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How to Restore Your Headlight to Its Perfect Condition

By: Jim Pullman

About the Author:

Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community.

When cleaning your car, you will ensure that the headlight is clean too. Headlights enhance your safety on the road as they let you see the road in the dark, and make other motorists see you.

Since headlights are made using polycarbonate plastics, they are vulnerable to UV rays from the sun, though they can withstand harsh road conditions. The UV rays cause the material to be oxidized, making it have a yellowish color or start to haze. There is no need to worry when you begin to see these signs, as this is a DIY task, and you need to follow the below steps to get it done.

Use Household Items

Different household items have proven to be effective in restoring your headlight’s condition. Things like toothpaste, baking powder, white vinegar, and cola have proven to be ideal in cleaning the headlights. However, before you start the restoration, you have to ensure that the surface is clean, and a car shampoo would be ideal for a start.


Your headlight may be having layers of scrapes and scratches on its casing, and a gritty toothpaste would be ideal due to its abrasive elements.

• Using a toothbrush, you will apply the gritty toothpaste on the headlight lenses.

• You will need to apply the toothpaste until it starts to turn color.

• Allow to dry, then use a cloth and warm water, wash off the dry toothpaste.

Baking soda

• You will need to create a paste by mixing baking soda with water

• Use a sponge to apply the mixture on the headlights in a circular motion

• Use warm water to rinse

White vinegar

• You will need to remove the headlight lenses

• Submerge the casing into a container of vinegar, large enough to contain it

• Leave it to soak for an hour, then rub away the dirt using a sponge and reinstall when dry.

To get the best results, you may have to use these household liquids several times. Taking a picture of the headlight before and after the cleaning will help you note the difference.

Waxing the headlight would be a great way to protect it in the future. The DIY is just temporary fixes to the problem and should not be considered as long-term measures. In case the problem persists, then it would be the perfect time to find an alternative or hire experts.

Use Restoration Kits

One set of headlight restoration kits would contain all you need. Some of the products included in a package include cleaning solutions, a coating solution for the finish, sandpapers, abrasive discs, or a wool pad.

When using abrasive-based restoration kit, you should:

• Use shampoo to clean the headlight, and let it dry.

• To avoid damages to painted parts of the car, you will need to mask them off.

• Apply pre-treatment solutions on the headlight

• Using sandpapers or drill attachment, you will need to gently sand the headlight and not dig into the inner space. If the sandpapers have a different texture, you will need to start with a coarser one. Smooth headlight surfaces will mean that you use foam disc

• Finish by polishing using restoring compound

Hire Experts

You can leave the job to a headlight restoration company if you feel not so confident to do it yourself. You can also be too busy taking care of other things, and hiring an expert would be ideal.

Your budget will vary, depending on the need to replace the bulb, replace or restore the headlight unit, and quality of lamp you need for your headlight. Halogen bulbs are cheaper, but the high quality and capable LED bulbs can be expensive.

Since headlights are vital for your safety, you will need to find an approved garage to help you with the restoration. Before you hire one, you need to get recommendations or do some online research.

How to Avoid Headlight Degradation

You can also decide to keep your headlight free from degradation, rather than going through the restoration process.

• You will need to wash your car regularly, with a good quality shampoo to prevent dirt from accumulating on the headlight.

• Using polish would remove scratches that may have been formed on the headlight lenses.

• You can also park in the shade to avoid direct exposure to sun’s UV rays.

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