rumor has its spray lubricant. And even toothpaste can take your car's headlight lenses from crusty to clear in no time flat, but are these items effective on lamp housings or are they best left in your toolbox or on your bathroom vanity? Well, I'm putting them to the test so you don't have to, Speaker 1: There is no excuse for driving around with hazy old headlights, [00:00:30] none whatsoever. It's dangerous for you and others. So don't do it. The good news is you can easily fix this problem by using a restoration. It they're not expensive, difficult to find or hard to use. In fact, we have a whole separate video where I put six of these kits to the test to find out which ones are worth buying and which ones you should avoid. Anyway, after doing all that, I'm intrigued to see if these common household items are any good on headlights. And since you [00:01:00] probably already have lying around there a nearly free solution, I mean, come on. You'd better have toothpaste, if not. Oh boy. Speaker 1: Okay. I'm starting this little experiment with the spray lube. I think toothpaste might actually do something, but I have little faith in this because if it worked for application, the manufacturer would call it out. Plus it's pretty much just lubricant. So what's it actually going to do anyway, [00:01:30] let's just get it out of the way. So here I have a popular brand of spray oil, but similar products should work too, or, well, maybe not at all because that's what we're trying to find out. Basically what I'm I'm going to do here is what you would do with a restoration kit, spray the product on the lens housing, rub it around for a while and then wipe it off. I'll also try it with a drill and a polishing pad to see if that makes any difference. And I grabbed a small piece of fine steel wool just for the hell of it. So let's get started, [00:02:00] Put a little product on there and start wiping. It's getting a little dirt off the lens, but I have my doubts that this is actually going to fix that chalkiness but we'll see just a little bit more. Speaker 1: So the lens is certainly cleaner [00:02:30] than it was before, and it's a lot shinier and oilier too, but it doesn't look like this product did anything to correct that haziness once I'm done with the other steps, I'll wash the whole lens off and let it dry. And then we will really be able to see if this did anything. Okay, next up. I'm gonna use the drill with the polishing pan. I'm gonna do it on this section of the lens. As you can see, I have four different sections, one for just the spray loop, one for the drill, one for steel wool, and then one that's just left as [00:03:00] it was originally. So we'll be able to see how things progress. So anyway, onward with the drill, Move that around a little and we'll hit it. I'm just gonna wipe it off now and see if there's any immediately obvious difference. It's cleaning the, uh, grid off the surface a little bit, [00:03:30] But it still looks a little bit hazy. I don't know. All right, last but not least a bit of steel wool. This may hellaciously scratch the lens up. So don't try this on your own car, but we're gonna see what it does. Speaker 1: All right. I've given that a good it rub down. [00:04:00] I'm just gonna wipe it off here with a clean chunk of paper towel and we'll see if it made any difference. So now that I've done those three tests, visually just Lansing at the headlight assembly, I can't really tell that anything has changed. I'm gonna wash this off really quickly with some soap and water and then let it dry and we'll see if [00:04:30] there's actually any change. Speaker 1: Oh, okay. So this assembly has been washed and it's dry right now. And we can look at our results. This is the quadrant I used just the spray luon. And as you can see, it's still pretty hazy, barely any different from the way it was originally on this end, next up is the drill. [00:05:00] It actually a heres with that spinning polishing pad to have cut through a bit of the haziness. I'm a little surprised, I don't know how long it will stay like that on your car. Once it's exposed to the elements and of course, UV Ray from the sun, but not too shabby there. And then finally, there's the steel will here. And as you can see, it actually looks worse than the on untouched section of the headlight assembly here. So a lot of little scratches in there, my recommendation of course, don't take steel woo to your [00:05:30] car's headlights. Speaker 1: Not a good idea. Next up toothpaste. The idea here is the grittiness will Polish away oxidation and haze on the headlight lens. Just like with a restoration kit. That's the theory at least, but let's see if it's true. So once again, I have divided this lens housing into three different sections. I'll try the toothpaste by hand, right over here and for the hell of it, I'll run some toothpaste with the drill and a polishing pad on this section, just to see if it does [00:06:00] anything in the middle, of course, is the untouched section of the lens. So we can directly compare them to what the toothpaste did. So I'm gonna jump right in, grab a chunk of paper towel here, Squeeze a little bit of toothpaste on here and just start running Minty fresh. If nothing else, this headlight won't get any cavities. [00:06:30] As you can see, there's a bit of discoloration coming off on the paper towel here, which seems to indicate that the two toothpaste is cutting through some of that nastiness on the headlight lensing. I went ahead and grabbed a tube of toothpaste with baking soda in it. So I think it's a little bit grittier than some other brands of toothpaste out there. So that may be a factor here as well. Put a little more on there is why not Speaker 1: Soupy, disgusting mess. [00:07:00] Yeah. That's probably enough rubbing. I'm gonna wipe the lens off and see if this toothpaste did anything Speaker 1: Okay. With that out of the way it does look like the lens. Housing is a little bit clear, but I'm [00:07:30] afraid it may be a similar effect like with the spray oil that it's sort of filling in all of that. Chalkiness making the lens housing look shinier, but I wash this off with soap and water. It'll be just as gritty as before I'm cautiously optimistic, but we'll have to see once I wash it. But before I wash anything, let's try the drill again, just for the hell of it. I mean, power tools are always fun to use, right? So to smear some toothpaste on here, It's a lot of toothpaste [00:08:00] And then I'll kind of just sch Smuts that around a little bit. So it doesn't go flying everywhere And we'll hit it with the drill and it still goes flying everywhere. Maybe that's a bit too much toothpaste. Actually. I'm gonna wipe most of the toothpaste off just so it doesn't go flying and then we'll try it with the drill again. [00:08:30] There we go. That's a better amount. All right, let's see if that did anything, Certainly turn the toothpaste brown. So that's gotta count for something. I would think Speaker 1: No significant difference that I can see right here. But again, I gotta [00:09:00] wash everything off. All righty, it's all cleaned up. And as you should be able to see on the camera there not a big difference. This is the side that I rubbed by hand with the toothpaste, and there is barely any difference between this and the untreated portion of the headlight lens over here is where I used the drill. It's [00:09:30] maybe slightly clearer than original, but man, the difference is negligible at best. So overall I would say toothpaste is a bust on headlight assemblies. Speaker 1: Well, that's disappointing, but not at all. Surprising spray oil and toothpaste are not particularly effective on headlights. That mean the w D 40 did a [00:10:00] little bit here with the drill, but it's still not as clear as it should be. Plus even if these products were effective on headlights, they don't have any sealer that will protect against UV rays like proper restoration kits do so your headlights are probably just gonna get nasty again pretty quickly. I know it's tempting to try these items since you probably have them lying around. I mean, they're basically free, but my recommendation is this save time and hassle by getting a proper headlight [00:10:30] restoration kit. They're simple. Anyone can figure out how to use them. And the most expensive one I tested in the, that other video was only about $32. So it's not like they're prohibitively expensive. Now, as I mentioned before, we've got links in the description box below where you can learn more about headlight, restoration kits. Oh. And make sure to check out that other video as for toothpaste and spray loop. And I say, keep this stuff away from your car. Oh, except perhaps for the WD 40 it's [00:11:00] handy for loosening dirt and grease lubricating squeaky door latches, or about a million other things.

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