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Headlight Cleaning Kits: Ripoff?

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posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 04:20 AM
I had purchased a very good running minivan, and have been very pleased with it except the headlights, they were so dim you could barely see, before buying a new set, I mentioned it to my boss, who told me they were oxidized, and gave me the name of a couple of products, which I purchased and used, neither worked. I was about to break down and fork out the 150.00 for a new set, but while searching around on the net, I saw one more simple thing to try: Toothpaste. I rushed outside with my cloth and paste, crossed my fingers and went to rubbing, and it absolutely worked!
They are now clear and bright.

You would not beleive some of the prices and procedures that people pay and try to do to no avail, then but the lights anyway! Are the makers of the headlights the same people who sell the crap to clean them and then sell you the lights too? I wonder....

Why not just tell people that toothpaste cleans them???

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:07 AM
I've done the same sort of thing, for my Bikes and the cars I've driven, toothpaste is great for cleaning the inside of glass as well, do it properly and you'll only need a 'microfibre' cloth to keep on top of it.
You should ALWAYS look on the net for advice, it pays to 'shop' around, someone's advice could save you a small fortune these days.
And the garages and shops fall over themselves to give you 'worthwhile' advice, yeah worthwhile to them not to you.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:11 AM
Toothpaste works well on jewelry too. Cream of tarter is great as a scrub works well on ovens.

I like to make a paste of baking soda and finish with vinegar for glass that is gunked. An old newspaper also works.

There's really no need to douse stuff in acidic cleaners.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 06:12 AM
I bought the $20 kit from Walmart and it worked great.

The headlights were yellow from being parked in the sun for years in Hawaii. Rather then paying $120+ for replacements I gave the kit a try.

Cleaning the headlamps makes them better, but the clear finish coat that comes with the kit makes all the difference.

The kit is a 3 step process. First is a fine grade sandpaper that you just wet sand to get all the yellow off. 2nd step there's a finer cleaning product (paste) that you buff out your sanding marks with until you have a smooth finish. . Lastly you put on the sealer - which fills the fine hols left by the sanding & cleaning and leaves a clear wet look finish. I spent a good hour combined doing both headlamps with the wet sanding taking most the time.

I imagine rather than spending the $20 on the kit. You could just by fine grade sandpaper and then use some type of cleaning paste for the second process & then figure out what type of plastic sealer is compatible with the headlamp plastic - probably one of the pipe adhesives you get at the plumbing stores. The kits just put all the stuff together enough to do two HL and then hide the contents of the finishing coat by putting their own made up name on it. I found it reasonable and worthwhile, but If I was doing more than one car I'd probably spend $20 on sandpaper, buffing paste & sealer that would be enough to do 50 headlamps.

[edit on 20-11-2009 by verylowfrequency]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 06:38 AM
I've had success with one of the kits but, I never thought of toothpaste. I'll give that a try to put a final polish on the lens. My grandma used to clean brass with Pepsodent toothpaste. Wonder if that brand even exists any longer. Unmistakable flavor and will make your car smell fresh too!

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 06:53 AM
is this an elaborately coded discussion about a conspiracy theory? or have i lost my mind.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 07:02 AM
What you need is the headlight restoration kit which comes with a clear coat and lasts. You will find that just cleaning them allows the oxidation to return.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 07:09 AM
reply to post by snusfanatic

That's the beauty of this site. Once in awhile a question pops up or someone shares some useful info and the thread slowly fades away.

However, the real question is if toothpaste is so effective at cleaning headlights and brass, what is it really doing to our teeth. There's your conspiracy.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 07:39 AM

Originally posted by snusfanatic
is this an elaborately coded discussion about a conspiracy theory? or have i lost my mind.

Just to clarify, this is Below Top Secret, the domain where ATS members can relax and discuss the less serious side of life.

BTS has never gotten the respect that it deserves.

Threads like this are the very reason some of us campaigned for many months to get the Automotive Forum up and running.

It's a place for people to share interesting and useful information about the ordinary things in life.

[edit on 2009/11/20 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 07:52 AM
i use scratch x and blue magic rub it in with a towel then use a buffer to polish it out, i hve done this one some really bad lights and it works great.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:09 PM

I haven't used toothpaste, but what I have used is wd40, and it works great too!

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 04:52 AM
I've done this before, and it looks like I need to do it again. I've used plastic polish which is supposedly meant for this. I guess toothpaste could work as well. In really bad cases people have recommend wet-sanding with 800 and finer grit before polishing.

One thing though, if doing this by hand on really bad headlights I'd recommend wearing some disposable plastic or latex gloves. Somewhere in the process of doing my second headlight (with the fine sandpaper without gloves), my fingerprints were gone and I was bleeding ever so slightly through pores. Didn't notice until I went for the polish after wet-sanding it...
Hurt like a (censored)! Turns out that really fine abrasives are still abrasives.

I'm fine and fingerprints are back now, but some things are learnt through experience.

That's the problem with polycarbonate lenses. They're hard to keep nice after about 10 years. I've also heard that ammonia-based cleaners (that you'd normally use on glass) are bad for them (accelerates oxidization of that particular plastic) and that you're supposed to wax them. (Too late for my car though.)

I think it's more than just cleanliness being a factor. My tail lights are almost like new in comparison. So road grit and who knows what else does its share of wear and tear.

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