Tag Archives: Headlights

How to Polish and Restore Your Headlights

I have seen a lot of ads for headlight polishing products and never thought much about it. I few days ago my roommate complained that she could hardly see driving home at night. So we went to the auto store and bought some brighter headlight bulbs. We came home and changed out her headlights. It seemed to help a little but not much.

The next day I was browsing through the auto department and came across about 5 different products designed to restore your headlights. Some were complicated kits with sanding and polishing pads. I did a little research and came to the conclusion that it shouldn’t take much to do this.

I’m not recommending any one product because I have not done a side by side comparison of this product to that one. I picked a product from a brand-name who’s products I was already familiar with and it worked great. I think the key to making it work was the tools and process, not necessarily the product. I’m sure any good mild polishing compound with a wax would work.

What my research showed and what my own experience backed up is that you need a good high-speed polishing wheel and pad.

My steps where:

  • Wash down the lights to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Mask off the surrounding area with a low stick tape that won’t peal the paint or remove you wax finish.
  • Apply liberal amounts of compound to the light lends and pad.
  • Buff at a high speed.
  • Wash off extra compound.
  • Remove tape carefully.

It only took a minute or two of buffing and it was done!  No muss no fuss. Really, it took longer to tape off the area than it did to do the job.

Now if you headlight lenses don’t come right back to a smooth shine, try a light sand with some wet 1500 or 2000 grit paper to knock down any deep oxidation. Be very careful if you try sanding. Use lots of water and move in light circles. Then buff again. That should do it.

Total time to do this job was about 30 mins. and the product was $7.99 from you local massive retail store. I would rate the difficulty as Low.