How to Keep Headlights From Oxidizing

Do you know that headlights can oxidize over time? Oxidization of headlights is a common problem among car owners. It reduces the light output, making it harder for drivers to see the road at night or in low visibility conditions—as well as an aesthetic issue leaving your car looking less than optimal.

How to Keep Headlights From Oxidizing

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your headlights from oxidizing and prolong their life. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to identify if components on the headlight assembly need maintenance, and provide tips on maintaining them properly.

If you want to ensure your car’s headlights maintain their brightness and clarity, it is important to be proactive with preventative measures. Oxidization is one of the leading causes of headlights becoming dull or discoloring over time. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take that will help keep oxidation at bay and maintain the brilliance of your headlights for years to come.

Here, we’ll explore how oxidation occurs and what steps can be taken in order to reduce it. Read on to learn more about how to keep headlights from oxidizing!

Why is It Important to Keep Headlights From Oxidizing?

1. To Ensure the Safety of Drivers and Pedestrians

One of the most important reasons to keep headlights from oxidizing is to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians. Oxidized headlights can decrease visibility, making it difficult for drivers to see at night or in bad weather. This can put both drivers and other people on the road at risk, as they may not be able to spot obstacles or hazards in time.

Oxidized Headlights Can Decrease Visibility

2. To Maintain the Appearance of Your Vehicle

Keeping headlights from oxidizing is also important to maintain the appearance of your vehicle. Oxidized headlights can be an eyesore, making it look like your car is older than it really is. Keeping them in good condition can help preserve their aesthetic value and make sure it looks good for years to come.

3. To Keep Your Car’s Value

Finally, it’s important to keep headlights from oxidizing in order to maintain the value of your car. Oxidized headlights can lower the resale value of a vehicle, and affect how much money you can get when trading in or selling your car. Taking care of them by regularly cleaning and polishing will help preserve their value for years to come.

Overall, keeping headlights from oxidizing is important for both safety and aesthetic reasons. It can help keep drivers safe on the road, while also helping maintain the appearance of your vehicle and its value over time. Taking good care of your headlights will ensure they last for years to come.

13 Tips on How to Keep Headlights From Oxidizing

1. Wash Your Headlights Regularly and Thoroughly

One of the most important steps in keeping headlights from oxidizing is to wash them regularly and thoroughly. Use a mild detergent or car shampoo mixed with water and, if necessary, use a small brush or cloth to remove dirt and grime.

2. Dry Completely

Be sure to dry your headlights completely after washing them or else they are likely to become cloudy due to the water evaporating and leaving a residue on the headlight lens.

3. Apply Wax or Sealant

Applying wax or sealant to your headlights will help protect them from oxidation and add shine. Make sure to use a product specifically designed for headlight lenses, as other types of wax can damage them. Also make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Applying Wax or Sealant to Your Headlights

4. Use Car Covers

When leaving your car parked for long periods of time, using a car cover is a good idea as it will help protect the headlight lenses from UV rays and other environmental factors that can cause oxidation. You have to be careful though, as the car cover itself can create heat inside the vehicle and cause oxidation.

5. Avoid Harsh Cleaners

When cleaning your headlights, avoid using harsh cleaners such as ammonia-based glass cleaners or abrasive polishes, which can damage the headlight lens. Stick to mild detergents or products specifically designed for headlight lenses.

6. Apply a Protective Layer

You can add a protective layer to your headlight lenses by applying a clear coat of automotive wax or sealant. This will help protect the lens from oxidation and make it easier to clean next time.

Also make sure to use a product specifically designed for headlights, as other types of wax or sealants can damage the lens.

7. Remove Oxidation With Toothpaste

If your headlights are already showing signs of oxidation, you can try using toothpaste to remove it. Apply a small amount of toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub it in circular motions until the oxidation is removed.

8. Use Automotive Spray Paint

If the oxidation is more severe, you can try using automotive spray paint. This type of spray paint is designed specifically for headlight lenses and will give them a protective layer as well as help remove oxidation.

9. Apply Plastic Cleaner/Polish

Using a plastic cleaner or polish on your headlights can help remove oxidation and leave the headlight lens looking clear. Make sure to use a product specifically designed for automotive plastic, as other types of polishes may damage the lens.

10. Use an Automotive Clay Bar

An automotive clay bar is another great way to remove oxidation from headlights. Apply a small amount of water-based lubricant on the headlight lens and then rub the clay bar over it in circular motions until the oxidation is removed.

11. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective way to remove oxidation from headlights. Mix baking soda with a small amount of water and apply it to the headlight lens using a soft cloth. Rub the mixture in circular motions until the oxidation is removed, then rinse off with clean water.

Baking Soda is Another Effective Way

12. Protect From Sun and Rain

The sun’s UV rays and rain can both cause oxidation on headlights, so it is important to keep your car covered when not in use. If you are parking outside for an extended amount of time, make sure to use a cover specifically designed for weather protection.

13. Replace Headlight Lens Covers

If the oxidation on your headlights is severe and none of these tips seem to work, you may need to replace the headlight lens covers. This is a more expensive option, but it will help restore the clarity of your headlights. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions when replacing headlight lenses.

These are just some of the ways you can keep your headlights from oxidizing. By following these tips and taking proper care of your headlights, you can help maintain their clarity and keep them looking clear for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take to Avoid Headlight Oxidation?

To avoid oxidation of your headlights, make sure that you clean and protect them regularly. Start by washing the headlights with a mild soap and water solution, then apply a sealant or polish afterward. This will help to prevent moisture from corroding the surface of the headlamp.

Additionally, use a wax or silicone-based sealant every 6 months, and make sure that you check the headlights for any cracks or other damage. If any are found, replace them immediately to avoid oxidation and further damage.

How Can I Remove Oxidation From My Headlights?

If your headlights have already become oxidized, there are some steps you can take to restore them back to their original look. Start by using medium-grade sandpaper to lightly buff away the top layer of oxidation. Then use a headlight polishing compound or wax, and apply it in an even, circular motion. Finally, apply one final coat of sealant or polish to protect the headlights from future oxidation.

Are There Any Other Ways to Prevent Headlight Oxidation?

Yes, there are a few other methods you can use to reduce the oxidation of your headlights. For one, make sure that you park in covered or shaded areas whenever possible to help protect the headlamps from exposure to the sun and elements. Additionally, regularly check for any weak spots or cracks in the headlamp lenses as these can allow moisture inside the headlamp, causing oxidation.

Lastly, if you have aftermarket headlights, make sure to purchase a sealant specifically designed for that type of headlight as standard sealants may not work properly on them.

Can I Clean and Protect My Headlights Myself?

Yes, you can clean and protect the headlights of your vehicle yourself. Start by washing them with a mild soap and water solution, then use a polishing compound or wax to restore the luster of the headlamp lens. Once the lens is shining again, apply one final coat of sealant or polish to help protect the headlamps from oxidation. With regular maintenance and protection, you can keep your headlights shining like new.

Washing Them With a Mild Soap


Keeping your headlights from oxidizing isn’t difficult—all you need is a bit of elbow grease and the right products. First, thorough washing with car shampoo or soap will remove dirt and surface oxidation. After that, keep headlights looking their best by applying a paste wax or sealant to help prevent future oxidization. Also, make sure to clean them regularly to reduce the buildup of dirt and debris. 

Finally, you can protect your headlights with high-quality headlight films or covers if desired. Ultimately, learning how to keep headlights from oxidizing only requires some maintenance and gentle care. With these tips in mind, you can keep your vehicle looking its best for many years to come!

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Dave Parker

Hi there, my name is Dave. I am 32 years old guy and had a fascination with lighting ever since I knew about LED lighting and strip lights. I have completed my bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and can understand the often complex topics in the field of LED technology. Lightow is where I share my findings, opinions, and recommendations. I hope this tips will enlighten you to the wonderful world of lighting!

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