Man shares how to fix foggy headlights with Dollar Store baking soda

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock @daddybrownn/TikTok (Licensed)

‘You can literally use stuff from the Dollar Store’: Man shares how to fix foggy headlights with Dollar Store baking soda

‘You will notice a difference while driving at night.’


Melody Heald


Over time, exposure to the sun’s UV rays, along with other residue like debris, can cause a car’s headlights to become foggy. This can be dangerous, making it difficult to see while driving and difficult for other cars to see you while they’re driving.

Popular TikTok user @daddybrownn, who has become known for his DIY hacks, revealed how to fix foggy headlights with supplies you probably already have at home—baking soda, cotton rounds, and glass cleaner. If you doesn’t have these supplies on hand, the TikToker assures viewers they can just pick them up at the Dollar Store.

“So, many people have foggy headlights. They go buy a headlights restoration kit, and it either doesn’t work very well, or it doesn’t continue working,” he says, while in front of his car.

Restoration kits can cost up to $32.

“You can literally use stuff from the Dollar Store to do the same thing, and I’ll show you how,” he says.

For this hack, you need baking soda; cotton rounds, or a soft bristle brush; and glass cleaner.

The baking soda demonstration

“Step one is to clean out the headlights using glass cleaner just to get the dirt off it,” he says.

He sprays the headlights with the glass cleaner and uses a rag to wipe it off. Afterward, @daddybrownn takes out baking soda and a bowl.

“You’re gonna pour some baking soda in there,” he instructs, referring to the bowl. “And you’re gonna make a paste by mixing with water and mixing it with your fingers.”

He then pulls out the rag and scoops a small chunk of paste on it. He then smears the paste onto the headlight. “Don’t worry about getting it on your car paint,” he says.

After a layer of paste is on the headlights, he takes the cotton rounds and moves one in circular motions over the headlight. “You’re gonna feel the baking soda is kind of gritty. That’s what you want,” he assures. “Baking soda is abrasive enough to remove the dirt and fog but it’s not gonna damage the surface.”

“All right. You’re just gonna let it sit there for a minute or two. Then, you’ll gonna take a clean rag and wipe off the excess,” he says, cleaning off the remaining baking soda. “Now, you’re gonna take a hose or some water and gonna light sprinkle over the headlight.”

The TikToker shows what the headlights looked like before and then after, and there is a stark contrast between the two shots.

The TikToker’s background in chemistry informed the baking soda hack

He shared with the Daily Dot that his knowledge in chemistry taught him about the effectiveness of baking soda.

“You learn about crystalline structures, and with a little bit of research you are able to find out that this makes it abrasive enough to remove dirt but not damage surfaces,” he shared via TikTok direct message.

Furthermore, he said this hack will only work if the outside of the headlight is foggy.

“A lot of times the fog will be on the inside of the headlight and they will need to be replaced. It is important to clean the outside though so they will be brighter at night,” he recommended.

He said that while “you will notice a difference while driving at night with the brightness of your headlights, this isn’t necessarily a long term solution.”

“As headlights get older they can be cleaned, but will need to be replaced once it gets bad enough,” he said.

@daddybrownn This one is a lifesaver. Thank god for baking soda! #bakingsoda #diy #hack #lifehack #homehack #car #truck #carsoftiktok #cars #trucksoftiktok #clean #cleantok #hotbugguy #yourewelcome #lifesaver #foryou #foryoupage ♬ original sound – daddybrownn

Viewers in the comments section shared how much they appreciated this hack.

“I am going try this out thank you,” one viewer wrote.

“As soon as you started I thought, baking soda? Lol Thanks for educating us!!” a second thanked.

Another viewer shared their results after trying it out. “I just tried it out on a light that was so coated you could barely see the bulbs looks brand new,” they revealed.

What else can clean headlights?

In addition to baking soda, Bridgestone Tires notes that toothpaste is also an effective headlight cleaner. “Both products are abrasive enough to take off the fog without scratching or damaging the headlights,” per Bridgestone Tires

When should you replace hazy headlights?

Foggy headlights increase your risk of getting into an accident. According to AAA, you should replace you car’s headlights when they’re yellow, and the bulb isn’t noticeable when on.

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