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Toothpaste used to restore headlights???

Old 03-29-2013, 11:43 AM
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Toothpaste used to restore headlights???

Hello. I've heard that you can use Arm and Hammer toothpaste to restore headlights to almost new condition. Has anyone had any experience with this? I wonder if other toothpastes would work as well. I'm assuming you simply rub on the toothpaste, let it dry a little and rinse of with water and sponge. I have not tried it myself.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:13 PM
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I'm sure it uses the abrasives in the tooth paste to "polish" the headlights. I don't think the method you stated will work. A generous amount of toothpaste and elbow grease will get the job done.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:48 AM
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Toothpaste is only going to clear up some of the oxidation.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:11 AM
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I'd just use plastic cleaner/polish and a random orbital waxer to do it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:57 AM
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Toothpaste works ok, but it depends on how oxidized the lenses are. Ive done it to a few of my cars with good results. If you try it, you want to use your basic white toothpaste. Ive heard that the gel type and others with the gritty stuff can scratch and do more harm than good. I myself use the regular colgate total. I get it by the box for free, wifes a dental assistant. But you can get it at dollar tree. Its worth a shot. Its not going to hurt it. You might save a few bucks.

On a side note, you might want to continue to do it once every month or two, to keep it looking the same.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:44 AM
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if you are going to use toothpaste, you should use autosol instead. take a latex glove squeeze out 2 pea-size and rub it on the headlight and wipe off. it takes 5 minutes per light.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:33 AM
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For the love of god people.....stop polishing your headlights unless you want to make them worse! All you're doing is removing any of the UV protection that is left, so that in the future they will haze up even quicker and worse. If you don't mind doing them once a month or so, then go right ahead. Just know it's not a permanent solution, and the more you polish it, the more you will need to polish it.

And also, get some real polish, you have no idea how smooth or gritty toothpaste will be. Something fine, like Menzerna final finish would be your best bet if you insist on doing this.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
For the love of god people.....stop polishing your headlights unless you want to make them worse! All you're doing is removing any of the UV protection that is left, so that in the future they will haze up even quicker and worse. If you don't mind doing them once a month or so, then go right ahead. Just know it's not a permanent solution, and the more you polish it, the more you will need to polish it.

And also, get some real polish, you have no idea how smooth or gritty toothpaste will be. Something fine, like Menzerna final finish would be your best bet if you insist on doing this.
You can apply a sealant afterwards. It's actually a recommended procedure. I'm going on 3 years with my polished headlights. Still look new.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NightRider View Post
You can apply a sealant afterwards. It's actually a recommended procedure. I'm going on 3 years with my polished headlights. Still look new.
Which is recommended, sealing it after or polishing them? And by who, Mothers? Yes, of course you should seal/wax them after, that's a given.

So when you say 3 years, how many times have you polished them in that time? Has the time between polishing decreased?

All I know is that on every car whose headlights I polish, they always end up worse within a short period of time, sealant or not. There is no denying you are removing the factory UV layer when you polish these things. They're not like paint with a thick layer of tough clear coat that you can polish multiple times. All I know is that after 10+ years of detailing cars, I will not polish headlights on customer's cars or my personal cars. I have learned my lesson the hard way.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
Which is recommended, sealing it after or polishing them? And by who, Mothers? Yes, of course you should seal/wax them after, that's a given.

So when you say 3 years, how many times have you polished them in that time? Has the time between polishing decreased?

All I know is that on every car whose headlights I polish, they always end up worse within a short period of time, sealant or not. There is no denying you are removing the factory UV layer when you polish these things. They're not like paint with a thick layer of tough clear coat that you can polish multiple times. All I know is that after 10+ years of detailing cars, I will not polish headlights on customer's cars or my personal cars. I have learned my lesson the hard way.
You'd seal it after polishing. There are sealants that are equivalent to the factory seal such as Optimum Opti Coat or for a cheaper solution, Chemical Guys JetSeal 109. I've only polished my headlights once when I purchased the car. Sealed them then, and they're fine. I'm sure you have your personal opinion, but perhaps the method you used to polish them was not the correct one.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:40 PM
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If it gets to the point of having to sand, polish, reseal or whatever may be the case, it's more than likely that the uv protectant is already gone. It doesn't last forever. I've used opti coat on my inlaws cts 4 years ago and the damn headlights look better than the car, lol
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:53 PM
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avocado works pretty good. Go to youtube and look up "mightycarmods"
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:11 AM
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I've done this method on several dozen cars during my years of detailing. I found that if you use a wash cloth or something that is a thicker rougher material it works 100% better. I simply put plain old colgate white toothpaste on the cloth with a little olive oil and get some ammonia free window cleaner or Super clean and spray the light and rub the hell out of it. I do this several times depending on how bad the light is, the I use a good wax on them and polish it a couple times.... You will love the results especially at night
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:55 PM
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i have the professional 3m headlight restoration kit. i bought EVERYTHING that comes in their kit seperately, to aviod spending money on the air tools which are basically worthless if your trying to do this a mobile money maker... what the guys are telling you is correct btw. the polycoarbonate lens on your headlights come with a uv coating on them, and when that starts to break down is when your lights get cloudy. the $20 3M kit is great, and basically comes with everyting you will need to sand them down, and polish them back to a clean lens.. after you do that - you have 2 choices. you can either seal it with a UV plastic protectant that you wipe on/off to apply - and need to maintain that about every 3 months of so - OR you need to buy or blend your own UV spray on protectant. dupli color makes one, and i belive you can spray a 50/50 mix of spar urathene and mineral spirits ( id have to double check, but i think thats what some people use) but yes - after you polish the lens clear - you have removed whatever protectant was left. depending on your lights conditon, that might not have matter anyway cause if they were too cloudy to see though, then anything is an improvment.. still cheaper to polish then replace though.. you can always sand them down, and just keep polishing them everytime you wax the car - but it gets old fast..

just to give you an idea, i used the kit i have to sand down and polish the clear dash cluster on my truck.. it made it crystal clear

Last edited by kctyphoon101; 05-28-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:45 PM
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As far as sealing after cleaning/polishing the lens covers, can't you simply apply whatever sealer wax you use on the rest of the car? If this sounds naive, it is because I honestly don't know. I have used a light layer of wax on my tail lights lenses for years without any ill effects. I assume that because the plastic/acrylic lens covers are non-porous, perhaps a sealer wax might work?
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:11 PM
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I just sprayed mine with automotive clearcoat rattlecan and they look mint a year later
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Amerikaner83 View Post
I just sprayed mine with automotive clearcoat rattlecan and they look mint a year later
i assume you removed the headlight when you did this? or you taped off the other areas?
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:58 PM
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hey, here's a way that really works!!

go to an autobody store and get 2500 grit sandpaper, and you want to wet sand the head lights until you don't see anymore oxidization running off in the water.

now after your done let it dry and you'll notice at first its really foggy but the next step is to take regulat rubbing compound and cover to headlight with it and let it sit for a few to get a little cakey, then u wanna keep rubbing at it, preferably with a clean micro fiber until all the compound is off and its starts to shine.

i did all of this by hand and my lights look brand new

trust me on this one bro
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Amar Christopher Ramsook View Post
hey, here's a way that really works!!

go to an autobody store and get 2500 grit sandpaper, and you want to wet sand the head lights until you don't see anymore oxidization running off in the water.

now after your done let it dry and you'll notice at first its really foggy but the next step is to take regulat rubbing compound and cover to headlight with it and let it sit for a few to get a little cakey, then u wanna keep rubbing at it, preferably with a clean micro fiber until all the compound is off and its starts to shine.

i did all of this by hand and my lights look brand new

trust me on this one bro
100 percent correct. This method works miracles. If u don't mind some work it's well worth the effort
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