How do I Clean a Cloudy 2001 Toyota RAV4 Headlight Lens?

Updated February 21, 2017

A 2001 Toyota RAV4 has efficient headlights, but if the lenses are cloudy their functionality is decreased. Headlights are one of the most important safety features on an automobile, but they are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. Proper cleaning is important. Whether the lights are standard or halogen, a dirty lens could lead to reduced visibility and perhaps an accident. Cleaning cloudy lenses is a simple task that requires little skill, just some time and effort.

Inspect the lens. Locate large pieces of tar or grit that need to be removed. Use a small putty knife to scrape these off.

Pour denatured alcohol onto a clean rag. Rub the lens with the rag in a circular motion. The lens may appear to get cloudier but this is just the alcohol drying. Allow 10 minutes for the alcohol to dry and reinspect. Polish the lens a second time with the denatured alcohol.

Apply a thin layer of car wax to the lens with a clean rag. Wait several minutes. Buff the wax out.


This method is effective on any plastic lens, headlight, brake light or fog light.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic putty knife
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Cotton rags
  • Car wax
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About the Author

Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.