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Offline kneescrubber

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Does toothpaste work?
« on: November 17, 2013, 03:20:14 PM »
The headlight lenses are getting a bit cloudy.

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I've heard or read somewhere that toothpaste can polish the cloudiness out. Anyone here have experience with that or some other home remedy?
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 03:56:41 PM »
It can.  But any plastic polish will work....for a week or two.

Offline Jim

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 04:28:54 PM »
use "old school" paste with "grit" in it and not the new gel style. It's the fine grit that does the work (a client used to polish scratched CD's with it [while watching TV]).

Though, with the amount of scrubbing you'll be doing, consider one of the store kits that includes a drill attachment pad. Have the electrons do the heavy work.
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Offline Veefer800canuck

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 05:56:41 PM »
I was selling a Toyota van with badly sandblasted plastic headlights. Not yellowed though.

I wound up masking off the painted areas and grille around the headlights, and spraying them with automotive clearcoat. They were immediately perfectly crystal clear and looked absolutely brand new.

Though I have no idea how long such a treatment would last.
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Offline three west

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 06:10:19 PM »
Pick up a single vehicle headlight refinishing kit from your local auto parts/paint store.  It will have everything you need, except for said drill.  I did them on my Dodge, lasted over a year, and was a really quick cleanup job to make them clear again after that time.

Offline Meemuh

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 06:12:18 PM »
Pick up a single vehicle headlight refinishing kit from your local auto parts/paint store.  It will have everything you need, except for said drill.  I did them on my Dodge, lasted over a year, and was a really quick cleanup job to make them clear again after that time.

Yup, I did this too and worked pretty well.

Online SLK50

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 06:59:40 PM »
Toothpaste will remove the odor of gasoline from your hands.
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Offline M.Brane

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2013, 08:07:50 PM »
 Mother's mag & aluminum polish works well on plastic too. If you want it really glossy finish with some Meguire's ultimate compound.

 The key to polishing plastics with a drill motor is to use very low speed. You don't want to heat it up. It will get gummy.

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2013, 08:58:27 PM »
Toothpaste will remove the odor of gasoline from your hands.

Extremely useful.  :bigok:
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Offline Doug Just Doug

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 09:33:58 AM »
It'll take fine scratches out of a CD, and perhaps prevent cavities.

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 09:57:35 AM »
I use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Oh, I floss and rinse as well. :thumbsup:
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 10:13:44 AM »
The problem I ran into is that the majority of the cloudiness and plastic damage was on the inside of the lens.  Aftermarket buckets on EBay are only a few bucks more than the restoration kits that won't do a thing in my case.

Offline giaka

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 06:03:57 PM »
Meguiar's

DIY: How to restore car headlights with Meguiar's Sanding & Polishing System
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 06:59:34 PM »
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

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Offline giaka

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 07:12:13 PM »

I can buy a lot of toothpaste for $36.95.


Honestly on your lights (they are not bad) you can just pick up a tube of the cleaner and use good ole elbow grease. The cleaner does 99% of the work of that kit (unless your lights are so bad they need sand paper). I personally just use the cleaner and it works really well.

http://www.meguiarsdirect.com/product_detail.do?q=4596
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Offline bungie4

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2013, 06:04:04 AM »
Toothpaste will remove the odor of gasoline from your hands.

What gets the toothpaste smell off?
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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2013, 06:04:54 AM »
Toothpaste will remove the odor of gasoline from your hands.

What gets the toothpaste smell off?

Kerosene.
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2013, 07:23:18 AM »
 :lol:

Offline mjauto

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2013, 09:28:16 AM »
I own a small car lot hence the name mjauto. We come across this on a daily basis. Wet sand and two stage buff brings most of them back unless as mentioned, its on the inside. There are several makes we do not even attempt because the replacement cost for new is so cheap! We did use a guy about four years ago that would wet sand then clear coat over the top and not even buff. That looked good but we have decided to go the buffing route.

All the kits, toothpaste and do it yourself kits ( simply wipe off the haze ) are bullshit moneymakers, if you want it done and done right do like I said.

Matt

Offline motormike

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2013, 09:39:41 AM »
Am I the only one that thought based on the title, this thread should be in the UK folder?   :lol:

Offline Black Hills

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2013, 09:41:17 AM »
I have good luck sanding as well. wet sand with 1000/1500 and then polish.
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Offline tyrroneous

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2013, 09:59:31 AM »
I bought a kit a couple years ago, Meguires or Mothers, I think, that included 2 stage wet sand and a polish.  The foam polishing ball that attaches to a drill was included.  It worked pretty well on both my Mazda and Chrysler headlights. Basically, tape off the areas around the headlight then stage 1 wet sand, stage 2 wet sand, then polish.  Took about 20min per headlight.

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2013, 10:26:56 AM »
So what y'all are saying is I need to quit being a cheap bastard.
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Offline Black Hills

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2013, 10:37:41 AM »
sand paper and polish should be $15 or so?
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2013, 10:46:16 AM »
sand paper and polish should be $15 or so?

But I HAVE a tube of toothpaste. ;D
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Offline sscully

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2013, 10:48:19 AM »
Those do not look bad at all.

I would start with a finishing polish on a pad that is made for applying wax or sealant and go from there.

The rule is least aggressive first.

I don't use Megs products, what I have I would go Poorboys World ProPolish and a Red Lake country pad.
Other polish options in the same range ( took a look in the cabinet ) would be Menzerna SF4500 or Optimum Poly Tech HyperPolish.
 
If you get too aggressive out of the gate, you can cause more problems down the road.
- There is a UV coating on the lens and if you polish it off with something as aggressive as mag & AL polish or sanding it, it will start the downhill run to yellow.  Now you are looking at having to polish it out completely and apply something like Opti Lens ( plastic lens coating similar to the perm paint coatings ).

If it does not clear up in 1 pass, try another pass.  Multi passes of something less aggressive is better than a single pass of more aggressive for the finish ( lens or paint ).
Also that is one that either a DA or by hand, don't use a drill or rotary for something that minor.
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2013, 10:50:02 AM »
Sounds more expensive than toothpaste.

Offline sscully

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2013, 07:44:31 PM »
Sounds more expensive than toothpaste.

It is, but then again the wrong product and process on them is either replacement time continual polishing ( foregoing the cost of lens coating - which is 4x the cost of the paint coating )

getting the cheapest thing, usually costs more over the long run.

Wish he was in the Chicago metro area, I'd do it for free for him.
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Offline marc11

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2013, 06:10:40 AM »
Mothers aluminum or mag polish works great. Even by hand. I've removed scratches from tail lights, fading on headlights and scratches in windscreens with it. Works amazing and far cheaper than a lot of specialty products.

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Offline sscully

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2013, 07:25:08 AM »
Mothers aluminum or mag polish works great. Even by hand. I've removed scratches from tail lights, fading on headlights and scratches in windscreens with it. Works amazing and far cheaper than a lot of specialty products.

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You are a lot braver than myself.  I would be curious of the long term usage of that on UV coated plastic.

Mine are not specialty products, it is a chemical based finishing polish.
- Chemical based instead of DAT or SMAT no grit in it to break down to get correction.

Chemical based works on paint, plastic and chrome ( chrome required the Flex to remove the marks ).
- Plastic polish should not have a break down component to it.
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Offline Cablebandit

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2013, 07:27:05 AM »
I'm sure one the lenses start looking like shit the UV coating is long gone.

Offline marc11

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Re: Does toothpaste work?
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2013, 07:39:29 AM »
Mothers aluminum or mag polish works great. Even by hand. I've removed scratches from tail lights, fading on headlights and scratches in windscreens with it. Works amazing and far cheaper than a lot of specialty products.

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You are a lot braver than myself.  I would be curious of the long term usage of that on UV coated plastic.

Mine are not specialty products, it is a chemical based finishing polish.
- Chemical based instead of DAT or SMAT no grit in it to break down to get correction.

Chemical based works on paint, plastic and chrome ( chrome required the Flex to remove the marks ).
- Plastic polish should not have a break down component to it.

Maybe but I haven't seen any issues for as long as I owned the plastic part polished this way.

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