Best DIY Headlight Restoration Tips

If you like a hands-on approach, then this is a post addressed to you on the best approaches to restoring your own headlights. We approach restoration from a basic procedure to a highly technical one.

Buffing with a cloth and compound

cloth wiping headlight

This covers restoration using toothpaste, baking soda mixed with vinegar, and rubbing compound. The principle here is to eliminate oxidation/haziness with little consumption of resources. Toothpaste has tiny granules in it, and so does a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. The granules act as a sanding agent when rubbed on a headlight using a cloth. This removes the oxidation and makes your headlight clear again.

This method works well if the oxidation is light; if it is heavy, you might need to get more aggressive.

Other techniques use WD40, wax, or just applying something to the headlights and making them clear. This method covers the whole issue without addressing the oxidation and once the clear agent is off, the headlights are back to being hazy.

Bear in mind that there is no protection against UV using this practice soon they will get dull again within days.

DIY Restoration kits


There are plenty of restoration kits available. Whichever you choose, they should cover the main principles when restoring headlights: correction (sanding), restoration, and protection. Without these being covered, then your restoration will not last.

Ensure that you have seen a tutorial of the restoration process using the kit to help you successfully conduct the process. Most kits are good enough, and the results should last up to a year before restoring them again.

DIY Permanent restoration

before after headlight restoration

Similar to that of professional practice, only you can do it yourself. The process requires a bit of skill, so if you are not confident enough, be sure to visit a professional.

You will need:

  • Sandpaper sheets for wet sanding grit 400, 600, 1500, and finally 2500
  • Painters tape or masking tape
  • Water in a bucket
  • Two towels, one for wiping the headlight when sanding and the other for cleaning the headlight before spray painting
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic or Paper covers for your car
  • Clearcoat with UV protection

There is a good tutorial on how to do this. You can have a look and follow the instructions. This process will have the best results. It will last for years, and the headlights will be as good as new.

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