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Restore Your Headlights in 30 Minutes or Less

The author is an amateur automotive, marine, and RV detailer. He has 30+ years of experience with washing, detailing and waxing vehicles.

Don't Waste Your Money Replacing Those Cloudy Headlights

I am notoriously cheap. Looking at my options, I could either replace my headlights or restore them. I quickly decided that it would definitely be cheaper if I invested a little elbow grease and time. I opted to take the cheaper route and restore them. I decided it would be fun to document my work and help others facing the same dilemma. Below, I have outlined a step by step tutorial to easily restore those cloudy, hazy headlights. Save your hard-earned money by completing this quick headlight restoration process in your driveway or garage in 30 minutes or less! Follow along below for the best, proven results.

My Headlights Before This Simple Restoration Process

Passenger Side (Before)

Passenger Side (Before)

Drivers Side (Before)

Drivers Side (Before)

Items You Will Need Before Starting

1. Spray Bottle (For Water)
2. 1500 Grit Sandpaper
3. 2500 Grit Sandpaper
4. 3000 Grit Sandpaper
5. Rubber Sanding Block
6. Rubbing Compound
7. Random Orbit Detailing Machine (Optional)
8. Medium Foam Polishing Pad (Optional)
9. Clean Microfiber Cloth
10. Blue 1" Painters Tape
11. Your favorite automotive wax

Follow These Step by Step Instructions To Restore Those Hazy Headlights

  1. Tape off the area around the headlight to prevent accidental sanding of the vehicle paint.
  2. Clean headlights with soapy water. Rinse and dry with a clean, soft microfiber towel.
  3. With the spray bottle, spray the 1500 grit sandpaper and apply a light coat of water to the first headlight.
  4. Begin sanding the headlight making sure to sand in one direction. Sand the headlight for about 5 mins while periodically spraying the headlight lens and sandpaper.
  5. Next, change the sandpaper to 2500 grit and repeat the process only this time, sand the headlight in the opposite direction.
  6. In the third step, change the sandpaper to 3000 grit and repeat the process by again sanding in the opposite direction as the last step.
  7. Once this process is complete, spray the headlight well to remove ALL residue from the lens. The lens will look uniformly cloudy.
  8. Finish by applying a small amount of rubbing compound to a clean microfiber towel or polishing pad on your DA polisher and in a circular motion, begin polishing the headlight for about 5 minutes or until the lens is clear and looks like new. Wipe off the compound residue.
  9. Repeat this process for the other headlight.
  10. Finish by applying your favorite wax and remember to apply a fresh coat of wax every 6 months to keep your headlights shiny and new!

Results: My Headlights After This Simple Restoration Process

Passenger Side (After)

Passenger Side (After)

restore-your-headlights-in-30-minutes-or-less

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Before-and-After

Before/After

Before/After

Before/After

Before/After

Before/After

Before/After

Excellent Results with Minimal Effort

As you can see from the photos, this restoration project was a success. I don't think I exerted myself too much and getting to see these excellent results was very satisfying. With a couple of bucks and some sweat, I saved myself from a $500 replacement bill and gave myself a year or so of safe night driving thanks to the restored clarity of those cloudy headlights. I want to thank everyone for stopping by and hope that I was able to help you achieve similar results on your headlights. Don't forget get to check out some of my other articles! Have a great day!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Charles Kikas

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