If you are starting to notice that your headlights don't shine quite as brightly as the once did, the issue probably isn't with the bulb — but with the clear plastic cover of the headlight assembly. Cloudy, foggy or hazy plastic has the potential to make nighttime driving extremely dangerous. There are many methods on how to clean car headlights, and they all have one thing in common — using the best headlight restoration kit to buff out that haze and bring new life back to your car's headlights.
The 3M headlight restoration kit comes with everything you need to fully restore your foggy or hazy headlights. When comparing the cost of purchasing a headlight cleaning kit or new headlights, the 3M kit will simplify that choice. This cleaning kit costs a fraction of the price, and is can give you like-new headlights in less than an hour.
This headlight restoration kit comes with a pad adapter for your handheld drill, six sanding discs, four finishing discs, headlight lense polishing compound, a buffing pad and a few other things. You will have more than you need to perform some DIY headlight restoration. You will want to pick up some masking tape if you don't already have some.
You can use this kit with nearly all lights on your car including your headlights, taillights, fog lights and directional lights. Users claim that this is a world class headlight restoration kit. We believe that this kit is fantastic because of all the extra pads you get.
Why It Made The List: It comes with extra pads for buffing and polishing your lens after restoring it.
The Sylvania headlight restoration kit is one of the simplest DIY headlight restoration kits on the market in 2017. Removing the weathered damages such as yellow and hazy discoloration is simple with this kit. Sylvania claims that you can improve your downroad vision by up to 3 times when using this headlight cleaner.
The Sylvania kit comes with the pretreatment (surface activator), three grades of waterproof sandpaper, two applicator cloths, some clarifying compound and some other goodies that will assist you in restoring your headlights. This kit could easily be considered the top headlight restoration kit because it is one of the only ones that comes with a finishing UV-resistant clear coat. Apply this clear coat once you've used the kit to clean your headlights and they will be protected for even longer. Users couldn't believe the results they saw after using this headlight restorer.
Why It Made The List: The finishing UV-resistant clear coat does wonders on your lens in terms of protecting it.
This headlight restoration kit is from the manufactures of the car wax that shaped the automotive industry. The Turtle Wax DIY headlight restoration kit is safe to use on all Plexiglas, plastics and lenses. The manufacturer claims that you can restore your headlights in five minutes or less. We have our doubts about that time frame, given the times it takes most people using other kits. They rank in at less than an hour, but nowhere near five minutes.
This headlight restoration kit comes with three pads (all with different grits), spray lubricant, clarifying compound and a sealing wipe. You will need some extra stuff when using this kit because it doesn't come with masking tape or other items that will make your life easier when using it. That’s ok, because for the price of this headlight cleaning kit, you can easily afford the other items. This is a cheap headlight restoration kit when it comes to price.
Why It Made The List: The price of this kit is substantially below that of some other headlight restoration kits.
Meguiar’s makes some fantastic car waxes, and when it comes to restoring headlights, they make one of the best headlight restoration kits on the market. The Meguiar’s kit comes with everything you need to buff the yellowed, murky fog out of your headlight covers. This was one of the top rated products on Amazon in the headlight cleaning category.
This kit comes with a pad for sanding, two finishing discs (professional grade), an easy buff wool pad than can be attached to a household drill, a microfiber towel, headlight protectant and a form of pretreatment Meguiar’s calls PlastX. The headlight protectant will make sure you don't have to go through the procedure for cleaning your headlights nearly as often.
We rank Meguiar’s headlight restoration kit as one of the top kits on the market for 2017.
Why It Made The List: The kit includes an attachment for connecting it to a drill. This makes the cleaning process a lot easier and faster.
Mothers headlight restoration kit will help you remove the fog and haze from your weathered headlights. The environmental factors that damaged your plastic headlight assembly such as UV rays, sunlight, chemicals and smog don't stand a chance against this DIY headlight restoration kit. When using this kit, you will see professional results. And it will probably take you less than an hour to complete.
Mothers NuLens headlight cleaning kit comes with restoration discs, a backing plate to attach to your handheld drill, polishing tool, liquid polish and some instructions for cleaning your headlights. You will need to provide your own drill and painters tape. This kit is reasonably priced and would save you a lot of money compared to purchasing new headlight assemblies.
More than 200 individual users gave this product a great review, listing it as a fantastic product.
Why It Made The List: You get a lot of extra accessories with this kit, so you don't have to try and buy each component separate.
Wipe New Headlight Restore Kit is a unique alternative to the standard headlight restoration kit. This is because the system is designed for simplicity and single use. Unlike the other headlight cleaning kits that come with a lot of extra stuff, the Wipe New DIY headlamp restoration kit comes with just the essentials. This is a kit you could leave in your car and use anywhere.
The Wipe New kit comes with a lens polishing pad, a microfiber towel and a pair of gloves. All you’re missing is the masking tape, and you are ready to rock-and-roll. This kit is a little less complicated than the other kits and comes with fewer supplies, so you might not get the exact same results, but for the price you won’t be disappointed.
You could give this headlight restoration kit as gifts during the holidays. Then everyone in your family would have clean, clear headlights. As we mentioned before, this kit would be perfect to keep in your car for those times when you may not have the tools or time to perform a more advanced restore.
Why It Made The List: This is a quality kit and it is super inexpensive. With its simplistic cleaning style, you don't need a lot of extra items. Just the kit.
Step 1) Determine the extent of the damage.
Is using a headlight restoration kit going to be an easy task, or a difficult one? Would you be better off replacing the entire headlight assembly? Keep in mind that replacing the headlight assembly will be a lot more expensive than using the a headlight restoration kit.
Step 2) As when working on all exterior car parts, wash everything clean.
Grab some soap and water and get to scrubbing. You need to remove as much grime and filth that isn't directly related to the foggy headlight as you can. This will assure your DIY headlight restoration will go as planned. You might consider removing the headlight and washing under it as well.
Step 3) Mask painted surface.
If you are not removing the headlight assembly to clean it, make sure you mask your car’s paint. You don't want to slip while sanding and scratch your paint. The tape will help protect the paint job while using your headlight restorer.
Step 4) Grab your sandpaper.
You want to make sure you have different grades of sandpaper. The headlight restoration kit will come with varying grades. You want a coarse grit like 400, a finer grit like 1200-1500 and a fine grit like 2000.
Step 5) Wet the sandpaper and begin.
A good headlight cleaning kit typically comes with some sort of pre-treatment that will start to breakdown the haze on the headlight. If you don't have pre-treatment, just wet the sandpaper and start to buff the plastic. Start with the coarse grit and work your way to the fine grit. At some point you will notice that the headlight begins to look hazy. You will want to switch to the fine grit sandpaper and continue the process. If you notice the factory sealant coming off, it is probably best to continue and remove it all.
Step 6) Apply clear coat or polish.
Your DIY headlight restoration kit should come with some polish or clear coat to finish the job. Using the polish or clear coat, buff the headlight assembly. Working in small areas of 4”x4”, buff the plastic how you would when waxing a car. Small circular motions work best. You may need to repeat this step multiple times to achieve desired results.
Caution: You always want to consult the instructions that come with your headlight restoration kit. Use methods the manufacturer recommends so you get the best results from your cleaning kit. If you encounter issues at any stage of the process, you may need to consult a professional. Sometimes your headlights have windshield wipers, so please be careful when restoring them.
You have many options when it comes to your car headlights. If your car is older, you probably have halogen bulbs. You can always replace these with similar stock bulbs, or even upgrade them to premium xenon halogen bulbs. Depending on where you live and how you use your car, you could even upgrade the bulbs with a HID kit. Finally, you could install LED headlights. When it comes to headlights, you certainly have many choices.
Whether you change the bulbs, install HID or install LED lights, you may still have the same issue where the brightness is reduced. Sometimes by as much as 50 percent or more. That’s because over time, the plastic cover can become foggy. You can clean up the hazy, murky yellow dinge by using a headlight restorer.
The plastic headlight cover tends to discolor due to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. In addition to the harm caused by the sun, environmental factors and man made road products also cause harm and deterioration. Using the a quality headlight restoration kit will allow you to clean and revive your headlight cover.