How to Restore Your Headlights and Make Them Shine Like New
- Step 1: Buy What You’ll Need. Headlight Restoration Kit.
- Step 2: Get Your Headlights Clean.
- Step 3: Tape Off the Headlights.
- Step 4: Sand Away.
- Step 5: Polish and Wax.
- Step 6: Use UV sealant.
- Step 7: Test It Out.
How do I polish my headlights?
Buff the Lens with Polish
- Wash the headlight with plenty of clear, cool water and dry.
- Wet one corner of the flannel cloth with the polishing compound.
- Using firm pressure, polish the headlight in a circular pattern until it becomes smooth and clear.
What kind of polish do you use for headlights?
There are two types of compound that can be used for headlight restoration, polishing compound and rubbing compound. Polishing compound is of a finer consistency and is more gentle than the rubbing compound— which is gritty.
What to put on headlights after polishing?
After cleaning the lens, it’s critical that you apply a clear coat to your headlights or the cloudiness will come back as soon as a couple weeks! Similar to after polishing your vehicle’s paint, you should apply a thin coat of carnauba wax. It’s the same principle with plastic or acrylic headlight lenses.
How do you polish faded headlights?
If the headlights are only slightly foggy, you can try and restore them using an abrasive, like toothpaste, and lots of scrubbing. First, clean the headlights with Windex or soap and water. Then, using a soft cloth, rub a fingertip amount of toothpaste onto the wet headlight. (Toothpaste with baking soda works best.)
Will WD 40 clean foggy headlights?
Apply a generous amount of WD-40 Multi-Use Product onto a clean cloth. Then, using the cloth, wipe the surface of the headlight meticulously, making sure you cover the entire surface of the headlight.
How do I buff my foggy headlights?
Toothpaste and baking soda can be effective cleansers for cleaning headlights. Both products are abrasive enough to take off the fog without scratching or damaging the headlights. Polishing compounds such as Rain-X might also be effective enough to remedy UV damage.
Will polishing compound clean headlights?
Some people use toothpaste, but I decided to try polishing compound. It is specifically designed to remove scuffs and surface blemishes from the paint on your car, so it should work just as well on your headlights. In the picture above, the untreated headlight is on the left, and the restored headlight is on the right.
How do you polish headlights with sandpaper?
-Get out your 1/4 sheet of 800 grit sandpaper, and spray it with the water bottle. Place the sand paper on the headlight (it will stick by itself) and continue to spray the whole headlight until the whole headlight is wet. -Slowly start sanding the headlight making sure to spray water while you sand.
What grit sandpaper is best for headlights?
In short, when it comes to headlight restoration you’ll want to use anywhere from a 400 – 600 grit silicon carbide sandpaper sheet to remove the initial layer of headlight oxidation. After that, you’ll need to use an 800 – 1000 grit followed by a 3000 – 5000 grit to attain the best finish possible.
Can I use steel wool to clean my headlights?
Using 0000 super fine steel wool and white toothpaste (Not Gel), rub the toothpaste over the lens for several minutes until your lens is completely smooth. After your headlight lens is perfectly clear, apply a coat of car wax following the directions on the container. Wash and wax regularly to keep protected.
How to Clean and Restore Car Headlights
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Plastic lenses can become dull, damaged, and yellow as a result of exposure to sunlight. The haze will be removed by polishing them. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to replace your car’s headlight lenses, you may restore them in 45 minutes for less than $15.
Please keep in mind that the following approach will not be effective in repairing damage to the internal lens of the headlight. If the reflective coating on a headlight is peeling or rusted, it is recommended that you replace it.
Project step-by-step (4)
- Warm soapy water should be used to clean the hazy headlight. After rinsing well with clean water, set it aside to dry. Mask off the region surrounding the lens so that you don’t harm the paint
- Then proceed as follows: Soak the sheets of sandpaper in water for a few minutes, then start with the grit that best matches your needs. sand moving in only one direction
- When it comes to sandpaper, the higher the number, the finer the grit is going to be. To polish a headlight that is just dull or yellowed, start with the 1,500-grit paper and work your way up to the 2,500-grit paper. The 1,000-grit paper should be used first if there are only a few minor scratches.
Step 2: The Family Handyman
Rinse and Sand Vertically
- Rinse well and switch directions with the next grit. Continue in this manner until you have done using the 2,500-grit paper.
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Buff the Lens with Polish
- Wash the headlamp thoroughly with plenty of clean, cold water and allow it to dry
- Apply the polishing compound to one corner of the flannel cloth and wring it out
- Make circular motions with hard pressure on the headlamp until it is smooth and clean.
Polish the Lens
- Allow the polish to dry completely before buffing away any remaining polish residue with the clean end of the cloth. Repeat the polishing procedure a second time. Small regions of fogging may still be seen depending on the extent of the damage to the headlight. Try repolishing only those areas using polishing compound to see if it helps. Examine the area after buffing it once more. The lens should appear to be completely clear.
- To avoid foggy headlights from fogging up, wash them frequently with a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush or sponge, then rinse well with lots of water and dry
- Never clean transparent plastic using wax, polish, or any other chemical that has not been specifically designed for the job. How to clean your own headlights is demonstrated in this video. Working on a vehicle might be scary for those who are not mechanically inclined, but certain automotive maintenance can be accomplished with relative ease.
How to Restore Your Headlights
This is my first instructable, so I’m hoping everything goes smoothly. Over time, headlights will begin to dim, and there is no way to avoid this. As your headlights fade, the amount of light that shines out of the headlight decreases, and before you know it, driving at night becomes difficult, if not downright dangerous, to navigate. As a result of oxidation on the lens, this occurs. Polycarbonate is a porous material, which means that once oxidation begins to occur, it damages the headlight lens very rapidly.
I’ve been fixing headlights for quite some time now (for myself and a few friends and family members), and I believe that the expertise should be shared with others as well.
What you’ll need is the following: -Towels for the Shop -Sandpaper in the following grits: 800, 1000, and 2000 grit Three pieces of 3M Rubbing Compound: -A small towel, rag, or microfiber cloth -Masking tape for automobiles -A Drilling Operation (corded or cordless) Drill adapter included with compound pad (a wool pad can also be used).
You’ll need something particular like this.
Preparation is the first step. We aim to get everything ready as soon as possible. Remember that this will take some time, so you might want to put some music on and put a few of speakers in your room to keep yourself entertained. This is also the amount of time you will need to spend filling your spray container with water. Adding a small amount of soap to the water is a good idea. Using this method, you can maintain the headlight lubricated while conserving water. However, you only need a few drops of oil for this to work.
- There are several steps involved, the first and most significant being this one.
- You will be spending a significant amount of time looking through your headlights.
- Following that, once all of the taping has been completed, we can start having a good time.
- The sheets in each pack are 5 in number.) Use the water bottle to saturate the 1/4 sheet of 800 grit sandpaper that you’ve been saving for this project.
- Begin sanding the headlight slowly, being careful to put water on it during the process.
- Sand all of the edges and corners to provide a smooth finish.
- 1-1/4 inch piece of sandpaper per headlamp is recommended.
- If you do this, it will be much easier for you to inspect and see whether your lines are consistent and whether you have sanded the headlight evenly.
- – Sift over the sandpaper until you see a homogeneous surface of 800 grit scratch patterns (where sanding in one direction helps).
Using a towel or a shop towel to wipe off the surface might aid in the inspection. Follow the instructions for the following stage once you have removed all of the oxidation and the finish has been uniformized.
Following the completion of the 800 grit sand paper, we may go on to the 1000 grit sand paper. Sand in a single direction using an 800 grit sandpaper, being sure to maintain the headlight lubricated during the sanding process and to sand the whole headlight. When you get a consistent finish, you will see that the headlight is starting to clean up a little (but only slightly). Remove the water off the surface and go to the next step.
With 1000 grit complete, we may go on to 2000 grit and finish out the job. This is a really significant step. More time spent on this phase will result in better outcomes. Again, much like with the 800 and 1000 grit sandpapers, you’ll start with the 2000 grit sandpaper and work your way up the headlamp, being sure to only sand in one direction at the time. It is very important to maintain the headlamp lubricated throughout this process. In the world of headlamp spraying, there is no such thing as too much.
This time the difference is more evident than the last.
Now is a good time for your hands to rest while we go on to the next phase.
This is the point at when the magic begins. Take out your drill and attach the hookit pad and compound pad to the end of the drill. You may purchase these products on Amazon, or if you already have one, you can use a wool buffing pad and polisher to finish the job. If you don’t have one, ask some friends if you can borrow one from them if you don’t have one. Take your rubbing compound and give it a good shake. Using a substantial amount of product, apply it on the headlight cover. Using your compound pad, apply the compound to the headlight while without turning on the drill!
- Turn on the drill and begin cleaning the headlamp carefully, taking care not to overheat the motor.
- This procedure helps to remove the 2000 grit scratches from the headlight and restores the headlamp to its original shine and luster.
- The headlights should now be bright and, depending on how well you do on the 2000 grit stage, they should begin to appear like they were just installed.
- We are now able to proceed to the next level.
And it is at this point that the magic starts to happen. Make use of your drill to screw in the hookit pad and the compound pad. On Amazon, you can get all of the items listed above. If you already have a wool buffing pad and polisher, you may use those instead. Check with some of your friends to see if you can borrow one of theirs if you don’t already own one. Take your rubbing compound and give it a thorough shake. Apply a generous amount to the headlight using the cap. Using your compound pad, apply the compound to the headlight while not turning on the drill machine.
Turn on the drill and begin cleaning the headlamp carefully, taking care not to overheat the motor.
With this procedure, the 2000 grit scratches on the headlamp are removed, resulting in a bright and new-looking headlight finish.
The headlights should now be bright and, depending on how well you performed on the 2000 grit stage, they should begin to appear like they were just installed. Congratulations, you are nearly finished. The following stage has now been completed.
5 People Made This Project!
Driving at night or in low visibility is extremely dangerous, therefore making sure that your headlights are in proper operating order is one of the most crucial safety measures you can take. But did you realize that these measures go beyond simply making sure that your headlight bulbs aren’t burned out on a regular basis? In reality, fogging of the headlight lenses can impair the effectiveness of your headlights as well as their visibility. Consider the following: what causes foggy headlights and how to clean your headlight lenses if this is a problem for you.
WHAT ARE FOGGY HEADLIGHTS?
If you notice that the light originating from your headlights is significantly less clear than it used to be, it is likely that your car is suffering from foggy headlights. Drivers may also note that their headlights are not only significantly less bright, but that the light has a yellowish, dirty hue to it at times as well. This is also caused by fogging of the headlights. The cause for the fogginess in the headlights is a little complicated. The majority of headlight lenses nowadays are constructed of polycarbonates, which is a thick plastic composed primarily of polycarbonates.
When this polycarbonate plastic is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun over time, the outer layers of the material begin to break down and disintegrate.
The good news, on the other hand, is that clearing hazy headlights is a rather simple process.
WHAT PRODUCTS TO USE WHEN CLEANING HEADLIGHTS
In most auto supply stores, you’ll find at least one or two products that are intended expressly for cleaning headlight lenses that have been fogged up as a result of ultraviolet exposure. Products labeled “headlight restoration kit” or “headlight lens restoration” should be sought out and purchased. Using these solutions to clean your vehicle’s hazy headlights is a simple and effective method. When faced with a time crunch, folks who need to clear foggy headlights instantly have a few additional solutions that are equally effective at the job.
Both treatments are abrasive enough to remove fog from the windshield without scratching or harming the headlight lenses.
In general, keeping a cleaning kit in your garage or house is a good idea!
HOW TO CLEAN FOGGY HEADLIGHTS
When it comes to cleaning the headlights of your vehicle, you don’t require a large number of supplies. What you’ll probably want to have on hand is the following list of essentials: Cleaning kit, baking soda, or toothpaste are all good options.
discarded rags or towels Gloves made of latex for those with sensitive skin Use a soft-bristled brush to rinse after each use. a gentle cleaner Let’s have a look at the procedures that must be followed in order to clear hazy headlights.
1. CLEAN THE SURFACE OF DEBRIS
Check your work surface before beginning to ensure that it is free of debris and debris-filled. Remove any dirt, particulate matter, dead bugs, and crud from the surface of your headlights by spraying them with a mild cleaner and gently wiping away with a soft cloth.
2. TOWEL DRY
After cleaning, use a dry towel or cloth to wipe off the surface until it is completely clear of moisture.
3. APPLY HEADLIGHT RESTORER
Distribute a generous amount of cleaner – this can be a substance from your headlight repair kit, toothpaste, or baking soda – over the lenses of your headlights in a thick layer across their surfaces. If you’re using baking soda, you’ll want to combine it with a tiny quantity of water to form a thick paste before proceeding with the recipe. Enable your lens cleaner to sit on the lens for a few minutes to allow it to dry a little bit before cleaning it.
4. REMOVE CLEANSER WITH BRUSH
Gentle circular strokes should be used to gently work your way around the surface of the headlamp with your brush. Please keep in mind that the cleaning you’re using is abrasive, so take care not to gouge any holes in the plastic surface. As you make your way around the lens, you should see that the yellowness or fogginess is vanishing from the lens.
5. CLEAN OFF EXCESS CLEANSER
Remove any remaining cleaner from your lens by buffing it away with a clean wipe or towel. Any stubborn, dried-on parts should be sprayed with clean water and then polished with your towel until completely dry. That is all there is to it. When you clean your foggy headlights, you should notice an instant improvement in vision as well as brighter, whiter headlights!
Bright Idea: Headlight Lens Restoration in 4 Easy Steps
When you drive, your plastic headlight lenses are being attacked by chemicals and radiation with each mile you go. UV rays from the sun and volatile chemicals in car exhaust have no chance against your headlight lenses, which is why they begin to yellow and “fog” over – this is not the same thing as condensation within the headlight. Headlight lens replacement was formerly the only choice, and it was a costly one at that, but now headlight lens restoration can restore your lenses to near-factory condition for a fraction of the cost.
All you need is the kit, some masking tape, a hand drill, a spray bottle, a clean cloth, and a little patience.
Initial preparations should include thorough cleaning of the headlights and surrounding regions of the vehicle. After that, tape off the regions around the headlights so that just the lens is visible through the tape. This is mostly to protect you from accidently sanding the edge of the hood or bumper when you are working on the vehicle’s exterior.
Clean out any oxidized areas of your headlight lens before refinishing it to a smooth condition. Begin by removing yellowing and pitting with a 500-grit sanding disc and a hand drill with a speed range of 1,200 to 1,600 revolutions per minute. Make careful to keep moving across the surface of the lens and to avoid applying too much pressure on the lens. Check that the surface of the headlight has been equally frosted by wiping it down.
After that, you’ll go to discs with a 1,000-grit abrasive. Once more, wash the headlamp off and inspect the surface to ensure that it is equally frosted. Using the 500-grit sandpaper, sand any areas that show signs of the previous process.
The finishing discs with a 3,000-grit finish are the next step. Spray the headlight lens and sanding pad with water on a regular basis, as well as the whole surface of the lens, until all yellowing and pitting has been eliminated. Once again, avoid applying excessive pressure to the sanding pad as it moves across the surface of the lens. The more time you spend on this stage, the better your final results will be, and you should notice a big increase in the clarity of your headlight lenses at the conclusion of this process.
Clarity will be greatly improved by using the foam buffing pad in conjunction with a dime-sized area of rubbing compound. Before turning on the drill, apply the polish to the foam pad and wipe it over the headlight lens until it is completely dry. This will assist to avoid polishing compound from spattering all over the place while you’re trying to massage it into the headlight. Polish the surface of the headlamp until it gleams by using mild pressure. Wipe down the headlamp, which should be virtually as good as new at this point.
You’re all set to hit the road!
Allocate an hour for headlight restoration to improve your night vision, safety, and the overall aesthetic of your car.
More information about headlight lens restoration may be obtained by speaking with an experienced professional at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS shop.
Benjamin JerewView All
Ben has been taking things apart and putting them back together since he was five, and he has been putting them back together since he was eight. With the Automobile Repair program at the Central Georgia Community College, he discovered his true passion after dabbling in do-it-yourself repairs at home and on the farm. Ben felt he needed a change after holding his ASE CMAT certification for ten years. He now writes about automotive themes for websites and publications all over the world, covering topics such as new automotive technology, transportation regulations, pollution, fuel efficiency, and vehicle maintenance, among others.
7 Steps to Polish Headlights
In this piece, we will demonstrate how to polish headlights that have been faded, discolored, and even yellow in color as a result of the passage of time. This only applies to plastic headlights, not to glass headlights. Anyone may simply restore them to their original crystal-clear condition by using only a few materials and following a straightforward procedure. So, without further ado, let us walk you through the process of restoring your fading plastic headlights step by step!
How to Polish Headlights in 5 Simple Steps
We’re going to utilize some automotive grade paint polishes to do this, and yes, they’ll work on both paint and glass surfaces! The reason for this is because all polishes are abrasive and will simply erase scratches from whatever surface they are put to when used properly. V-Line polishes of the sort manufactured by Chemical Guys are well recommended for this application. We will also be using buffing pads, and we recommend the Hex-logic pads and a white tex logic pad for this purpose. These are to be used to remove all of the oxidation and “Dead Plastic” off the headlight surface, since this is the primary source of your issue.
These are dead layers that have formed due to the intense UV rays of the Summer sun, which have actually destroyed a layer of the plastic.
Ideally, this should be a foam sticky block to keep things together.
These will significantly reduce the amount of dead plastic and oxidation in your headlight, resulting in crystal clean illumination.
We also carry some plain tap water in a spray bottle for emergencies. Have some glass cleaner on hand as well, since this will be used to remove any bugs from the glass before we begin polishing the headlights.
Rotary polish headlights
For the following stage, you will need either a rotary polisher or a drill with a polishing pad attached, which you can find at your local hardware store or rental store. Other than that, the only thing we want is a sealer to preserve the headlights, and for this we will be using the Chemical Guys Jetseal. When sanding the corners of the headlights, use a microfiber applicator pad and some painter’s tape to keep the paint from being scratched.
Our full Head Light Polishing requirement list:
- A glass cleaner, auto grade polish, 2500 grade sandpaper, 3500 grade sandpaper, Hex Logic pads, a rotary polisher or drill with a polishing adapter are all necessary supplies for this project. Cleaning cloths made of microfiber
- Chemical Jetseal or any excellent wax sealer
- A roll of painters tape
Step by step how to polish headlights.
Take a microfiber towel and some glass cleaner and go to work. This is done in order to eliminate any bugs from the surface before we begin sanding. Simply spray the glass cleaner on the surface and brush away any germs. You will notice that as soon as you spray the cleaner on the headlight, it immediately seems brighter. However, after the cleaner has evaporated, the situation will quickly revert to its previous state.
Step 2. Sand The Headlight
Begin by sanding the headlights to remove all of the dead plastic that has accumulated. Take your sanding block and sand the headlight with the chemicalized sandpaper that has been chemically treated. With a Foam Sanding block, you’ll discover that the outlines of your headlamp are better followed. In order to get started, spray some water or detailing lubricant onto the paper. As you continue to work, you may see a milky-colored residue accumulating. This is the oxidation and dead plastic that is separating from the headlight assembly.
Continue to sand the light with back and forth movements of the 2500 grit sandpaper until no more milky color residue is seen.
Step 3.Sand Until It Runs Clear
After that, wipe down the light with a microfiber cloth and clean water. Then sand it again to examine if the residue has retained its milky appearance. If this is the case, continue sanding until the area is clear, then recheck using the same way. Afterwards, you will see that the headlight itself appears more hazy, due to the sanding marks, but don’t worry since the next procedure will fix it. Despite the fact that it appears more hazy, the surface will feel quite smooth. Consider taking the time to sand the edges of the light, as this is frequently where the most oxidation occurs owing to the acute angle of the glass, which attracts more of the harmful UV radiation.
Step 4.Use Finer Sandpaper
After that, replace the sandpaper with a 3500 grit sheet. This will make the scratches smaller and hence easier to remove during the following part of the procedure. Because it is extremely fine and only used on glass, you will not be able to find this sandpaper in your local hardware shop. Take a look at the grades in this section. Continue the sanding operation using the same procedure as before, this time sprinkling water on the light. This time there will be no residue because it will have been removed, and you are merely reducing the number of scratches to a bare minimum in preparation for the next stage of the procedure.
This step does not require as much time as the previous stage. Take your time, though, to ensure that the edges are perfectly smooth. Last but not least, wipe it off and check for flawless smoothness.
Step 5.Start Rotary Polishing
Now, either a rotary polisher or, as previously mentioned, a drill with a polishing attachment can be used. A pneumatic air drill is a third option to consider. Use one of them with a hex-logic pad and some Chemical Guys V32 and then V36 polish to finish the project. These are offered in a limited-time four-pack special deal package. Spread around 7 or 8 lumps of it onto the polishing pad and then spread it all over the headlights and other surfaces. Make use of some water as a lubricant as well.
Work with V32 first to eliminate the sanding scratches, then with V36 till you get the desired effect.
Step 6. Buff Off For The Perfect Result!
You may now polish the surface of the wood using a rotary polisher or, as previously indicated, with a drill and a polishing attachment. Using a pneumatic air drill is a third alternative. Use one of these with a hex-logic pad and some Chemical Guys V32 and then V36 polish to finish it up. Special four-pack offers are available for these items. Spread around 7 or 8 blobs of it onto the polishing pad and then spread it all over the headlights and lenses. As an additional lubrication, use some water.
Use V32 to eliminate sanding scratches initially, then V36 to refine the look until you achieve the desired outcome.
Step 7. Protect Your Work
At the end, use a high-quality carnauba wax to keep the now-perfection plastic headlamp from being damaged by ultraviolet radiation. The semi-synthetic Jetseal is the best option for this application. Apply it evenly with a nice microfiber cloth and let it to dry for 20 minutes before continuing. You will then have a crystal clear headlight that will be protected for up to a year after you have finished buffing it off.
Not just headlights
It is not only possible to polish headlights, but also other surfaces. Almost any plastic light may be repaired using this procedure, with the rear brake lights frequently producing the finest results! We hope you appreciate this procedure and that it has a positive effect on all of the lights in your vehicle. Getting business cards printed might also help you generate some extra money. Walking around parking lots looking for automobiles with fading head or tail lights is the next stage. I promise that if you leave your business card in the driver’s side door window, you will soon find yourself polishing for cash!
How to Restore Headlights – Clean Car Headlight DIY
What is the best way to repair headlights? Traveling with foggy headlights may be dangerous, especially if you are driving in extremely wet conditions. Believe me when I say that the last thing you want to be doing on the highway during rush hour is making emergency stops simply because you can’t see the car or motorbike in front of you well. That one act has the potential to cause confusion in the vehicle behind you, which might result in a crash. When your car’s headlights get dusty or oxidized, it’s a good idea to have them restored since less light is transmitted through the lens to illuminate the road, and other incoming drivers may not notice you in time if you don’t have them restored.
The reality is that headlight fogginess is unavoidable, and it does not improve if you do not repair them as soon as possible! You must understand how to restore headlights since the fogginess you’ve seen is caused by lens deterioration, which may be caused by any of the following:
Why car headlights get foggy
Headlight lenses are often composed of polycarbonate or acrylic plastic materials, which are susceptible to oxidation. Although these materials outlast the old glass headlight housing in terms of durability, they deteriorated when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The protective coating on every headlight lens is designed to keep this from happening; yet with time, this protective layer wears away, and sunlight causes the clear and transparent plastic headlight lens to become yellow. While driving in your favorite automobile, your headlights are constantly bombarded with gravel and other road debris that has been stirred up by the vehicles in front of you as you ride along.
- While driving in your favorite automobile, your headlights are constantly bombarded with gravel and other road debris that has been stirred up by the vehicles in front of you as you ride along.
- After several years on the road, a thin coating of dirt and chemicals accumulates on the lenses, obscuring their vision.
- Moisture vapor: Although headlights are constructed with a waterproof seal, normal wear and tear might cause this seal to fail over time.
- The water droplets disperse the beam of light, making it even more difficult to see at night.
- As a result, once oxidation occurs, it has the potential to destroy the headlight lens very fast.
- The most apparent reason is for your own safety while driving at night, but it may also have a significant role in the market value of your vehicle.
how to restore headlights permanently
Rather of spending hundreds to thousands of dollars to replace your headlights every time you discover that they are cloudy, you should attempt to remove the oxidation from the headlights yourself first. Saving money while driving at night and making driving safer and simpler are two benefits of doing so. Wash the polycarbonate plastic lens with a decent automotive soap and water before you begin working on the headlights to ensure that you have a clean surface to work with. Then try one of these strategies to clear your hazy headlights and restore the radiance to your headlights.
Get a CLTheadlight repair kit if your headlights are fogged in from the inside or if your headlights are severely discolored from the outside.
This will repair any oxidation and safeguard the plastic lens with a UV-protectant solution against UV rays, if any have occurred. Follow these steps to repair your car’s headlights in 1515 minutes.
Step one: wash, tape, and sand gently
- First and foremost, thoroughly clean the hazy headlight with warm, soapy water from an automobile. After that, rinse it well with lots of clean water and set it aside for a few minutes to enable it to dry completely. If you want to preserve the paint on the body of the car from scratches when sanding, hide the edges of the headlight lenses once they have dried. To sand properly, first wet the sheet of sandpaper and then gently sand using the grit that is appropriate for your car’s headlight issue, as shown below. Note: If the headlight just appears to be a little foggy or misty, you can begin with a lesser grit, such as 1,000, and work your way up to 2,500 grit.
Step two: Rinse and Repeat Sanding
- It is necessary to rinse and alter the direction in which you are sanding as you go in order to ensure that every region of your headlight lens is covered while you are working. In other words, if you were sanding horizontally, rinse it off to check how clean your headlight is, and then sand it vertically again. Alternatively, you can sand in a circular motion to ensure that you sand every region until you reach the 2,500-grit sandpaper.
Step three: Polish the lens with a buffing pad
- Wash the headlamp thoroughly with lots of clean, cold water and let it to air dry. Wet one corner of a microfiber cloth with the polishing compound and place it on the work surface. If you don’t have a polishing compound on hand, you may make do with an abrasive toothpaste. To polish the headlight lens, use strong pressure while moving it in a circular motion until it becomes extremely clean and smooth, as if you had just purchased it.
Step four: Repeat polishing and rinse finally
- After cleaning your headlights lens, allow the abrasive solution to dry for a few minutes before wiping away any remaining abrasive residue using a clean and moist microfiber towel to prevent streaking. Polish your headlamp a second or third time until you are happy with the final outcome. A few spots may still seem murky, depending on how foggily the headlights have grown. Cleaning your headlamp with vinegar or baking soda compound may be the most effective way to permanently remove this haze.
- Wetdry sandpaper (1000 to 2500 grit)
- Soft microfiber cloth
- Automotive soap
- Latex gloves
- Automotive masking tape
Regular maintenance of your headlights, whether during the summer or the winter, is just as vital as monitoring the amount of your engine oil and the pressure in your tires. Washing your headlamp with mild automotive soap and a soft microfiber cloth or sponge on a regular basis can help to prevent excessive fogginess and improve the brightness of your headlight. It’s important to note that you should avoid cleaning your plastic headlights using wax, polish, or any other product that is not meant for washing or cleaning automobile headlights.
- This product, which ranks as one of the most popular headlight restoration items on Amazon, features a straightforward three-way application procedure that allows you to repair hazy headlights in less than three minutes.
- If you’re seeking for a remedy to your foggy headlights, we propose that you purchase a repair kit that we recommend.
- Please pass it on to others!
- Automobile HeadlightsHeadlampRestoration TeamDecember 30, 2021 Team for Car Headlights and Headlight Restoration December 21, 2021
How to Clean Headlights: A DIY Guide
When compared to other methods, wet sanding gives the greatest results, and it is, for all intents and purposes, a permanent solution. This process is time and labor consuming; nevertheless, it does involve several stages that you may not feel comfortable performing on your own. The first thing to keep in mind about this procedure is that your car will need to be out of commission for at least 24 hours before it can be repaired. Following that, you must complete the final step without the presence of any wind to ensure that no dust or dirt comes into touch with your headlight lens.
What you’ll need to restore your headlights:
- Roll of paper towels (no lint/low lint)
- A roll of toilet paper A pair of scissors, if you will
- Plastic sheets, rubbish bags, or other similar materials
- An eight-foot-long roll of blue painter’s tape
- A bottle of isopropyl rubbing alcohol (often known as rubbing alcohol)
- 3 pieces of sand paper, with 600 grit and 400 grit on one side and 600 grit on the other
- A piece of sandpaper with a grit of 2000-3000
- The following items: a tin of carnauba paste wax
- The following items: a spray bottle with warm water
- In this case, a spray can of gloss clear finish for plastic that has been developed to be UV resistant and non-yellowing (these descriptive components will be printed on the spray can label on the front) would suffice.
Begin by tape around the headlight, making sure that the seal between the headlamp and the vehicle’s paint is as tight as possible.
Spray the headlight lens with water and moisten the 400-grit sand paper before sanding it down to a smooth finish. Please make sure that you always have water on the lens and sand paper at all times. Move the sand paper around the lens in a big circular pattern with a light touch (very little pressure) while simultaneously and continually washing the lens with water. Continue to spray water while ending the circular pattern after a short length of time and moving to horizontal sand paper motions, back and forth, while continuing spraying water.
Finally, spray the lens with water and wipe it clean.
This is only residues of the film and oxidation that have been removed from the lens, and it is totally OK.
Additionally, you may see some little scratches emerging on the plastic; these are normal and will be addressed during the finishing process. – Do not, however, use excessive pressure while sanding; we are not working with a piece of wood here.
Apply a bit more pressure this time, then repeat the procedure with the 600-grit sand paper, as described before. Repeat the process as described above, but this time spraying water simultaneously and constantly while sanding.
Re-create the method described above with a finer grit sand paper (2000 or 3000 grit). The pressure that should be exerted this time should be extremely mild, similar to the last time. There is a constant flow of water, as well as a circular pattern followed by horizontal motions. During this stage, make sure to go into the groves all the way around the edge of the headlight’s perimeter. After rinsing, dry with a clean cloth. Please keep in mind that the lens will still have a foggy look at this stage.
To remove any natural oils from the lens, use a paper towel to wipe the lens off with the rubbing alcohol.
To protect the hood, bumper, and any exposed paint in the region of the headlight, sheeting plastic or a garbage bag should be used instead (the trash bag can be cut to open for better coverage). Attach a piece of tape to the automobile. Cut out the headlight from the plastic sheeting using scissors, and then apply tape on top of the plastic sheeting around the headlight to secure it in place.
Continue wiping the lens down with the rubbing alcohol one more time to ensure that it is completely clean.
Use the rubbing alcohol to clean the lens one more time to make sure it is completely clean.
- Practice on anything small first if you’re new to spray coating so you can gain a feel for the pressure you need to use while spraying and the knack of perfecting light, even strokes. Always begin spraying on the protective sheeting before the lens and finish spraying on the opposite side of the protective sheeting before the lens. Neither the beginning nor the finish of spraying should be on the lens itself. Spray strokes are only ever directed in one direction at a time. A mild application is just what you’re looking for. There will be no significant spraying
- Make sure you don’t spray too near to your target or the spray may collect on the lens. Allow for 5-10 minutes of drying time before applying another layer.
Apply two more coats of the clear coat in the same manner as before. After the third coat has been applied, allow for 24 hours of drying time.
Apply a coat of carnauba paste wax to the lens and allow it to cure to the point of being nearly dry before polishing.
How to Clean Your Foggy Headlights
At Steve’s Detailing, we understand how to properly clean your foggy headlights so that you can see well in all weather situations and on any terrain. We are also excellent detailers for any sort of vehicle, whether it is a motorbike, RV, vintage automobile, hobby car, or even your daily commuter vehicle to and from the office. You may clean your vehicle’s headlights using a variety of ways if you don’t mind devoting an extended period of time to it over the course of a weekend. The first step is to do a thorough check of your headlights and research the most effective cleaning solution for them.
- You might want to consider replacing your windows if there are several chips and cracks.
- THE FIRST STEP IS TO CLEAN WITH SOAP AND WATER: To remove road filth and debris from your automobile, use a high-quality car soap.
- Keep an eye out for symptoms of haze.
- If it hasn’t previously been covered with a hard dark yellow crusted surface, the lens will be covered in this as well.
- Peeling and cracking will require the services of a professional detailer or the replacement of the vehicle.
- It’s possible that they only require a resurfacing.
- STEP 2: USE THE SANDPAPER: You’ll need many different grades of wet/dry sandpaper for this project.
- Remove the tape from the sections of paint surrounding the headlights to prevent damage to the paint, and then wipe the lights with rubbing alcohol once more.
- Utilize a significant amount of pressure until you get a uniform, dull finish.
- SECTION 3: SELECTING A POLISHING COMPOUND You will now need to choose which buffing compound will work best for your specific requirements.
- Aluminum compounds are the most effective for headlights, but you can also utilize a more natural and less expensive way by using bath and sink cleansers or even blue toothpaste that does not include whitening chemicals or peroxides to clean your lights.
In addition to these natural solutions for cleaning your foggy headlights, here are some more for you do-it-yourselfers to consider:
- Baking Soda: Yup, just like your mother told you, this item is great for virtually anything and is really versatile. Simply massage it on and then rinse it off. Vinegar: In addition to its excellent cleaning properties, vinegar is extremely effective on headlight covers. All you have to do is take them off and soak them for a few minutes, and the filth will fall off. Bug Spray: The good old “OFF” brand can do wonders for removing bug filth and the UV plastic that is yellowing the lenses of your headlights. The ingredients in the spray are quite effective
- Joy Dish Soap and Salt: Combine the two for double-duty cleaning and stain-removing ability
- Clean your headlights thoroughly with soap and water first, then dab some denatured alcohol on a rag and massage in a circular motion to remove any remaining residue. After rinsing and drying, apply a coat of vehicle wax for extra protection to finish.
STEP 4, POLISH: Take a very clean microfiber cloth and saturate it with your preferred cleaning product, starting with a little amount the size of a quarter. To begin, make little circular motions with a small section of skin. Then you’ll go through the process again till the light is completely finished. If you want faster results, you may also make use of an automated buffer. Continue buffing and polishing until you achieve the crystal-clear results you desire! STEP 5, PROTECT YOURSELF: Bulldog, a plastic adhesion protector, is available to help you extend the life of the hard work you have just completed.
- It’s similar to adding a top coat to your nail polish to give it a glossy finish and more coverage that lasts longer.
- It is the environment that is the most responsible for the degradation of your headlights.
- Pits and scratches in the lenses are caused by road debris, and water vapor trapped inside the lens causes deterioration over time.
- In order to minimize as much sun exposure as possible, it is recommended that you park your car in the shade or in a garage.
- There are also various devices available on the market that may assist you in preventing the harm that UV radiation can do to your lighting system.
- Your headlights remain bright and crisp throughout the night, improving your nighttime vision as well as the aesthetic aspect of your car.
- However, one popular brand on the market is called Optimum Opti-Lens Headlight Coating, and it is available at most auto parts stores.
- Although they are not permitted to be used at night, they are most definitely permitted to be used during the day.
You can rely on Steve’s Detailing for all of the newest technology, high-quality supplies, and skilled detailers to make your car look and feel as wonderful as the day you purchased it! Stop in now and follow a regularly planned maintenance plan to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Avoid Hazy Headlights and Make Them Shine Like New With These 7 Steps
When it comes to automobile maintenance, the most important thing to remember is to keep the headlights clean. Not only do these bright beams let you to see the road, but they also allow other drivers to see you. Polycarbonate material is used to manufacture the majority of headlamp lenses. This durable plastic is ideal for withstanding tough road conditions without breaking, which is just what you want, but it does not fare well in the sun. Manufacturers wrap the lenses with a UV protection layer to shield them from the sun during the original manufacturing process.
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If your headlights have began to cloud over or have become yellowish, it is apparent that the oxidation process has begun in your vehicle. Don’t be concerned, because restoring the original appearance of your headlights is a simple DIY project. Follow the instructions on how to restore your headlights that we’ve provided below, and you’ll have your night vision restored to factory condition in no time.
Step 1: Buy What You’ll Need
Kit for restoring the appearance of your headlights Restore the clarity of your headlight lenses with the 3D White Whitening Toothpaste. Sandpaper with grits ranging from 400 to 3000 Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape is a type of masking tape that may be used on a variety of surfaces. Make sure you have all of the items you’ll need before you begin. The quickest and most convenient method to accomplish this is to purchase a headlight repair kit, which will contain all of the supplies necessary. We simply put a few of the most popular kits on the market through their paces in order to help you determine which one is right for you.
You’ll need a couple different grits of wet/dry sandpaper (1000, 2000, and 3000 grit are normally safe bets), polishing compound, paste wax and a UV sealer, to name a few things.
Step 2: Get Your Headlights Clean
Washing the headlight lenses with vehicle soap and water will be the first stage in the process of cleaning the headlight lenses. It’s a good idea to cleanse the surrounding regions as well, to ensure that the tape adheres well during the following phase.
Step 3: Tape Off the Headlights
It is in the public domain. Within seconds, you’ll start sanding the lenses, and it’s critical that you don’t sand any of the surrounding paint or trim. Painter’s tape will effectively cover off the headlight while also providing protection for the rest of your vehicle. In the event that your hand slips and you unintentionally sandpaper over the painter’s tape, you’ll be grateful that you took the time to do this now.
Step 4: Sand Away
Popular Mechanics is a magazine that publishes articles on a variety of topics. You have arrived at a critical juncture. The sanding procedure is the same regardless of whether you purchased the kit or simply the supplies. Start with the most abrasive sandpaper you can find and work your way up from there. You should aim for the 1000 grit if you followed our recommendations and received 1000, 2000, and 3000 grit (lower numbers mean more abrasive). Wet the sandpaper and the headlight, and then sand the lens in straight, horizontal strokes until it is smooth.
Make careful to keep the surface moist while you work; otherwise, you run the danger of severely scratching the lens owing to the accumulation of grit particles.
Repeat the procedure with the less abrasive sandpapers—in our example, the 2000 and then the 3000 grit—and be sure to clean the lens well before moving on to the next finer grit.
After using horizontal strokes with the first sandpaper grain, you’ll want to sand across the headlight in a diagonal fashion with the second.
The last sanding should be done in the opposite diagonal motion from the one you just finished with the first. Take your time and make sure the paper and lens are both moist with water during the process. A hose or spray bottle would do wonders in this situation.
Step 5: Polish and Wax
It’s finally time to show off the results of your labor of love and hard work. After you’ve cleaned and dried your headlights, squeeze some of your polishing compound onto a clean microfiber towel and set it aside. Circular strokes should be used to massage the polish into the skin for a few minutes. You will be able to complete this task more quickly if you have access to and are familiar with an orbital buffer (but do not purchase one only for this task unless you intend to use it in the future).
Wax the lens in the same way you would a vehicle.
Step 6: Use UV sealant
Popular Mechanics is a magazine that publishes articles on a variety of topics. You need to put UV sealant to your headlights since you sanded away all of the previous oxidized sealant and now they are completely exposed. If you omit this step, all of your hard work will be for nought since the sealant is the protective coating that prevents lenses from hazing over again. This step is soaking a paper towel and applying the sealant in broad sweeping strokes with the towel damp. The most important thing is to have complete coverage, but make sure to read the directions that come with the kit you purchase.
Allowing the sealant to cure after application can be accomplished by parking the vehicle in a dry location.
Step 7: Test It Out
Even if you’ve completed all of the procedures above and still don’t see a significant difference, it may be worthwhile to repeat the process with even more sanding. It is possible that some lenses are simply too damaged and will require expert assistance or will need to be replaced totally.
Zachary Palmer’s full name is Zachary Palmer. Zac Palmer has been a vehicle enthusiast since he was old enough to understand what a car was, and he has no plans to change his interests anytime soon. This material was generated and maintained by a third party and imported onto this website in order to assist users in providing their email addresses for further consideration. You may be able to discover further information on this and other related items at the website piano.io.