Instructables
Picture of Headlight Restoration in 30 sec flat!!!
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I discovered this by accident as I was cleaning the fender area by the headlight for painting.
I ran a microfiber cloth, wet with lacquer thinner, across the area I was prepping for paint and I accidentally went over the old, foggy, looking like crap headlight. To my total amazement the opaque layer of the headlight came right out and was left behind was a crystal clear lense !!!
I made a quick pass over the rest of the headlight and I was astounded by the result. A second quick pass, (quick is the trick!), and the results are what you see on the photos!
I immediately did the same on the rest of my cars and 2 years later the headlights still  look this good.
I would recommend trying a small corner of your headlight before doing the whole headlight.

What seems to ensure success is:
1. Use lint free cloth,(I prefer microfiber cloth),
2. Use enough Lacquer thinner,
3. Use a light continuous motion and don't go over the surface again, until the solvent evaporates and the lense "hardens" again  
    (about 30sec).
4. Please, use proper hand protection, ie: Nitrile gloves, when using solvents of any kind. The long term effects of exposing your bare
    skin to solvents is nasty and irreversible!

Give it a try and have a great success with your project!:o)

PS: As an experiment to potentially improve on the original process, about a year ago, I applied a coat of clear lacquer varnish on an old headlight. I sprayed  the coat of varnish on the headlight immediately after I wiped the lense with the lacquer thinner, while the lense was still in the "green" state. A year later, with the headlight seating outside,exposed to the elements, there is no sign of deterioration, pealing or yellowing. I don't think this step is necessary but I add it here as an informative bit. :o)

idealy you need to apply a uv protection coat which is why they have faded in the first place i do it for a living with a uv protection coat there good for 5 years min

ivanbakas (author)  dave.fulton.331 month ago

Any UV protection product you recommend?

Ruble2 months ago

hi , txs for your sharing the idea , this is same thinner which v get from hardware shops

ivanbakas (author)  Ruble2 months ago

Yes. Lacquer thinner.

I was told that some brands of headlights respond better to acetone. I have not tried it myself but if for some reason lacquer thinner does not work for you, try acetone on a small corner of the headlight.

etcmn11 months ago
Thanks for the idea. Need to do this on my van.
onemoroni12 years ago
Another great idea! I use soft scrub and paste wax, but doesn't last. I'll have to give this a try. The best ideas are discovered by accident.
ivanbakas (author)  onemoroni12 years ago
True that !:o)
Hay I just did this today in fact. Amazing! I followed up with toothpaste and paste wax, look like new. Thanks for the instructable.
ilovejdmtoy2 years ago
this does work. I have purchase one for my car but I have to do this regularly to make the headlight lens shiny.

halo projector headlights
Foxtrot702 years ago
I purchased one of those headlight restoration kits and it did an ok job but, within 30 days the lens re-clouded on the outside. Fortunately I have an other set of headlights to play with and experience the process. Hopefully I can get them to clear up like yours have.
ivanbakas (author)  Foxtrot702 years ago
Yea. Like I said it's been two years without any deterioration on the headlights of the first car I used this technique. I also keep monitoring the condition of the headlights I sprayed with clear lacguer varnish and they look great too, with no signs of peeling or discoloration. When I use this technique again, I will make the clear lacguer varnish part of my initial treatment, as "silverwindro" confirmed in the comment below.
Good luck with yours.
That step is necessary, i mean the thin clear lacquer varnish, because in first operation you just cleaned the old laquer thin layer which come from factory.
So if you remove the layer or just clean it a bit, is a good idea to apply a thin layer of lacquer again over the old one to prevent fog.

I do a lot of headlight restoration, in fact, i advice people to dont waste moneys on buying a new one only if the reflective side, if needed, should be replaced, if it become matte.

Good job with this instructable.
ivanbakas (author)  silverwindro2 years ago
Good point! Thank you.