OT-Frosted headlight repair

I noticed the headlights on my wife’s car have a frosted look to them. Probably because they are made of some kind of plastic instead of glass now days. Looking at the repair kits to repair the headlights seem to be using some kind of abrasive paste and polishing out all the frosting which seem to take about 30 minutes to 2 hours per headlight. Was just wondering if there was some kind of coating you could apply with a paint brush that would work. Anyone have any ideas?


Boor them with polishing compound

– Last Updated: Nov-11-13 5:24 PM EST –

Edit "polish" them. Not "boor" them. Bad spell checker and auto correct!

And finish with car wax. Takes just a few minutes. Lasts a few months. Looks good for the first few weeks and the light does shine through much better than before - makes a huge difference in visibility if your lights have become really foggy. Can do by hand or buy one of these buffing attachments for your electric drill. I have not tried specialized products, but I imagine they work on a similar principle.

I've done this on my first Prius when it was well over 100k miles old because I felt the headlights did not throw enough light. I was about to buy replacement headlights for this reason, but decided to try the polishing compound and wax I had laying around in the garage. Looked and worked much better after that, so polishing compound (to take fine scratches off) followed by wax (to fill in the tiny remaining scratches and offer UV protection) worked well for my application. Well enough I did not need to replace the lights!

Toothpaste might do the polishing part, but won't protect the surface.

I dont think so
As far as I know those kits are the best way to polish the haze away. Now if you used an Acrylic sealer like Klasse on the entire car including the head lights you would never have this problem in the first place. I also use Klasse on my fiberglass/gelcoated kayak to stop any fading. Klasse will not remove the haze its a protectant only.

Oh those kits didn’t look like they would take that long. I saw one in action on TV show Motorweek.

Novus plastic polish

– Last Updated: Nov-11-13 12:12 PM EST –



I use this on my headlights and motorcycle windshields. Unless they are severely oxidized you can use it by hand, no power buffer needed.

Did that
I used one of those kits (the heavy-duty one) on my wifes’s headlights and it did a beautiful job; took about 30 minutes per side. You have enough of the polish and UV protectant to do another set left over; just have to get more sandpaper. I’m trying to catch up with my son’s car for long enough to do his now.

yeah, get the kit and pokish them out
… just follow the directions on the kit .

Be certain the kit you purchase has all the sand papers (they go from real fine to extremely fine in succession of use) , It’s step down process . The kit should have a padded buffing disc that fits a standard drill also (the final step) .

Basically you will just be sanding out the hazed (scratched) up front lens of the headlamp . The idea is that each sand paper you use leaves finer and finer scratch lines until the finest paper appears to be polishing the plastic … then the buff out .

To my knowledge , that’s about all that can be done to hazed plastic headlamps . I’ve done and it works OK . Replacement is the other option , so check the price on new housings too and then decide .

We owned a "97 Outback where the
insides of the covers were hazed worse than the outside. No, I don’t know why. Maybe the aftermarket bulbs I put in were putting out UV.

It would be difficult to polish the inside of the covers, but it might be done by hand.

I sometimes use RainX on the outsides of the covers, and it seems to have a mild clarifying effect. Don’t get it on your paint.

toothpaste works. no joke.

Second the toothpaste
save your money.

Toothpaste thats funny
Toothpaste is rather funny as I just watched the TV show Motor Week not sure when it aired as I DVR everything I watch, and that’s just what Pat Goss said NOT to use for getting rid of the haze on head lights, too funny. He said don’t do it, get a proper repair kit. That’s what he said, I never had to do this as I use proper protection like I said in my above post and I keep my cars 10 plus years.

Probably some merit to toothpaste …
… but a lot more merit to a special polishing kit. Some toothpastes are mildly abrasive, and I’m sure any abrasive polishing of a badly deteriorated surface will provide some degree of improvement. On the other hand, it makes sense that using progressively finer grades of polishing material would have a much better end result. I once saw a demonstration of how badly damaged, opaque plexiglass windshields on aircraft can be restored to like-new condition using progressively finer “sandpaper”, with all polishing strokes applied with a particular grade being parallel, and with each change to finer grit the stroke alignment would get shifted 90 degrees. The last, final grade of polishing material was so fine that there wasn’t even a hint of roughness to it that could be detected by touching. It was almost silky smooth, actually (a lot smoother to the touch than emery paper). Anyway, the end result of polishing with four successively finer grades was pretty amazing, as the plexiglass was flawless afterward. It seems that the principle should be applicable to plastic headlights, so I’d go for the purpose-designed polishing kit rather than improvising with whatever is at hand.

Or just buy the materials separately
The materials in the headlight kits can be useful for a lot of other projects. All you need is 400, 800 and 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper, plus rubbing compound and polishing compound. You can find all of it at most auto supply, marine supply or woodworking specialty stores.

Just try it
Motor Week sells advertising to companies who specialize in automotive products. Nuff said.

It works. I’ve used it and compared it to the job done by kits. It’s pretty close.

Considering it’s probably a high mileage vehicle, exactly what do you have to lose?

3M kit
After looking around the internet and U Tube I found lots of kits from $150.00 to 20.00. 3M makes a kit for around $20.00, Has everything you need and my headlights look like new now. ( Found at Walmart and auto parts stores ) Follow the instructions and be sure to have a spray bottle of water at hand. Some car makes have a coating on the poly carbonate lens and this has to be wet sanded off. When I started the wet sanding I though what have I done, keep following the instructions and your headlights will look like new. After the mess is done you can keep things looking good with Meguiar’s PlastX and Meguiar’s Headlight Protectant. Good luck.

I’m thinking about using
Glass stove-top cleaner. This stuff really works great on glass, but it might be a bit too harsh for plastic. As far as tooth paste goes, I’ve found that the Pro Namel works so much better on my teeth. Who knows, maybe it would be better for sensitive plastic too.

Use the 3M kit.
Well worth it, IMO.

I bought one for my 19-year-old daughter. With minimal guidance from yours truly, she was done in under an hour-and-a-half and her headlight lenses came out looking too new for the rest of the car. Pretty amazing.

when we did it to an old truck …
… the road lite up much better then before . That’s the reason we tried it intially , because the headlamps were not making the road at night as bright as I wanted anymore … worked well for the brightness increase !!

New headlamp housings for an old Dakota were about $55. each , so opted for the repair route instead .

Name your poison