Hazy Headlights? Detailing Tips To Clear Them Up

Posted on: 25 August 2019

When you first bought your car, the headlight covers were clear, crisp, and let the light shine through clearly. As the car ages, the protective coating on those lenses can wear off, leading to scratches, pitting, and hazing on the surface of the headlight lenses. This hinders light transmission, leaving your car's headlights dimmer than you'd probably like. Not to mention, it can look horrible. Here are some tips to help you clear it up and restore that clarity you need from your lights.

Start With A Clean Surface

The very first step in restoring your headlight lenses is to clean the exterior surface. That way, you aren't going to risk adding scratches or causing damage due to particles and debris on the lens surface itself. Use a quality cleaner and degreaser to get the lens surface clean. A microfiber cloth is the best tool to wipe the lens with when you clean it because it won't cause any damage. Once the surface is cleaned, rinse it and dry it completely.

Remove Excess Particles With Clay

A clay detailing stick is a great tool for removing stubborn particles and debris from the surface of the lens. Once you have cleaned the lens, use the clay stick to remove anything that may be left on the surface. Rub the clay stick over the surface of the lens to clean it thoroughly. Repeat the process twice to ensure that you get all of the particles off the lens surface. Once this is complete, wash and rinse the lens one more time to remove any residue from the clay.

Sand The Surface

Wet sanding is the best way to remove the haze from the surface of the lens and restore its clarity. You'll want to start with sandpaper around 1000 grit. Gradually work your way to 3000 grit or so. The goal is to progressively smooth the surface so that it is clear and clean again.

Tape around the outer edges of the lens so that you protect the paint while you work. Keep the lens and the sandpaper wet throughout the process. Once the surface is clear, rinse it thoroughly, dry it, and then polish it with wax. Apply the wax coating every few months to maintain the protective coating and sheen on your car's headlight lenses.

To ensure that your car's headlights stay clear and in good condition, you can turn to an auto detailing shop to do the work for you. However, you can restore the lenses through this process as well.