How to Clean Headlights With WD-40?

In 2020, I first had to use WD-40 to clean my car’s headlights as my cleaning supplies ran out. And I thought it’ll give a good result after checking WD-40’s website about 2000 uses of the product.

Before talking about my results, let me answer the obvious question. You can clean your vehicle’s muddy headlights with WD-40. But is it a good idea?

In this article, I’ll provide a brief guide on how to clean headlights with WD-40. Moreover, I’ll also discuss if it’s a good cleaner and my experience with it. So, let’s get started.

Cleaning headlamps with WD-40

To start this process, you need WD-40, water, soap, and a microfiber cloth. Let’s get to the steps:

  • Rinse the headlights first. After that, apply soapy water to remove the top layer of dirt. You can skip this part if you want to use WD-40 quickly, but following through is a good idea. Finish by rinsing off the soapy water and letting the headlights dry.
  • You can directly apply WD-40 to the headlights. However, it’s not recommended as WD-40’s chemicals can cause damage to the metallic areas of the car. That’s why I urge you to use a microfiber cloth or even a paper towel. Spray some WD-40 on the fabric and rub it on the headlight until you get a clean result.
  • Lastly, use another cloth or towel to rub the remaining WD-40 off your headlights.

My experience with WD-40

Even though I knew many other alternatives to use, I wanted to try out WD-40 to see the results myself. If the results matched what the internet’s so-called “DIY-experts” said, then WD-40 would be a miracle product.

After using it the first time, it actually gave an excellent result. Compared to before, my headlights looked much clearer.

After only two days, though, the headlights became dim again. And I’d say it was worse than before!

So, does WD-40 clean your headlights? Yes. But is it a reliable cleaning solution? Big NO!

Why is WD-40 a bad idea for cleaning headlights?

The effects of WD-40 only stay for a day or two. That’s enough reason why WD-40 isn’t a good product for cleaning headlights.

Moreover, the solution can also cause harm when you are not carefully applying it. For example, spraying or rubbing WD-40 on a car’s bumper can lead to permanent damage. Lastly, your headlights may also suffer from improper WD-40 application.

To let you decide without any bias, I’ll provide the pros and cons of using WD-40 for headlight cleaning.


  • It’s a cheap alternative to popular headlight cleaning methods.
  • WD-40 can be used for various purposes. Therefore, it is an all-in-one solution for lubrication and other factors.
  • The usage of WD-40 does provide results with comparable improvement.


  • Your headlights remain clean for only one or two days after using WD-40. As a result, it is not long-lasting.
  • The chemical elements of the product can cause damage to the headlights if you don’t take them off properly.
  • WD-40 is only suitable for minor cleaning. It can’t replace sanding.

Better alternatives to WD-40

You would be surprised to know that there are many other cheap ways to clean your headlights. I have tried almost all of them. However, the following ones are my favorite and much better than WD-40!

Toothpaste and baking soda

You can easily clean your headlights with toothpaste or a mixture of toothpaste and baking soda! And, in my experience, it lasts way longer than WD-40.

Toothpaste contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate along with many other chemicals. These chemicals clean our teeth and have also benefited when used for cleaning headlights. If you want to know how to use toothpaste and baking soda to clean your car’s headlights, check out my article!


Due to the low pH levels of vinegar, it’s excellent for removing oxidization from your headlights. So, try out vinegar even if regular soapy water isn’t working. You can check out my method for cleaning headlights with vinegar.


Even though Coke and WD-40 results are pretty similar, I still prefer the soft drink option. It’s only because I can drink half of it while I use the other half.

Coca-Cola’s acidic nature also works well to remove some oxidization. Here’s how to get clean headlights with Coca-Cola.


I only see myself using WD-40 if I have a car inspection coming up for sale and I don’t have anything else to clean my headlights with. Nonetheless, I still prefer other cheap alternatives to this one due to better results and longevity.

Now, a community out there that defends WD-40 with their hearts. If you are one of them, I would love to know your opinion! Do you think I’m making some mistakes with my method? Is there a better way to use WD-40 for cleaning headlights? The comment section is open for you!

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