Restoring Cloudy Headlights
Allowing your headlights to get cloudy not only reduces the amount of light that they let through, it also makes your car look unkempt and will decrease its perceived value. In most cases, you’ll need no more than a few dollars to get your lights shining bright again, but remember that some fixes are more permanent than others.
These are the supplies you’ll need before starting this project:
- 400 Grit Sandpaper
- 600 Grit Sandpaper
- 2000 Grit Sandpaper
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paper towels
- Water in a spray bottle
- Clear coat
- Painters tape
- Garbage bags
Start by taping off your headlights with painter’s tape. Then grab your water and 400-grit sandpaper. Before you start sanding down your headlight, spray the headlight and the paper with water. Lightly brush the headlight in circular motions, then horizontally.
The water keeps the sandpaper from creating scratches that are too deep, and the horizontal scratches keep the clear coat from dripping down the headlight.
Repeat this process with the 600- and 2000-grit sandpaper. The headlight should look pretty clear when you’re done.
When you’re finished with the sandpaper, use a lint-free paper towel to wipe down the headlight with rubbing alcohol. This helps dry the headlight, since alcohol evaporates quickly.
Before applying the clear coat to your headlights, cover your car in garbage bags to prevent the spray from getting on your paint job. Use the scissors to cut around the headlight.
Tape the garbage bag around the headlight to prevent any dripping. Wipe the headlight down once again with rubbing alcohol. Give it five minutes to dry.
Apply the clear coat in horizontal, thin, even spritzes. Wait five minutes between coats, ultimately applying three coats. Once you’ve applied all of your coats, give the headlight a full day to dry. If the coat looks a bit bumpy, you can use the wet sandpaper technique like before with 2000-grit sandpaper.
Finish it off with a bit of car wax.