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Stop Using Mosquito Repellent and Toothpaste on Your Headlights: Here's Why

Headlight restoration is crucial for maintaining optimal visibility and safety on the road. While the internet is full of DIY solutions, using mosquito repellent or toothpaste to restore oxidized headlight lenses is not recommended. Here’s why you should avoid these methods and opt for proper headlight restoration products instead.

The Problem with Oxidized Headlights

Oxidized headlights result in cloudy or yellowed lenses, reducing light output and impairing nighttime visibility. This oxidation occurs due to prolonged exposure to UV rays, environmental pollutants, and harsh weather conditions. While it's tempting to use household items for a quick fix, improper methods can do more harm than good.

Blue Honda Civic with Hazy Headlights
Honda Civic with Oxidized Headlights


Why Using Mosquito Repellent is a Bad Idea

1. Harsh Chemicals

Mosquito repellents contain DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), a potent chemical designed to deter insects. While it may seem effective in temporarily clearing oxidation, it can degrade the plastic of headlight lenses over time, causing more significant damage.

2. Causes Further Surface Damage

DEET can create micro-cracks on the surface of the headlights. These tiny cracks not only worsen the oxidation problem but also make the lens more susceptible to future damage from UV rays and environmental elements.

3. Temporary Solution

The clarity achieved with mosquito repellent is short-lived. The chemical reaction doesn’t address the root cause of oxidation, meaning the cloudiness will return quickly, often making the lenses look worse than before.


The Truth About Toothpaste For Headlights

1. Abrasive Nature

Toothpaste contains mild abrasives meant for polishing teeth. While it can remove surface oxidation, it also leaves behind microscopic scratches. These scratches can scatter light, reducing the effectiveness of your headlights.

2. Ineffective Long-term

The main issue with just using toothpaste is due to the lack of protective qualities needed to prevent further oxidation. Without applying a UV sealant afterwards, the lenses will re-oxidize quickly, necessitating repeated applications that further degrade the plastic.

3. Messy and Time-consuming

Using toothpaste is a labour-intensive process that requires a lot of elbow grease for minimal, short-lived results. The effort involved does not justify the temporary improvement, especially when better solutions are already available.


Here's The Right Way to Restore Headlights

Using proper restoration techniques ensures that your headlights are not only clear and bright but also protected against future damage. By investing a little time and effort into doing it correctly, you enhance your car's performance, aesthetic appeal, and overall driving safety. Let's delve into the steps to restore your headlights properly for long-lasting results.

1. Use a Professional Restoration Kit

High-quality headlight restoration kits are specifically designed to address oxidation effectively. These kits typically include specialized abrasives and UV sealants to restore clarity and provide long-lasting protection. Oxidation We recommend using Detour Auto's Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit which comes with everything needed to tackle even the toughest jobs.

2. Protective Coatings

Applying a UV sealant after removing the oxidation is crucial to protect against future oxidation and yellowing. Professional kits include this step, ensuring that your headlights stay clear for a longer time.

3. Cost-effective in the Long Run

While professional products may seem pricier upfront, they save money in the long term by reducing the need for frequent applications and preventing the need for complete headlight replacements.



While DIY solutions like mosquito repellent and toothpaste may seem like a quick and cheap fix for oxidized headlights, they can cause more harm than good. Opting for a professional headlight restoration product ensures a safe, effective, and long-lasting solution, keeping your headlights clear and your driving experience safe. Invest in a quality product designed for the job, and avoid the pitfalls of household hacks.


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