You can easily remove that annoying fog from your headlights, and it won’t cost much, either

If you enjoy your car, you probably want it to look pristine, like it just came out of the showroom. Part of this involves keeping the headlight lens clean and shiny. More and more new vehicles come out with plastic headlight lenses, which degrade at an even quicker rate over time. Whether it’s dirty air, stone chips, or ultraviolet rays, over time the lens become hazy and yellow. This is not only aesthetically displeasing, but might affect the effectiveness of your headlights. Luckily, the products shown below are some of the best on the market and can be found in many stores.

Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer Kit

Best Headlight Restoration Kit
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Turtle joins the list with the least expensive option. The Headlight Lens restoration kit consists of two double-sided sanding pads for a total of four different grits (from 2,400 to 8,000), spray lubricant, lens-clarifying compound, and two types of wet wipes consisting of a base coat wipe and a lens sealing wipe. You also get a bonus plastic glove. Turtle’s offering works as good as more expensive products, but the effect does not last as long. In addition, the full procedure takes six steps.

  • Leave it
    • Effect does not last as long
    • Lots of steps
    • Unbalanced quantities of the kit

Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit

This is one of the more expensive propositions on our list, but the quality you get in return is proportional to the price you pay. For the best possible result, it’s important to first wash the headlight. The first piece of the kit is a surface activator, followed by sandpaper with 400, 1,000, and 2,000 grit. The sandpapers in this kit are larger than in others and easier to use. The kit is completed with a clarifying compound and UV-blocking polymer coating.

  • Leave it
    • Procedure takes longer
    • Takes over four hours for the UV protection coating to take effect
    • More expensive than most other kits

3M Headlight Restoration Kit

Best Headlight Restoration Kit
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The 3M kit is a good all-rounder. It performs almost as well as the Sylvania kit while being priced lower. It requires four steps to complete, which is less than most other products. The kit can be used with power tools, too. The kit consists of a sanding pad holder for a household drill, rated at 1,200 – 1,600 RPM, and a few sanding pads with 500, 800, and 3,000 grit. In addition, you get a compound-spreading pad and a sealing compound. The kit does require a steady hand, as the use of power tools, means a bigger risk of damaging the areas surrounding the headlight.

  • Leave it
    • Requires additional polishing
    • Higher risk of paint damage
    • Curved lenses may be difficult to work on

Meguiar’s Two-step Restoration Kit

Best Headlight Restoration Kit
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Quite possibly the easiest to use on the list. As the name suggests, it takes two steps to complete the restoration process. The kit consists of headlight coating, buffing compound, and two scrubbing pads. The beauty of this kit is, it can be applied either by hand or with a dual-action power tool. Essentially, the process is as follows: place a glob on the scrubbing pad and rub, then make two spraying passes with the lens compound. After five minutes, when the headlight dries, the last step is repeated.

  • Leave it
    • Relatively low quantities in the bottles
    • You don’t get a lot in the kit

Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kit

Best Headlight Restoration Kit
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One of the easiest to use. The Rain-X is easy on the user, with comprehensive instructions which also include graphics. The kit includes a bottle of headlight restorer, spray lubricant, sealant compound, a couple of square scrubbing pads, and a micro-fiber cloth. Here are the steps you’ll need to take: apply lubricant, polish with pad 1, then wipe and polish with pad 2, and then wipe and polish with pad 3. Next, you apply the headlight restorer and wipe with the micro-fiber cloth. Last but not least, apply the sealant compound with a paper towel. The procedure does take a while, but the result is worth it. Although not as good as other more expensive products, the Rain-X is good value for the money.

  • Leave it
    • Long and repetitive process
    • Not as good as other premium products

Fast Brite Headlight Restoration Kit

Best Headlight Restoration Kit
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Another easy to use headlight restorer. It’s cleverly packaged and includes a headlight polisher, double-sided sponge, and sealing compound. The headlight polisher is applied to the yellow side of the sponge, and the sealant compound, to the blue side. There are no instructions, other than the two images on the box, but the process is pretty straightforward, as it is only two steps.

  • Leave it
    • Protective coating wears off quickly
    • Headlights remain cloudy
    • Requires a lot longer than advertised if you want better results

Chemical Guys Headlight Restore and Protect

A very simple solution, both for slightly hazy and heavily fogged headlights. It’s not a kit, but rather a bottle that you can use with whatever sanding papers and power tools you already have. If you are worried about damaging nearby surfaces, the compound can be applied by hand too. It’s even better if you are restoring light hazing since it requires only a single step. Ideally, you want to use a 2,000 grit, or 3,000 if your headlights are heavily hazed. This headlight restorer also has an embedded sealant. Moreover, Chemical Guys’ product includes UVA and UVB protection.

  • Leave it
    • No additional accessories

Mother’s NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit

Best Headlight Restoration Kit
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This kit is all about those who like using power tools. This is what you pay for with the NuLens Renewal Kit. It consists of a 3-inch backing plate, a few sandpaper types: 800, 1,500, and 3,000 grit, a polishing compound, and a power ball. The kit is good for smooth-surface plastic and acrylic headlights. Although the process requires less elbow grease, the results don’t quite match some of the other high-end products. Overall, it is a good all-round package for power-tool users.

  • Leave it
    • Not the most suitable if you prefer to work by hand
    • Does not perform as well as other high-end products

Q&A

What is the best headlight restoration kit?

Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit is the top performer on the list. In addition, it has a lifetime warranty, UV-protection, and is easy to use. If you prefer using power tools, 3M or Chemical Guys’ restoration kit is a good match for you.

Who makes the best headlight restoration kit?

Sylvania is widely regarded as the top performer on the market. However, some competitors like Turtle, Chemical Guys’ and others offer good alternatives, in some cases, at a lower price.

What grit sandpaper for headlight restoration?

The type of grit is usually specified by a number. Ideally, you start with 400 to 600 grit, and work your way up through 800 – 1,000 and up to 3,000 – 5,000 for the best possible finish.

Does toothpaste really restore headlights?

Yes. Just as it removes unwanted particles from your teeth, it can remove oxidation from your headlights, thanks to mild abrasives, which buff out the surface. Together with its whitening properties, we can see why it is a viable option, even if not the most efficient one in the long run.

What is headlight restoration?

Headlight restoration is when the headlight lenses undergo a process that restores their appearance to a state, similar or identical to when the car was brand new.

Can you use rubbing compound to restore headlights?

Yes. There are two distinct types that can be used for that – a rubbing compound and a polishing compound, which has a finer grit.

Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read More
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