Everything fades with time, but that’s not an excuse to have half vision when you’re out on the road at night. Headlines fade with time, but you can restore them with a bit of elbow grease. We’re about to get into the benefits behind using one of these kits, the causes of discolored headlights, and more. Let’s jump into it.
Best Rated Headlight Restoration Kit
1. 3M Brand 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System
The number one choice by newbies and auto enthusiasts from around the globe, 3M throws everything you need in one convenient package. This unit includes an easy three-step process, which is properly outlined in the instructions within the packaging. You get 3M abrasive technology with a polishing compound to restore headlights to their original state.
You get sanding discs (which are great, but sandpaper is not. Find out more about that in the guide below) as well as a pad to apply the polishing compound with. You can save a great deal by purchasing in bulk up to four units, shaving about 10% off of your final price. For more information on how long headlight restoration kits should last and how often you’re able to go between uses, see the buying guide below.
Voted top headlight restoration kit by users
Usable on other plastic surfaces of your car
Works for the headlights and tail lights up to 2X
- Weight7.8 ounces
2. Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Restorer Kit
Turtle Wax is surprisingly versatile with most of their products. Used on building exteriors and the fiberglass chassis of just about any vehicle, this headlight restorer kit comes in at a fairly inexpensive price and works absolute wonders. You get three restoration pads with different grits, allowing you to add precision to your restoration game, as well as spray lubricant (4oz container, though larger ones are available for additional purchase) and lens sealing wipes.
Your restoration pads come with three stages. This kit promises to clarify your lenses, and protect them for longer. If you’re in the market for the ultimate maintenance for your headlights, you’ve just come across the holy grail. These came close to our number one spot with excellent all-weather protection.
Lasts longer throughout the year
Comes with sealing wipes for extra protection
Inexpensive to get started
- BrandTurtle Wax
- Weight12 ounces
3. Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit
This three-step kit provides some of the best UV protection against yellowing and general discoloring on your lenses. Perhaps the greatest feature, besides the excellent shine and clarity it gives you, is the lifetime warranty—if you own the car, your warranty is still valid no matter when. You’ll get better light output from your headlights, which is optimal for safety reasons.
Get rid of the haze with this simple kit. You can add additional UV blocking protection via an altered kit, but the standard comes with more than enough to protect your headlights and lenses from immense sun damage. If you live in dry, hot climates such as Western America, you may benefit from this kit even more than our top pick.
Superior UV protection
Restores your lights to a clear, visible output
Three-step set that makes it easy; five minutes, tops.
- Weight0.96 ounces
4. Wipe New Headlight Restore Kit
Attractively priced and homegrown in the United States, this killer kit comes with everything you need to transform your dull lights. Your friends will be asking where you went for replacement, and you’ll just laugh. This kit is designated to last for 2-3 years after application, and guarantees that your headlights will pass inspection, even in states with a rigorous inspection program.
This kit is super simple to apply, and will only take about 5-7 minutes of your time for a dramatically improved effect. This product’s residue lasts through tough winters, car washes, and anything else that’s thrown at your headlights.
Lasts for 2-3 years
Guaranteed to ensure your headlights pass inspection
Made in the USA
- BrandWipe New
- Weight3.2 ounces
5. Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit
Yellowing is the biggest problem our headlights face, and this kit ensures you’ll see nothing but clarity when you stare straight into the headlights. Hairline scratches that oxidize and add insult to injury are gone in seconds after application. You also get an all-inclusive PowerPlastic 4Lights polish that adds momentum to your headlight restoration—it makes an enormous impact.
You also get a three-inch backing plate, restoration discs, and 8oz of polish (and you won’t believe how inexpensive this kit is for all that you get). Designed to last for years, made to work in just seconds of application. This is also available in a six pack if you have multiple cars, you’re the guy that your buddies always go to, or you just want to bulk up and save some cash.
Added PowerBall 4Lights tool for maximum crystal clarity
Designed to last for years after one application
Works in seconds after application
- Weight1.04 pounds
6. Meguiar’s G1900K Clear Headlight Kit
You’re not the average chap, so you don’t have the average problems. Meguiar’s G1900K kit comes in six different solutions, to give you exactly what you need no matter what your circumstance is. These turn your headlights to a “like-new” state, while also buffing our scratches and other imperfections that may have occurred as a result of damage to your headlights.
You get a 4oz bottle of Plast-X Clear cleaner plus polish, giving you crystal clarity in 10-15 seconds after application. Plug in your drill to use the buffing pad to restore these headlights in 1-2 minutes, removing all visible damages, divots, and scratches. Our favorite part about this kit is the versatility—use it on tail lights, boat windows, even the helmet visor of your motorcycle—it’s all ready to go and improve your headlight output in no time.
Versatile to use on multiple objects/items
Lasts for 2-3 years after application
Comes with drill-operated buffing pad for maximum restoration
- Model FBA_G1900K
- Weight8.3 ounces
7. CLT Headlight Restoration Kit
Three easy stages, maximum power, and a finish that everyone can agree on. CLT removes damages incurred by UV damage, as well as minor scrapes and hairline scratches. You don’t need and tools, you just open up the kit and get to work. You get visibly clearer headlights in about 2-3 minutes after a touch of elbow grease is applied.
Last for eighteen months on average, giving you ultimate protection against UV rays, chemicals, exhaust, and airborne chemicals (insecticides, etc.)—just clean, dry, and apply the coating and you’re all done. You’ll be able to stretch this kit to handle your headlights, tail lights and go around for a second time when the eighteen months are over.
Three-step system only takes 2-3 minutes
Additional protection against UV rays
In total, kit is good for 3 years for headlights + tail lights
- BrandClear Lights Tech
- Model RH1
- Weight0.8 ounces
Headlight Restoration Kit Buying Guide & FAQ
You asked, and we delivered. If you’re going to put in the 110% to maintain the beauty of your car, you’ll need to focus on the smaller features (that all greatly impact your overall function/style). Restoring your headlights is an essential process of owning and loving your car. These are the reasons why, and the how-tos when it comes to caring for your headlights.
What is a Headlight Restoration Kit?
Everything you need in one little package to turn your headlights back into the clear, visible and effective items that they once were. There are some DIY methods, some that we’ll discuss with you shortly, but the beauty of a kit is the time saved, and the end result greatly surpassing anything any form of restoration you could do on your own. One box, usable, on average, for up to three cars, and a better shine than when it rolled off the assembly line.
What Makes Headlights Discolored?
Your headlights are going to yellow—it’s a fact, sorry to say. When it yellows, it’s a product of oxidation. Harmful UV rays come in to damage your headlight casings, but with a restoration kit, you’re doing far more than just cleaning it up—you’re also reapplying the UV protection coating, slowing the damage of harmful rays in the future.
Depending on where you live, you’ll also run into a few others problems that add to their discoloring (and general damages that could require repair or replacement). If you’re in an area that has seasonal weather conditions in winter, rock salt is eating away at the casings for your headlights. Apart from that, it’s scratching it up, and creating deep crevices that become discolored as well. If enough damage has been sustained, then they may need to be replaced entirely.
Additional issues that may cause discoloration or damage to your headlights are chemical-related. Spraying insecticides or any other type of chemicals can damage, discolor, and even warm your headlights. If you’re spraying for bugs around your yard, throw a tarp down over the car before you do anything. Same goes for cutting your lawn with any type of mower or whacker—you’ll want to cover up so debris and airborne particles from clippings don’t attach to, and damage your car.
Can Your Car Fail Inspection for Cloudy Lights?
In short, yes. It’s not a common occurrence, and most garages/inspectors will let your vehicle go as long as it meets the standard safety requirements. However, your headlights are a safety concern for yourself as well as the public and other drivers.
When your headlight output is diminished enough, you’re not as visible to other drivers, pedestrians, or even wildlife. If there is a significant amount of yellowing, haziness or fogged plastic/glass, you may get slapped with a rejection sticker. The easiest way to avoid this is just by cleaning your headlights yourself before you even bring it in for an inspection.
You Need Advanced UV Protection if You Live in the Desert
Dry, hot climates require additional protection against harmful UV rays. Light reflects off of sand and concrete; between that and the lack of humidity to cut through, 100% of the potential UV damage occurs on your headlights. If you live in states like Nevada and Utah, you’ll notice yellowing of the headlights at a far faster rate. Plan ahead, and get a headlight restoration kit with additional UV protection as a preventative measure, as well.
How do You Clean Your Headlight Lens?
If you’re not using an entirely new restoration kit, utilization of these four materials are all excellent ways to clean your lenses. Here’s the shocker—they’re all bought on a child’s allowance.
- Sandpaper: The first choice of the working man—sandpaper offers a good reward, but comes with a pretty sizable risk. Use it properly, and you’ll do away with some of the discoloring on your lenses. However, you’re removing a layer of your lenses, only to be damaged by other means. We’re not recommending this method, we’re just saying that it can work. You have to pay close attention to your grit rating on the sandpaper.
- Vinegar: This is a pretty cheap option. White distilled vinegar can usually be bought for $2.00/gallon in most grocery stores, and is a natural antibacterial disinfectant. If you’re a fan of clean, green sprays to use at your home instead of chemicals, you’ve probably come across this being used as a primary cleaning agent once or twice before. Apply, use a lot of labor, and you should see results occurring pretty quickly.
- Polish: Polish sort of falls into the same category as vinegar. It can leave a glare effect, but with a lot of elbow grease, you’re bound to get a bit more clarity. This method can result in you needing to remove the lens in order to apply it, depending on how damaged/compromised your headlight lenses are.
- Insect Repellent: This is the most-beloved option by car owners for a quick and inexpensive way to restore your lens to its former glory. The trick here is to use a spray version, spray it directly onto a designated, clean cloth, and wipe clean. This takes a little less labor, and works better than the other options. You may need to remove your lens for this one as well.
How Often Should I Use a Headlight Restoration Kit?
Every vehicle and circumstance is different. Living near heavily salted roads, gravel pathways, and failing to cover your vehicle when you spray pesticides, can all result in damage to your headlights. As a rule of thumb, you should use a headlight restoration kit once per year, at the most mild season of use.
If you live in areas with long winters, wait until spring. If you live in humid climates, wait until a dry day, etc. One use per year should leave your headlights shining brightly with little to no problems for the rest of the year. When you approach the one-year mark, use it as a maintenance/prevention method. For spending between five and thirty dollars, depending on which kit you go with, you’re doing a lot of good for your car instead of paying money out the nose for a full replacement or doing the job yourself.
Benefits of Using a Headlight Restoration Kit
Plastic, which makes up your headlight’s primary body, is very prone to absorbing things in its environment. Despite being made of the central polycarbonate material that just about every headlight is made of, it’s still plastic and therefore succumbs to the problems plastic faces.
- Improved Safety: Your headlights are the conduits of safety. If you can’t see what’s ahead, you have no idea how to protect yourself, or other drivers/pedestrians. The number one safety measure for night driving is your headlights, so don’t ignore them when they need a little touch-up.
- Resale Value: Are you the type of guy to keep your car in tip-top shape and swap it out for the resale in the future? Thought so. If the idea of keeping your car spotless for the tradeshow or auction whets your whistle, then you’ll need one of these kits on-hand. Spotty, dirty headlights with a horrid yellow tint aren’t exactly going to fare well during the resale.
- Save Money: Depending on the vehicle, you could end up paying a ridiculous amount of money for brand new headlights if these get damaged enough. Using headlight restoration kits can also be preventative measures to ensure that you’ll spend a small amount of money now, and avoid upwards of $500+ on repairs in the future.
- Incredible Benefits to Headlight Restoration, Delta Kits