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How to Clean Headlight Lens with Vinegar?

How to Clean Headlight Lens with Vinegar

Have you been experiencing a foggy and yellowing headlight lens, and have your headlight beams been shallower and dimmer? Have you tried car wash soap and still had not any luck? Then the answer you’ve been looking for is Vinegar.

You might be surprised to know that this household item has many benefits apart from being a cooking and pickle ingredient. On its own or in combination with other ingredients, Vinegar can be an extremely effective cleaning solution.

Read on to get a step-by-step guide on using Vinegar to clean headlights.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is something that you can probably find on your kitchen shelf. It is a beneficial substance used mainly for cooking, but it also has other uses. But you may be asking, what is it?

When wine ferments, there is a sour taste to it. When it ferments further, the sugar in the wine turns to alcohol, and that fermentation produces acetic acid, which is Vinegar. Acetic acid is the primary compound in Vinegar and is responsible for its sour taste.

How does it Work?

The reason why Vinegar is so helpful as a cleaning agent is because it contains acetic acid.

The acidity can dissolve any form of brines, soap stains, and even glue. This makes it perfect for removing discoloration from foggy headlights or any dirty, grimy surface.

Vinegar is a fantastic car lens restorer. It can be effective for windows, windscreens, and any glass surface susceptible to dirt and grime with the right amount and application.

Why do Headlights Get Yellow or Foggy?

Car headlights can yellow or fog up over time for several reasons. The lens is covered in a plastic material such as a polycarbonate. With time, UV light and oxidization will slowly diminish the strength of the covering.

When the covering is compromised, debris from the road, such as dust, rocks, pebbles, and dirt, can scratch up the lens and create tiny chips and cracks. These openings will allow grime to enter and build up over time, causing the yellowing effect you see and impeding your headlight’s ability to shine.

Another way for the lens covering to degrade is through the combined corrosion of UV light, acid rain, and asphalt petrochemicals.

Why are Clean Headlights Important?

You need to keep an eye out for the color of the light emitted by your headlights. Cloudiness and yellowish light can lower the strength of your headlights and may even redirect the light.

If this is the case, you are putting yourself and other drivers at risk. Headlight lenses should be maintained adequately to avoid visibility-related accidents regardless of the time of day or the season.

Being proactive about this can go a long way, and you may not even have to seek help from professionals to deal with it. There are many DIY methods available, and we will be mentioning a few of them here.

How to Clean Headlight Lens with Vinegar: A Step by Step Guide

Vinegar is one of the best at-home agents to clean dirt and dust from a headlight. But just using Vinegar is not very effective. There are many other household items that you can combine with Vinegar to get the best cleaning outcome.

Below is a step-by-step guide to cleaning headlight lenses using Vinegar and other household products.

How to Clean Dirt and Dust using Vinegar

If your headlight lens is covered in dirt and dust, then follow the steps provided below:

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools

First, you must prepare and gather the tools you will need. The tools you need are:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth
  • Cup for measuring

Step 2: Mix Vinegar and Water

Next, use a cup to get the best mixture of Vinegar and water. Add three parts of water to one part of Vinegar, then mix well to get the solution you will need.

Step 3: Spray the Mixture on the Headlight

Once the solution is prepared, put it into the empty spray bottle. Spray a few times until the headlight is fully covered with the answer. Let it sit for 2 minutes.

Step 4: Wipe the Dirt Away

Take the clean microfiber cloth and start wiping away the dirt from the headlight using circular motions. It will remove any dust, grime, dirt, and bugs. If there is a hard stain on the headlights, you can add a little pressure while cleaning.

How to Clean Headlight Lens with Vinegar and Baking Soda

If your headlight lens becomes yellow, discolored, or foggy, you will need to apply a vinegar mixture and baking soda.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do so.

Step 1: Gather the Tools

First, you must gather and prepare the tool listed below:

  • Measuring Cup
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Clean Cloth
  • Sponge
  • Spray Bottle

Step 2: Mix the Vinegar and Baking Soda

Add two-part Vinegar with one-part baking soda using a cup to measure and then mix them thoroughly. You will see the mixture starting to foam.

Step 3: Apply the Solution

Dip a clean cloth into the mixture. Then apply it to the headlight using circular motions. Rub until the mixture is all over the surface.

Step 4: Rinse it off

The next step is rinsing off the mixture from the headlight. Take the sponge, soak it in clean water, and then rub it onto the headlight to remove the baking soda.

Repeat until all of it is removed. You can tell you have removed all the Vinegar if there is a white haze on the headlight.

Alternatively, you can use the spray bottle to spray water over the headlight and then wipe away the Vinegar using a dry cloth or sponge.

Step 5:  Repeat the Process

You may need to repeat the process to get the yellowness and fogginess out of the headlight, but it will start looking as good as new if you keep it a few times.

How to Clean Headlights with Vinegar and Wax

Sometimes headlight lenses have streaks and residue, and you need to add a solution of wax and Vinegar. Follow the steps below to get your headlights looking clean and sparkly again. This mixture also prevents future fogginess as well.

Step 1: Gather the Tools and Ingredients

First, you must gather all the necessary ingredients to make the wax and the tools to apply and clean the headlight. The things you will need are:

  • Clean cloth
  • Water
  • Linseed Oil
  • Carnauba Wax
  • Beeswax
  • Apple Seed Vinegar
  • Saucepan
  • Jar

Step 2: Clean the Headlight

Before applying the oil, you must ensure that the headlight is clean adequately. Use warm water and a sponge or car wash brush to clean and dry the headlight. If there is a tough stain, you can apply more pressure and clean it.

Step 3: Heat the Wax

Add a cup of linseed oil, four tablespoons of carnauba wax, and two tablespoons of beeswax. Mix this with a half cup of apple cider vinegar. Add a double boiler with some water, and heat them for a while, stirring frequently. Pour the mixture into a jar and let it cool.

Step 4: Apply the Wax

Use a clean cloth to dab the wax and then rub it onto the headlight using circular motions. Use a different clean the headlight by buffing off the wax. Make sure there are no streaks or residue left on the headlight. The headlight should now look polished and sparkling.

How to Clean Headlights Using Vinegar and Toothpaste

Cleaning car headlights using toothpaste and Vinegar isn’t a random idea. Toothpaste can be used to clean many things around the house.

Follow the steps below to clean the yellowing on the headlights.

Step 1: Gather the Tools

To clean a headlight using toothpaste, you must first gather the following tools and ingredients:

  • Vinegar
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean Cloth
  • Water

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

Now you need to mix two tablespoons of toothpaste and six tablespoons of Vinegar inside a bowl and form a thick paste.

Step 3: Apply the Mixture

Use the toothbrush to apply the paste onto the car’s headlights. Make sure to spread it evenly onto the whole headlight lens. Then let it rest for a bit

Step 4: Remove the Mixture

After waiting a bit, rinse water onto the headlight and then use a clean cloth to wipe the headlights clean and get back the original sparkle missing.

Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar to Clean Headlights

Using Vinegar to clean headlights has a few benefits and an unexpected drawback.


  • Vinegar is readily available at the store
  • It’s a cheaper alternative
  • It comes in handy for all types of cleaning tasks
  • It can be used to clean windows as well


  • It would be best to be very attentive when preparing and using vinegar solution, as using too much can do more harm than good.


Vinegar’s acidic nature is precisely why it is highly effective in removing stains and is an excellent glean restorer.

It may be a harsh solution, especially at high concentrations, but you can have a clean car and home if you know how to use it. Also, the advantages of Vinegar far outweigh its drawbacks.

Hopefully, this article has successfully taught you the many ways you can use Vinegar to clean headlights.

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