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3 Headlight Restoration DIY Tips

Oxidized cloudy headlights are one of the major concerns for vehicle owners all around the world. Such headlights do not reflect light as clearly as they should. Not only does it look bad on your car but also can cause fatal accidents. Headlight restoration process can help you get back your shiny headlights.

Headlight restoration or headlight repair is the process of de-oxidizing cloudy headlights with de-oxidizer or with items that are easily available at local auto shops and general stores.

For those that are ready to try hands on de-oxidizing your cloudy headlights, here are three ways of doing so.

Imp – Prior to applying any of the given methods, identify whether the damage is on the outside or in the inside of the plastic.

Plastic Cleaning Solution

Before applying the solution, make sure that the plastic does not have dust particles sticking to it. Use water from spray bottle to clean off any dust particles from the plastic. Dry it off with a soft cloth.

Next, apply plastic cleaning solution like Windex on the headlights with a soft cloth and evenly distribute it on the plastic. Once the surface is semi dry, take another piece of cloth and dry up the solution from the plastic.

It is recommended that you use car polish once the solution is completely dry. Polish usually contains fine abrasive that gives shiny surface wherever applied.


  1. Use rotary buffer for faster and better results.
  2. Do not apply polish in sunlight. Also make sure that you protect the rubber and plastic parts that support the headlights. Polish may form a white film coating on the plastic parts that are sometimes hard to get off.

Sand Paper Lens Polish & Masking Tape

You can easily buy these items from your local stores. Buy four sand papers of 600 grit, 1200 grit, 2000 grit and 2500 grit.

Now, use masking tape around the headlight to protect plastic parts from being exposed to lens polish and sand paper.

Prepare a mixture of soap and water and fill a spray bottle with the half of the solution. Store the other half for now. Now, spray the solution on the headlights. You can use your fingers to distribute the solution all over the plastic.

Next, swipe off the solution with a clean cloth but do not dry it off completely. With the lens still wet, apply plastic polish on the plastic with the help of your fingers.

Fold the 600 grit sand paper in three with the coarse surface facing outside. Dip the sand paper into the soap water solution that you had stored earlier.

With even pressure, sand the headlights with a side to side motion. Wet the sand paper whenever necessary. Follow the same procedure with 1200 grit sand paper and so on. Once you are done sanding with 2500 grit sand paper, apply plastic coat all over the plastic and clean with a piece of clean cloth.

Again, use small amount of soap water solution to rinse the plastic. Dry with a soft cloth. Repeat the whole process if the result is not satisfactory.


  1. Do not use duct tape for masking. The glue from the duct tape are hard to remove and can leave a sticky dirt on your headlights.
  2. Keep in mind that the headlights should always be wet while sanding.


This method is to clean off headlights that have minimal oxidization. You can use any toothpaste brand for this method.

Use Masking Tape to protect plastic parts that support the headlights. Use clear water to rise off any dust from the plastic.

Dampen a soft cloth with small amount of water. Dab small amount of toothpaste all over the cloth. Next, with a circular motion, apply the toothpaste on the headlight. Add toothpaste or water as required while cleaning.

5 minutes of cleaning is necessary for best results. Now, spray small amount of water on the headlights and dry it off with a soft cloth. For glossy results, use wax polish once the headlights are dry.

Headlight restoration is a task that demands time, patience and proper knowledge of cleaning. If you are afraid of damaging other parts of your vehicles while cleaning then I personally recommend you to hire our professionals to get this job done.

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