Putting Life Hacks to the Test : Cleaning Your Headlights with Toothpaste

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putting life hacks to the test

In today’s installment of “Putting Life Hacks to the Test” we’re going to test out the cleaning foggy headlights with toothpaste hack.

A life hack is a tip or trick that is supposed to make your life easier. Today’s test comes directly from this article listing the top 89 life hacks of 2013.

This life hack caught my eye for a few reasons:
1. My 2006 Honda minivan has foggy headlights
2. Everything we need to test the challenge is in my house
3. Time investment was minimal

So here we go!

cleaning headlights with toothpaste

The Claim:

The Test:
cleaning headlights with toothpaste

Step 1: Use toothpaste and a toothbrush to scrub the headlight clean. I used Arm & Hammer toothpaste which is a whitening toothpaste and more abrasive than regular toothpastes. I assumed the abrasiveness would clean the headlights better.

and also it tastes terrible and no one in my family will use it.

cleaning headlights with toothpaste

Please note that the meme specifies cleaning the outside of the headlight only, not the inside. Some informal googling told me that fogginess is caused by oxidation, but I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Step 2: Wash the toothpaste off with water and do it again.

cleaning headlights with toothpaste



Sure, my headlight is cleaner, but not any cleaner that it would be if I washed it with soap and water. The fogginess is not improved at all. Click on the photos below to zoom.

cleaning headlights with toothpaste

cleaning headlights with toothpaste

So there you go. If you want to try it, by all means do so. If you’re so inclined, try different toothpastes and let me know if any work. Good luck!

BTW, someone over at the HuffPost says this tip works, but according to the comments (read with care, some are not very nice!) it doesn’t work well for a lot of people.

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