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Headlights are an integral part of any vehicle, and keeping them functional is important to safety. Here are the finest headlight restoration kits in 2022 to help you better see the road ahead. Cloudy headlights not only make your car look old and worn down, but they can also impair your nighttime driving vision, making them a significant issue that you shouldn’t ignore.
To stay safe, you can either shell out a huge chunk of money to have your foggy lenses replaced, or you can get a solid restoration kit to help make them clean and sparkly again. You can choose between various wipe-on and wipe-off polishes or a multistep restoration kit, but no matter what you choose, we know you’ll want the cream of the crop. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top headlight restoration kits in 2022 as well as a handy buying guide to help you learn more about these kits.
Our picks of the best headlight restoration kits of 2022
3M Ultra Headlight Restoration Kit: Recommended
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The 3M Ultra Headlight Restoration Kit is our top pick thanks to its heavy-duty performance and ease of usage. This kit comes complete with everything you’ll need to get the job done. From protective tape and gloves to sanding and polishing discs, this headlight restoration kit has got it all. This headlight restoration kit includes a disc pad holder that you can use to sand and polish your headlight lens, and it also contains six 500-grit sanding discs, four 800-grit white finishing discs, one 3,000-grit refining disc, and two pouches of clear coat compound. The disc pad holder can be used with a regular household drill — simply follow the directions to properly sand and polish your headlights and enjoy lasting results with minimal effort.
- Easy to use
- Required accessories included
- Offers two-year UV ray protection
- Must be careful while using it
Turtle Wax Headlight Restoration Kit: Budget option
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Despite being the least expensive option on our list, the Turtle Wax Headlight Restoration Kit can still deliver impressive results. Its restoration process consists of six steps in total, including multistage sanding, polishing and sealing the headlights against future oxidation damage. All the compounds and accessories required for restoring your headlights are included in the kit, so you don’t have to worry about making any additional purchases to get a clean set of headlights. This headlight restoration kit does deliver excellent results, but it will require a little bit of elbow grease. It works without any drills or power tools, so all the work will have to be done manually. This means you’ll have to be careful while sanding, as doing it unevenly can leave you with less-than-ideal results.
- Suitable for all headlight lenses
- Comprehensive restoration process
- Sealant included preventing further damage
- Requires some elbow grease
Meguiar’s G2980 Headlight Restoration Kit: High quality
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The Meguiar’s G2980 Headlight Restoration Kit is a kit that delivers an excellent combination of performance and reliability. It’s a multistep kit consisting of 1,000- and 3,000-grit sanding discs, a hand sanding pad, plastic cleaner and polish, headlight coating, an applicator pad and a wool pad as well. If you couldn’t tell already, this kit contains all the chemicals and accessories you’ll need to restore your headlights to their former glory. The high-grit sanding pads included in this headlight restoration kit can deep clean your headlights’ lens and remove all buildup and impurities. These pads can smooth the lens’ surface so that when you apply the polish it spreads evenly for consistent results, and the polish will cover and protect the lens for some much-needed, long-lasting clarity.
- Delivers high-quality results
- Suitable for all headlights
- Keeps cloudiness at bay
- Sanding sheets could be rougher
SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration Kit: Premium pick
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This Sylvania headlight restoration kit is a popular choice for headlights with sun damage. This complete kit consists of three high-quality sanding sheets, a surface activator, clarifying compound, UV-block coating, two applicator cloths, a vinyl glove and a polishing cloth. When used correctly, this kit can improve light output and restore your car’s beam pattern. The sandpaper included in this headlight restoration kit is waterproof, and it’s larger than the sandpaper found in similar kits. Since you’ll be using it manually, there’s very little chance of scratching the surrounding paint. This headlight restoration kit is known for providing a lasting improvement in both the illumination and appearance of your headlights, keeping you safe and helping you see the road as you drive.
- Impressive, long-lasting results
- Does not require any extra tools
- Various handy accessories are included in this kit
- Ideal results require some effort
CERAKOTE Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit: Great value
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The CERAKOTE Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit is one of the more popular headlight restoration options currently on the market. This kit is easy to use and only requires three steps to restore your headlights to their former spotless condition. It’s available in four different kit variations, and each variation contains a different number of oxidation remover wipes, surface prep pads and discs and ceramic coating. While other compounds and pads can do a good job of preparing the lens for restoration, the manufacturers of this headlight restoration kit are so confident about the quality of their kit that they back it up with lifetime warranty coverage. Once applied, this coat is supposed to last as long as the vehicle itself. If it fails to do so, the cost of your next kit is on them what is there to lose?
- Easy to use
- Delivers long-lasting results
- Lifetime warranty coverage
- Instructions could be better
Finding your next headlight restoration kit: A buyer’s guide
If you’re still unsure about how to make the right decision, be sure to check out the buyer’s guide below to find out how to purchase a premier headlight restoration kit in 2022:
Factors to consider before purchasing
The market has quite a few headlight restoration kits available, each with its own set of pros and cons. You should consider the following factors to make the right choice:
Number of items
The first thing you should consider when it comes to any headlight restoration product is the number of items included. Some of these involve only one step and consist of a cleaning compound to polish the headlight lens, while others are more comprehensive and contain several items all designed to be used during various steps in the restoration process.
Headlight restoration kits that include more items are generally better because they’ll have everything you’ll need, but you also have to consider your experience with DIY car projects. If you already have supplies like microfiber applicator cloths or sandpaper, a simple bottle of headlight polish will do. If you’re a newbie, a full kit would be a better choice.
Ease of usage
Many headlight restoration kits currently available on the market are targeted toward the average consumer, and because of this, you won’t face much difficulty while using them.
There is something else that you should know, though — the process itself is long, and you might need to clean your headlights and apply several coats to achieve your desired results. This is why some kits come with useful tools like drill attachments to make the process easier.
You should look at the different options available and choose the one that you feel confident about using.
Some headlight restoration kits do a better job of restoring headlights than others, and this can be because they have UV-protection properties, something which is a major reason for headlight discoloration. These kits clean and eliminate the fogginess from your lens and help prevent future clouding, yellowing and oxidation.
Headlight restoration kits with UV ray protection are an excellent way of cutting down on maintenance, and they can keep your headlights looking clear and shiny for a long time. Buying a kit without UV ray protection will only lead you to have to repeat the entire process a couple of months later.
It’s also important to check the type of lens that a headlight restoration kit is made for. Although almost all headlight lenses are made out of plastic, their composition can vary from model to model, which is why some kits are better suited for a specific type of lens than others.
You should check your headlight lens’s type beforehand and choose a restoration kit accordingly.
How to choose the right headlight restoration kit
Take a look at these tips to pick the right headlight restoration kit for you and your vehicle:
- For any kit you choose, watching instructional videos can help a lot, especially ones uploaded by the manufacturer. These videos offer tricks and insights on how to make better use of the headlight restoration kit
- Make sure your headlight lenses need restoring before purchasing a headlight restoration kit. The compounds in these kits are abrasive and can damage lenses that don’t need such extensive restoration
- If your lenses appear clear yet the headlights are still dim, you probably need new bulbs. Even if they’ve not yet blown, all headlight bulbs lose their intensity over time and need replacing after a few years
- Make it a habit to clean your headlights with a regular household glass cleaner. While it won’t have the same restorative effect as a specially designed kit, this simple cleaning can have a huge impact on how clearly you can see while driving
- All headlight restoration kits require you to buff out the lens surface after application. We found that the ideal material for this purpose is microfiber, as it can buff surfaces for an impeccable shine without leaving any lint or fiber behind
The right way to use a headlight restoration kit
Simply buying a high-quality headlight restoration kit is not enough — you also have to know how to use it to achieve top results. Here’s a quick rundown of how to use a headlight restoration kit for ideal results:
Finding a well-lit location is crucial to the headlight restoration process. You can easily clean your headlights in your garage or driveway, but make sure that your car isn’t under direct sunlight. Once you’ve found the right spot, gather your supplies and get to work.
Another important step is to prepare the headlight. For this, you’ll need to clean the headlight and then tape the area around it to protect the paint.
While many people simply pass over this step, wet sanding is indispensable if you want top results.
Start by taking a quarter-inch piece of 800-grit sandpaper, wet both the sandpaper and the headlight, and start sanding. Your goal is to achieve fine sandpaper nicks throughout the headlight, as these nicks will facilitate the upcoming restoration process.
Keep in mind that what you’re after are fine nicks, not trying to completely smooth out the headlights — make sure not to overdo it.
Once the sanding is done, the next step is to thoroughly clean the headlight. Some restoration kits come with their own cleaning compounds for optimal results. If your kit doesn’t have one, you can use mild dish soap instead.
Take your time cleaning the lens. Be sure not to miss any spots and clean the headlight as thoroughly as possible for consistent, flawless results. When you’re done, dry it completely before moving on.
Once the sanding and cleaning are done, it’s time to apply the restoration coat. This chemical is included in every headlight restoration kit, but its application process varies. You’ll have to read the instructions carefully and follow the directions for ideal results.
Once you’re done with all the hard work, wait for everything to dry before hitting the open road. We know you want to get out there with your shiny new headlights, but try to resist this temptation!
Headlight restoration kits involve sanding the foggy, outer surface with fine abrasives before polishing the lens for a smooth finish. Not all restoration kits work to the same extent, though, and you’ll have to be completely sure about the kit you purchase unless you want to be left with slightly-cleaner-but-still-foggy headlights. We’ve discussed the top headlight restoration kits in 2022 and also provided you with an informative buyer’s guide, now all that’s left is for you to choose the right kit.
Headlight Restoration Kits FAQs
Q: How important is sanding in headlight restoration?
Sanding is an indispensable step in the DIY headlight restoration process. It helps remove heavy oxidation as well as eliminate minor nicks and pitting. Since dry sanding can make your headlights appear worse than before, you should always wet sand your headlight lenses.
Q: How can I restore my headlights?
You can restore your headlights by sanding or applying a rubbing compound to remove the oxidation layer and then polishing the lens. You can find both of these components in a good headlight restoration kit.
Q: Do headlight restoration kits actually work?
Yes, headlight restoration kits absolutely work. If your headlights have become foggy and you don’t want to trouble yourself with replacing them, a headlight restoration kit can prove to be a real time and money-saver.