How to remove scratches from headlights

How to remove scratches from headlights

Have you recently noticed scratches on your car headlights lens? Have the scratches hampered the headlight beam and caused it to dazzle?  If this is the case, you must remove the scratches as soon as possible or change your headlights to drive safely. Scratched headlights become blurry, yellowed, or pale, emitting just 20% of the light emitted by a new headlight. A long time ago, the automobile industry transitioned from glass to plastic headlight covers (popularly called polycarbonate lenses). This plastic cover is prone to scratches, lowering the quality of the light emitted. This article will assist you if you don’t know how to remove scratches from your car’s headlights.

So, if you are wondering how dangerous it is to drive with a cloudy headlight, remember that oxidation can make your headlights lose their complete visibility and for a variety of causes. The sun’s rays might make them appear dull. If your headlight covers are made of plastic, road debris can damage them. The debris scattered throughout the vehicle, potentially damaging the headlights. It might damage the headlights and make visibility less efficient. It also has an impact on the vehicle’s appearance.

Steps by step to remove scratches from headlights

Steps by step to remove scratches from headlights

How quickly can a car headlight be restored? Well, because most cars have sealed headlight assemblies, replacing the lens is not an option. Some people repair their lenses, but they must also replace the entire unit. If you have a high-priced car, this might be very expensive. As a result, many people recommend lens restoration. Learn how to clean the inside of your sealed headlights. However, you should replace your entire headlamp housing if they are badly damaged.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to quickly and easily clean these scratches. 

Things You Need: 

The majority of these items can be found in your garage. If you don’t have something you need, it will be readily available at any car shop. You’ll require the following items;

  • Towels for polishing
  • Soapy water in a bucket
  • Gloves
  • Tape (1 to 1.5 inch width) Plastic polish
  • Wet and dry sandpaper (600, 1200, and 2000 grit) 
  • 1′′ x 2′′ sanding block
  • [2.5′′] Velcro backing plate
  • 3″ foam or wool polish pad [Velcro backing]

steps to clean your headlight

steps to clean your headlight scratches

After sanding your car headlight lenses to remove those scratches, the next step is to remove surface oxidation from your glass headlamp with a quality plastic polish. Although the sanding should probably help with the oxidation too, however you can’t rely on sanding alone  you need a car headlight restoration kit. While the car restoration wipe is an efficient car lens cleaner, you shouldn’t use it for household glass or ceramic cleaning. 

  • Step 1: Wash the headlight.

It would be ideal if you washed the headlight lenses thoroughly before beginning the restoration process. Cleaning the lenses with soapy water is the ideal method. You can use a dirty cloth to rinse the headlight lenses until they are spotless. Please make sure they’re free of any dirt. Also, keep the area around the lens clean. Allow to dry completely before wrapping it in masking tape to protect the paint.

  • Step 2: Sanding the headlight

Begin by sanding the headlight with wet sandpaper. If there are scratches or the vision is poor, start with 600 grit sandpaper, then move on to 1200, then 2000 grit. Because the sandpaper needs to be thoroughly moistened, you’ll need a lot of water. It must be sanded in straight lines only, not circles. Sandpaper should only be used with a sanding block and not your hands.

Scratches on headlights can be removed using coarse sandpaper. Finer sandpapers will eliminate scratches caused by the coarse sandpaper on the headlights. When you wash, the water you used to sand the headlights turns milky, removing the cloud cover or paleness from the Headlight washing. The water becomes clearer as you sand more. You may need to take a break in between to examine the headlights. Sanding will help to remove the scratched layer of the headlamp. It is a cheap and straightforward way to fix your headlight lenses. You might need to take a break and dry the lenses in between to assess how well they’ve been polished. After that, sand the lenses until they are smooth when you touch them.

  • Step 3: Polishing

Polishing your headlight lens will help it last longer and protect it from future damage. It also protects the restoration, making it more difficult for the covers to deteriorate. If you want to do these yourself, polish the plastic headlight using a 3′′ wool or foam polishing pad. It’s important to know that the drill used by the pad isn’t very fast. When the wools are rotated at high speed, they become heated.

This rotation might be harmful to the headlamp and cause further damage. Start polishing the pads after applying the polish. After a while of polishing, you’ll notice that the polish starts to fade. Start polishing again after adding more polish as necessary. The headlight will get clearer after some time. Stop polishing the lenses once they are clear. You may finish it off by hand polishing it with polish and a microfiber towel. You may also use car wax to protect your headlight lens from different elements.

  • Step 4: Clean with a restoration wipe. 

After sanding and washing the surface of your car headlights, allow your car lenses to dry for some minutes. Then, apply your restoration solution using the wipe found in your car restoration kit. After restoring your car headlight lenses, apply a clear coat. This is to prevent sun rays from oxidizing the lenses. The protective coating layer also protects the lens during harsh weather conditions. 


Headlights are an important feature of a car that must be maintained. Scratches can reduce the life of the headlight and cause problems for the driver when driving. Restoration of the headlights is simple and can extend the life of the headlights. By the end of our guide, you’ll have headlights that are just as great as new ones.

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