How to Clean Headlights – The ‘Secret Ingredient’

Headlight Restoration

I’m sure many of you know the struggle. Cleaning and restoring foggy headlights can be a painful process. As someone who has tried toothpaste, the 3M headlight kit, baking soda, and many other methods, one problem remains… the solutions do not last.

Sure the headlights look great for a few weeks. But for me, they always quickly returned to their normal foggy state. Luckily, I have come across a polishing compound that not only helps headlights look like new again – they stay looking like new. Let me introduce you to my secret ingredient to headlight restoration, Flitz Polish.

The Best DIY Headlight Restoration Application (That Lasts!)

How to Restore Foggy Headlights

Flitz Polish is a non-abrasive, non-toxic, non-flammable concentrated cream that has a limitless amount of uses. I have found Flitz Paste Polish to be unmatched in its ability to help clean headlights (their website notes that the polish is made in the USA too).

The polish leaves a transparent protective coating that protects your restored headlight from UV rays. This UV blocking quality is one of the reasons Flitz works so well, and provides a lasting solution to clean foggy headlights. And for the price, you just can’t go wrong.

Step-by-Step on How to Clean Headlights

  1. First, you’ll want to clean the surface to remove any dirt and debris. You can do this with a soap and water solution or a more aggressive cleaner. Simply wash and rinse.

  2. Find a scrub pad (Flitz’s headlight restoration kit includes one), a sanding disc, or a coarse section of wet sandpaper (smallest grit). Firmly rub the surface of each headlight back and forth until dried film and oxidation is removed.

  3. After wet sanding, apply polish to the headlight and spread it evenly across the headlight lenses with a microfiber cloth. You don’t need to use a lot, a small amount of Flitz works wonders.

  4. Polish the headlight in circular motions until the plastic is clear. Flitz provides a buffing ball for drills in their restoration kit. But some good old-fashioned elbow grease works great too.

  5. After the plastic headlights are clear, use a microfiber to wipe away any excess polish. There is no need to rinse or wash again.

Bonus* – The Flitz Headlight Restoration Kit below will save you hours of polish time with their buffing ball. If you are looking for an extra level of protection, you can apply a ceramic sealant or the wax provided in the kit to further protect your car headlights.

Flitz HR 31501N Headlight and Plastic Restoration Deluxe Kit
  • kit contains: (1)1.76 ounce paste polish tube, (1) 1.7 ounce flitz ceramic sealant , (1) 3in white mini buff ball, and (1) sanding disk 1000g.
  • removes oxidation, grease, oil, road film, diesel fuel stains, bluing, scuff marks, black streaks and much more
  • use on headlights, tail lights, windshields, camper/rv windows, plastics, acrylics, eisenglass, helmet face shields, boat hatches, light bars, bug deflectors and much more
  • polishes and protects up to 1 year.
  • completes over 10 headlights!

How Can I Keep Headlights From Turning Yellow Again?

Car Headlight After Flitz Application

That’s the beauty of Flitz. Unlike many other methods I have tried, Flitz Paste is the first I solution I have found that lasts… but why? When headlights are exposed to UV light, the plastic will oxidize and turn yellow and foggy (unless they are protected). New cars come with a clear top coat to help prevent this. But when the coating wears away, oxidation occurs.

Flitz Paste Polish not only remove scratches that attract dirt build up and obscure light output, it leaves behind a replacement protective coating. The coating is completely transparent so you can’t see that it is working. But now when you are driving at night a few weeks later and and your headlights are still clear as day, you’ll know why!

Flitz Multi-Purpose Polish and Cleaner Paste for Metal, Plastic, Fiberglass, Aluminum, Jewelry, Sterling Silver: Great for Headlight Restoration + Rust Remover, Made in the USA
11,671 Reviews
Flitz Multi-Purpose Polish and Cleaner Paste for Metal, Plastic, Fiberglass, Aluminum, Jewelry, Sterling Silver: Great for Headlight Restoration + Rust Remover, Made in the USA
  • MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANER: Has the industrial strength cleaning power to protect and polish metal, plastic, fiberglass, aluminum and chrome; Even removes rust, graffiti and can restore headlights, yet gentle enough to use every day for kitchen and bathroom.
  • EASILY REMOVES: Tarnish, Rust, Water Stains, Chalking, Lime Deposits, Heat Discoloration, Lead & Powder Residue, Oxidation, Bugs, Tar, Oil, Fingerprints, Tree Sap, Bird Droppings, Graffiti, Dyes, Black Streaks/Scuff Marks.
  • USE ON: Brass, Copper, Silver-plate, Sterling Silver, Chrome, Stainless Steel, Nickel, Bronze, Solid Gold, Aluminum, Anodized Aluminum, Beryllium, Magnesium, Platinum, Pewter, Factory Hot Gun Bluing, Painted Surfaces, Formica, Cultured Marble and more.
  • MAXIMUM SAFETY: Non-toxic, non-abrasive, non-flammable. Flits is even safe to use on food preparation surfaces; Safe enough to use in the kitchen or the bathroom, strong enough to use in the garage.
  • MADE IN THE USA: This polish is developed in Germany with advanced German ingredients and proudly made at our headquarters in Wisconsin; Flitz is a third generation family owned company.

Can I Wax My Headlights After Restoring Them?

In some cases, there is no need to further protect your headlights after a lens restoration with Flitz. But if your car is stored outside, or sits in the sun for hours in a parking lot, a protectant may be something worth trying.

Protective coatings like a carnuba wax or turtle wax can extend the life of your newly restored headlight lens. The ceramic sealant product by Flitz is a great option as well, as it provides a water-resistant coating that helps further protect your plastic from UV rays for 8 months to a year. Overall, its up to you whether or not you would like an additional layer of protection.

Flitz Ceramic Spray Sealant and Paint Protectant: Shine, Protect + Seal Clear Coat, Plastic,1 Application Lasts up to 12 Months, Made in USA
  • BETTER THAN CAR WAX: This hydrophobic spray produces a deep shine and longer lasting protection than any carnauba wax or car sealant on the market. This car shine and paint sealant creates a protective coating that lasts up to 12 months and covers 1, 100 square feet.
  • SAFE FOR EVERY SURFACE: This sealant and protectant is safe to use on cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, RVs, granite, all metals, clear coats, all paints, plastics, glass, and all man-made hard surfaces. Seal and protect virtually any surface.
  • PROTECTS AGAINST: This sealant creates a “ceramic shell-like” coating that protects against salt, UV rays, water stains, yellowed headlights, bugs, bird droppings, brake dust, acidic rain, weathering, dirt and debris.
  • SHOW CAR SHINE IN 10 MINUTES: Simply spray on then wipe off. No need for buckets, brushes, or other cleaning supplies. In just minutes you’ll have a streak-free, mirror shine, No swirls and no white residue left behind.
  • MADE IN THE USA: Flitz Sealant is made at our headquarters in Wisconsin. Flits is a 42-year-old family owned company. A microfiber cleaning cloth is included with every sealant order.


Joe is the lead writer and product reviewer at TechBottom. As an avid gamer, PC builder, smart technology collector, home owner, audio producer, and cryptocurrency miner, Joe's painfully expensive hobbies allow him to share his experiences using various tech products.