Headlight Restoration

Polishing your Headlights and Tail Lights

The lights on your car start off clear, beautiful and smooth. Sadly, over time the surface of your lenses become cloudy and scratched up. This makes your lights dull and cloudy. Not only is a clear lens best for visibility, but cloudy and scratched up lenses look awful.

Polishing your lenses is the best solution for restoring your headlights and tail lights to their former brilliance. You are going to need some simple materials; a bucket of water, wet/dry sand paper with grits ranging from 600 to 1500, a very soft and clean cloth, a buffing wheel, rotary tool and plastic polishing compound.

The process is quite simple. Remove the headlights or tail lights from the body of the vehicle and clean them with soap and water. Go over the entire lens with each grit of sand paper and a little water, starting with the 600 grit and working up to the 1500. Rinse with water between each stage to make sure that any pieces of grit or other particles won’t get trapped and scrape up your newest pass.

At this point, all you need to do is finish it off with the buffing wheel and polishing compound. Apply a little bit of the polishing compound to the buffing wheel and polish up your lenses with a medium pressure. You may want to use the lowest speed setting to avoid heat damaging the plastic of the lens, which is surprisingly easy to do.

This method is only effective with newer headlights and tail lights that use plastic lenses. For glass lensed lights you are going to want to replace them with aftermarket tail lights or headlights. That is much simpler and easier than trying to polish glass. That is a whole other process that most of us will not have the time, money or ability to complete.