DIY Headlight Restoration

Clean HeadlightsWe’ve all seen it or experienced it – clouded, hazy headlights that look downright hideous on your offroad vehicle.  The yellow, foggy build-up on your headlights is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun, air pollution, moisture, dirt and other environmental contaminants. Fortunately, this gunk on your headlights is usually on the exterior and can be removed with a few simple materials and steps. If you follow these simple steps, you can remove all of the haze and get your headlights to shine bright in no time, and you don’t need a boatload of auto parts to get the job done.

  • The first step is to wash your headlights thoroughly with a degreasing agent such as a professional lens cleaning solution and/or soap. You want to remove as much dirt and grime as possible to prevent scratching in the next steps. The cleaner the better.
  • Once you’ve dried your headlights after washing, use painters’ masking tape to mask the areas around the light.
  • To remove the oxidation on your headlights, you’ll need to pick up a few supplies. You’ll need fine-grit sandpaper in 800-grit, 1200-grit, 2000-grit and 2500-grit. You also need a bucket of water, a buffing towel and headlight polisher/wax.
  • To begin the process, start with the 800-grit sandpaper and make sure it is wet with soapy water at all times. Lightly apply pressure from side to side and continue this process until the oxidation has been removed.
  • At this point the plastic will be clean but there will be scratches from the sandpaper. Don’t panic! – You’ll be removing them in this step. Take your three remaining pieces of sandpaper, starting with the 1200-grit and repeat the process in step 4. Once you’ve made your way to the 2500-grit, the scratches should be almost gone.
  • Wash your headlights again with soap and water to remove any left over contaminants.
  • The final step is to buff the headlights with your buffing towel and headlight polisher/wax. You will need to generously apply a few coats of wax and repeat a few times until you get the shine and consistency you want.

The headlights on your 4×4 should now be clear and haze-free. If you have any oxidation left, you can repeat the process until your satisfied.

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