How to Polish Your Car Headlights

Car headlights tend to get dingy and dull over time, and they require regular maintenance to stay bright. Just like your car has to be washed sometimes, you have to polish your headlights every once in a while to keep then working just like new.

Cleaning Car Headlights

Before you start cleaning your car headlights, you will want to wash the headlights thoroughly. Dirt and grime can cause a lot of dullness that you see on your headlights, so it is important to have a clean headlight in order to inspect it to see how detailed your headlight work will need to be.

Once your headlights are clean, you can inspect them and proceed as needed.

  • If you see hazing, which is the hard coat being worn off of the headlights, you can regularly keep the headlights cleaned with soap and water to slow their degeneration.
  • If you see yellow color on your headlights, you should use Rain-X or another polishing compound to clean and correct the damage. You can even use transmission fluid to clear the yellow away temporarily.
  • If you see peeling and cracks, then cleaning your headlights may not be enough to restore them. In this case, replacing the headlights is recommended.

See how to restore headlights here: 

Restoring Headlights

If you are looking to completely restore your headlights rather than just giving them a superficial cleaning, there are some steps to follow to make sure your headlight restoration is headache-free.

  • Grab a few different grades of wet/dry sandpaper. You will need at least one coarse grade and one fine grade. 
  • Tape off your headlights, so you do not harm the paint of your car during the restoration process.
  • Wipe down the headlights with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wet the coarse sandpaper and sand the headlight until you have a dull, even finish.
  • Switch to the finer sandpaper, wet it, and sand the headlight until the outside is “satiny.”
  • Use a buffing compound on a microfiber cloth to buff the headlights and make them shine. You can use plain blue toothpaste as a cheaper buffing option.
  • Once your headlights are polished and buffed, you are finished!

Bright and Shiny

Your headlights will look as good as new after using these steps to clean and restore them. If you want to take your headlight restoration a bit further, you can visit a local body shop and have them spray plastic adhesion onto the lights to extend the life of the headlights. You definitely won’t be struggling to see at night anymore!