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Toothpaste on Vehicle Headlights?

Claim- Toothpaste can clean foggy headlights on your car almost as well as expensive products that claim to do the same thing.

The Claim
Verdict- True. (Well, sorta) Over the years ultraviolet radiation from the sun takes its toll on everything it touches, especially on plastics. As well, particles blowing around in the air can help to scratch and dull the finish on your headlight covers over time. The headlights on my 1999 Dodge Avenger look almost like someone had taken a sandblaster to them - full of scratches and chips, and very foggy from all those years outside. I had looked up online how I could possibly remedy this, and found that the common way without replacing the covers was an extensive sanding and polishing with multiple fine grit sandpapers, with expensive sealants applied afterwards to protect them. Definitely worth it over buying new ones, but a lot of work and hassle with no guarantees of a decent job in the end, as you can still mess them up beyond repair if you screw up.. Then I came across an article that claims toothpaste as the answer, that showed the example to the right. Given, my Avenger's lights are worse, and have a lot of scratches in them, but anything would be an improvement at this point so what do I have to lose? I no longer drive the car, so even if I ruined the headlights it really wouldn't matter anyway. The lights on my newer car are much better, but eventually they too will succumb to the powerful forces of deterioration.

Avenger with a little bit of scrubbing
Does it work? The Instructions are simple enough to follow. Start by applying a small amount of toothpaste on a rag, and rubbing in small circular motions, until done. After only a couple quick passes the results are already noticeable. As you can see by the image on the left, it worked on the Avenger, but not as well as it could have with a bit more effort, partially because of all the deep scratches and scarring it has, and partially because I wasn't about to put too much effort into a worn out car.

 Does it last? A little tougher of a question. With the toothpaste, you may get 2-4 months out of it, unless you apply a wax, or something like Opti-coat, clear coat, or another sealant to your headlights to block the UV rays and keep them from getting hazy again. ( Here is one guy's homemade sealant from urethane Try at your own risk)

What kind of toothpaste works? Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, so it naturally works well to polish things, and fill small scratches. Just don't use any kind of whitening toothpaste or ones with cooling crystals or anything like that, as they can scratch the surface badly. I used regular toothpaste out of my medicine cabinet, and it worked just fine. If you are still unsure try in an inconspicuous spot first. 
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