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Clean and restore your fading, foggy headlights with one of these great products.
A car's headlights grow yellow or cloudy over time due to the breakdown of the protective layer on the lens. That contamination can cause your headlights to be dimmer—and therefore less safe. One way to clean them up is by using headlight cleaning kits, which have been around for decades. They remove the yellow, damaged layer and replace it with a new—albeit temporary—protective coating. The long-term solution is to replace the entire headlight housing, which can be expensive. You might also have fogging on the inside of the lens, which usually means you have a leak that won't scrub clean with these products.
So for a quick, short-term fix to make your headlights bright and safe again, check out these top-rated headlight cleaning kits. They might help you (and others) see better in the dark.
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Armor All Ultra Shine Headlight Restoration Wipes are worth trying if your headlights are just barely fogged up. Scrub with the Oxidation Removal Wipes, and then wipe with the UV Sealant Wipe to keep it shiny. Reviews are a bit mixed, so we only recommend these for a quick clean on some slightly foggy lenses. Anything more, and you'll want one of the kits below.
Sylvania's Headlight Restoration Kit comes with more items and steps—but does a better job of cleaning the lenses than just wipes, if you've got the arm for it. By using a cleaner, various sandpapers, and a clear-coat application, it cleans and restores headlights excellently.
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Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer is similar to the Sylvania kit and includes some presoaked wipes for convenience. Make sure to follow the instructions to a T, as reviews have warned that the sanding procedure can be a bit tricky. However, if done right, the headlights turn out very clear.
With this bottle of Chemical Guys Headlight Restorer compound, you just need a microfiber cloth and some elbow grease. Apply dots of the stuff to the cloth and vigorously scrub over the headlight until clear. Wipe off with a separate cloth and check the clarity—it might take a few applications to get it fully clear. Chemical Guys claims that using sandpaper is just optional.
This Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit from Cerakote comes with everything you need for a complete, toolless headlight restoration. The kit comes with wipes and a handy, ergonomic surface prep pad and discs to remove any deep oxidation—all without needing to use a drill. Apply the final ceramic coating and you're done! Cerakote offers a limited lifetime warranty that lasts as long as you own the vehicle.
This kit from 3M is similar to the Cerakote kit but requires an actual drill to use the sandpaper. All it takes is some polishing with the included sanding discs and your drill of choice. Then buff the final rubbing compound on the lens with the sponge and enjoy the new look.
For those who plan on cleaning multiple headlights, this Professional Headlight Restoration Kit from OPT7 is a good way to go. This five-stage cleaning process utilizes a ceramic coating to protect the lens after cleaning. You will need a drill for this kit, as well. If you're a detailer, this might be a great choice for your cleaning inventory.
And finally, if you're really serious about restoring headlights, this 3M Professional Headlight Lens Restoration System has everything you could ever need. Included are two polishing drills, various pads, wipes, bottles of cleaner and polish, and sanding pads. The carrying bags are pretty sweet, too.