Introduction: HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CAR HEADLIGHT LENS

This Headlight Lens Solution is designed to restore clarity to headlight lenses that have become yellowed, cloudy, or hazed over time. By restoring clarity to lens you improve the performance of the headlight and enhance the appearance of the vehicle.

Headlight lenses have either a hard surface layer or UV resistant coating over the surface of the lens. Once a lens has been degraded by sun or UV light and becomes yellowed and cloudy, it is necessary to remove that yellowed layer in order to restore clarity to the lens. The effort required to refurbish headlight lenses will vary greatly by vehicle manufacturer, year, make, model, and headlight design. LARGE OR EXTREMELY HAZED LENSES MAY REQUIRE MORE THAN ONE SET OF SAND PAPER DISCS.

The equipment you need for this Headlight Solution is a 1200-1600 R.P.M (Revolutions per Minute) drill equipped with a Disc Holder pad, and sanding discs to remove the yellowed layer from the headlight lens surface. Two Sanding Steps will follow to refine,  and reduce the sand scratches that are made when removing the moving yellowed layer. Finally, the Rubbing Compound and a foam Pad will remove the fine scratches and put the final clarity on the headlight lens.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
1. 1200 – 1600 RPM Drill Machine
2. Headlight Lens Solution Kit (Available at any Car Parts Store, Walmart etc.)
3. Two Rag Cloths.
4. Water Spray Bottle.
5. Silicon Rubbing Car Polish (Available in Car Accessory Aisle at Walmart)
6 Soap Water.

TOTAL INVESTMENT

1. Drill Machine - If you don’t own one, you can borrow it from a friend or loan it from Car parts store.
2. Headlight Lens solution Kit at Walmart, O’reilly, Advance Auto Parts - $17
3. Silicone Rubbing Compound - $3
4. Masking Tape - $2
5. All other items can be found in your kitchen cabinet
6. One hour of your precious time :-) .
TOTAL - $22
Minimum Cost of Replacing New Headlights - $ 200
 
What this means is that anyone can save hundreds of dollars by spending just one hour of their time working on their car. The end result is guaranteed to enhance the performance, and visual appeal of your car.

The difference is clearly visible in the first picture where the left headlight is damaged, and the right headlight is treated with this self application procedure.

Step 1: PREPARING THE LENS AND THE DRILL MACHINE


1. Clean the Headlight lens with soap and water.

2. Protect trim, and painted surfaces around the headlight lens with masking tape.

3. Mount the Plastic Disc holder on the Drill Machine.

WARNING: DISCONNECT THE DRILL MACHINE FROM POWER OUTLET BEFORE MOUNTING THE PLASTIC DISC PAD HOLDER, AND WHILE CHANGING THE DISC PADS.

Step 2: REMOVING YELLOWED LAYER AND DEFECTS


1. Attach and center the Disc #1 (Gold Color) to the disc holder.

2. Hold the drill flat or at a very slight angle, and begin sanding on the lens with slight pressure down on the drill.

3. The drill should be moved slowly in circular directions at a steady pace, and the disc should be cleaned from time to time with a towel during the process.

4. Wipe off the lens and inspect to ensure all yellowing and defects have been completely removed.

WARNING: DO NOT SAND THE SAME ARE OF LENS FOR A LONG TIME AS IT WILL CREATE A GROOVE AND DAMAGE THE SURFACE OF THE LENS.
 

Step 3: REDUCING SAND SCRATCHES


1. Remove the Disc # 1 and attach Disc # 2 (White Color) to the Drill Machine.

2. Using medium to light pressure, begin sanding the lens to reduce the sand scratches from Step 2. Please ensure to make several passes over the entire surface of the lens to be sure that Disc # 2 has removed all the scratches from the previous step.

3. Wipe the lens, notice the scratches are finer. If you still notice any deep scratches, continue sanding with the Disc # 2 until the surface is smooth.

Step 4: PREPARING THE LENS FOR POLISHING


1. Remove the Disc # 2 from the Disc Pad Holder and attach Disc # 3 (Gray Color).

2. Using a spray bottle, apply enough water to dampen the Foam Pad on Disc # 3 and lens surface.

3. Using medium to light pressure, sand the surface of the entire lens.

4. Wipe the lens with a cloth and you will notice the surface of the lens will appear very smooth and somewhat clear.

Step 5: POLISHING THE LENS


1. Remove the Disc # 3 and attach the Disc # 4 (ORANGE FOAM PAD) to the dic pad holder.

2. Apply a generous amount of the rubbing compound to the entire surface of the lens and to the orange foam pad. Before turning the drill, smear the polish with the foam pad around the lens to avoid spatter.

3. Holding the pad flat on the lens, polish the lens until the cloudiness disappears and the clarity is significantly improved.

4. Remove the masking tape and wipe the lens using a clean cloth. Wash any residual spatter from the vehicle with soap water.

5. You are ready to use your performance, and visually enhanced headlights.

Comments

author
mikeyy9999 (author)2016-02-07

Thanks for the tip. It has worked well on our vehicles.

author
zNikko (author)2010-12-05

i used toothpast and polished it with wd40 works great for a cheap DIY

author
Fujo (author)2010-10-27

You need to adjust/focus your headlights!!

author
harmitsingh (author)Fujo2010-10-27

I wrecked the car once so lights are a little beat up! i didnt replace them...........

author
dchall8 (author)2010-10-21

I recently had reason to try the Mr Clean Magic Eraser (and the knock off Quick Eraser, 2 for a dollar, from any dollar store) for another cleaning job. I had the eraser pad in the car and thought I'd try it on my headlights. It worked pretty well. It takes about a minute with very light pressure, costs $0.50, and you can still use the eraser pad to clean up other stuff. The eraser might not work for everyone but it sure is worth a try.

One way to guarantee that your headlight lenses will haze over is to use the modern liquid wax/cleaners on them. As a test I just touched some of that wax in the orange bottle to the lens. That spot has been hazed ever since. Don't know about the paste waxes, but I'm not taking any chances.

author
harmitsingh (author)dchall82010-10-21

Magic Eraser might work but it will take ages to scrub all those top layers off the hazed plastic............its good for small scratches or stains.... :-)

Using organic solvents or cleaners on the plastic is not a good idea since they will kill it ............I would suggest avoiding them,..........They can damage you lens permanently..

Good Luck

author
CrLz (author)2010-10-21

Nice, a great how to.

Thanks for posting, with a laptop and your Instructable, car care is easy!

author
harmitsingh (author)CrLz2010-10-21

You are absolutely right.........another great thing is gooogle........

Thanxxxx

About This Instructable

48,631views

24favorites

License:

More by harmitsingh:HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CAR HEADLIGHT LENS
Add instructable to: