How to Professionally Restore Headlight Lenses

How to professionally restore headlights lenses

When driving at night or in adverse weather conditions, headlights are the most important component of a vehicle. In addition to making your car seem better overall, headlight restoration raises your degree of safety. 

Headlight restoration cost is a lot less than replacing the entire headlight lens and it is increasingly becoming a popular option. Restoration of headlight lenses considerably improves safety, lowers the long-term cost of maintenance, and improves the aesthetic of the vehicle’s exterior.

Headlights might get oxidized and foggy due to normal wear and tear over time. In the winter, headlights can be severely damaged by salty, slushy roadways. During the other seasons, pollution, insects, and tar can be as damaging to headlights. Moreover, headlights can become obscured and yellowed due to the chemicals used in car washes, dust, and even ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Let’s have a look at the benefits of restoring your headlights professionally, and a detailed breakdown of the method that we use to restore the headlight lenses. You can also use this method to restore your headlight lenses at home!

Benefits of Headlight Restoration Service

Here are some of the reasons why you might consider headlight restoration:

Improved Visibility and Safety

Most individuals are unaware of the importance of headlight restoration until they are unable to drive in the dark. It’s tough for your headlights to function properly when the lenses are overcast or hazy.

As a result, driving fast in the dark becomes risky because vision is reduced by up to 70%. That’s when we start fiddling with the high beams and squinting at the road, straining our eyesight to see the road ahead of us clearly.

You won’t need to worry about driving safely at night because headlight restoration will allow you to see the road clearly.

Improved Appearance

Restoration of your car’s headlights improves the exterior of your vehicle while also improving visibility. The coverings on your headlights deteriorate quickly and headlight restoration is a low-cost alternative to purchasing new lenses for restoring the ‘newness’ of your vehicle’s exterior. Get your headlights professionally restored to preserve the young appearance of your car and to have those crystal-clear headlights.

Saves Time and Money

Headlight restoration is the only cost-effective choice for customers who want to sell or trade in their vehicle in the near future. It is not a wise decision to replace the headlights because it is an expensive alternative. Save a ton of time and money by having your headlights restored.

Considering all the benefits of headlight restoration, you should ideally get them restored today. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how a professional car detailer like River Islands Car Salon will restore your headlight lenses.

Professionally Restoring Headlight Lenses

In order to eliminate the outer layers of rust and dust from your lenses and remove any broken components of your headlights, our headlight restoration professionals at River Islands Car Salon only utilize professional-grade equipment.

Take a look at how we accomplish it to gain a better understanding of our full headlight restoration process:

Step 1: Cleaning the headlights

Cleaning headlights of car

The headlight lenses should be cleaned as thoroughly as possible.

The best method is to use vehicle soap and warm water on a rag. While it may appear superfluous, it is important to carefully clean the lenses to guarantee that all dust and grime are removed before proceeding to the stages of cleaning, waxing, or sealing. 

If the lenses are not clean, there is a risk of remaining dirt harming the finish of the lenses. Beyond washing the lenses, the region just outside the headlights should also be cleaned because we need to apply blue painter’s tape to these areas in the next step.

Step 2: Taping around the headlights

tape around the headlight

The lenses will be sanded in the next step and it is rather simple to accidentally over-sand the car’s paint if one is not careful, which could result in damage. So, it makes sense to tape off the headlight lens with blue painter’s tape in order to preserve the finish of your car.

A border at least a few inches wide is made around the lenses using the tape; the border will shield the paintwork of the car from over sanding.

Step 3: Sanding with 5 levels of sandpaper

Sanding headlight with sandpaper on buffing machine

After taking the necessary measures, it is time to begin the critical restorative process. This is the time to get the wet/dry sandpaper prepared.

The highest abrasive grit paper is chosen for this purpose, which in this instance is 1000 grain. The next step is to wet the sandpaper and the headlamp being cleaned first. Starting out with horizontal, straight strokes while maintaining constant motion in one direction is how we should sand.

It is ensured that the lens and the paper are both wet at all times. The lens could get damaged if either component is left to dry. The coarsest sandpaper is used for at least five to ten minutes.

The above procedure is then repeated using sandpaper with grits of 2000 and 3000. However, they are not used to sand in the same direction. The sandpaper with a 2000 grit rating is used diagonally, and the paper with a 3000 grit rating is used diagonally in the opposite direction.

The sanding procedure can take fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on the damage and abrasion of the lenses.

Step 4: Cleaning, Machine Polishing, and Waxing

cleaning headlight after sanding

After sanding, we examine the surface of the lenses. We wipe away thoroughly with a cotton towel using diluted alcohol and completely dry the lens. Then, using a clean microfiber towel, we apply a polishing chemical to the surface.

The alcohol is rubbed into the lens using circular motions for at least a few minutes. We utilize an orbital buffer to accelerate this procedure.

The wax is then applied to the lens once it has been polished and made clear, just like it is applied on a car’s body.

Step 5: Applying clear coat to complete

applying clear coat headlights restoration

Wait 5-10 minutes after applying the first layer of clear coat. Once the second layer has been applied, let 12 to 24 hours for drying. For at least 24 hours you should leave your headlights off and leave your automobile parked in the shade.


You can restore your headlights professionally with five simple steps. First, clean the headlights before taping off the edge to avoid damaging your car’s paintwork.

Then, sand your headlights before cleaning, polishing, and waxing them. Finally, apply a clear coat to complete the look.

Having headlights that are perfectly clear allows you to drive with confidence. You can get rid of the oxidation on your headlights with our expert headlight restoration service. The procedures mentioned above ensure that we provide you with the service you deserve.


At River Islands Automobile Salon, we provide more than just car detailing. You will receive straightforward responses, transparent pricing, and professional advice. The outcomes you desire will be provided because we value your time and money.

Contact us to get your headlight lenses restored today!

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