How to Restore Headlights

March 19th, 2018 by

2015 Honda Accord Headlight

Give your headlights some TLC from UV damage by cleaning and restoring them. Here’s how to restore headlights, a simple, inexpensive solution to cloudiness and discoloration using kits available at auto supply stores.

Step 1: Wash Your Car

Begin by removing surface dirt. Wash and wax your car thoroughly. You don’t want the polishing compound to adhere to your car’s paint because it’s highly abrasive, so at least wax a one-foot area around the headlamps.

Step 2: Apply Masking Tape

Use regular blue painter’s tape to mask the area around each headlight you’ll be polishing. You can also mask the colored and clear lenses for the marker and backup lights, since they don’t accumulate the same kind of haze that headlights do. Be careful with chrome, whether it’s metal or chrome-finish plastic. The polishing materials can destroy it, so you’ll want to tape those areas or remove them.

Step 3: Sand

First, soak a piece of 1000-grit wet/dry sandpaper for ten minutes in cold water. Moving in straight strokes in one direction, lightly sand the entire lens surface. Keep the entire surface wet as you go. The goal is to get rid of all pits, scratches, and discoloration. Clean and dry the spot when you’re done, and then begin the same process again with 1500-grit wet/dry sandpaper going at a right angle to your first round. Continue to keep the paper wet, move methodically in one direction, and clean and dry the area when you’re done to check your work. Follow these same steps with 2000-, 2500-, and 3000- grit wet/dry sandpaper.

Step 4: Polish and Seal

Polish compound onto the lens in a circular motion with a microfiber cloth. As it dries, the cloudiness lifts off the lens and onto your cloth. Follow with a UV sealant to help protect the lense from the sun.

Your Maintenance Resource

Projects like restoring your headlights can help your car look better and last longer, and Tamaroff Honda is here to help! Our service center can take care of custom detailing, basic maintenance, and urgent service needs, so contact us anytime for an appointment.