The Best Headlight Restoration Kit

When a car is new, the plastic lenses on modern vehicles are crystal clear. Over time, though, these lenses can become hazy or crackled. Not only is this unsightly, but it also can be dangerous.

Headlights in this condition often work poorly, making nighttime driving unsafe.Luckily, there are many products on the market that can restore these lenses to nearly their original clarity.

We’re going to review our favorite to find the best headlight restoration kit, but first a word of warning. There are many DIY tips online that suggest these kits are unnecessary.

However, household using products for unintended purposes can lead to unintended consequences – like damaged paint. Plus, they don’t really work all that well and the results are fleeting. For lasting results, use the best headlight restoration cleaner you can find.

The Top Headlight Restoration Kits Comparison Table

Preview
Meguiar's G2980 Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit
3M Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit with Quick Clear Coat, 39175
SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights with Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
Philips Headlight Restoration Kit with UV protection - Complete Kit to restore headlight lenses
Dupli-Color - HLR100 E00 Headlight Restoration Kit
Title
Meguiar's G2980 Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit
3M Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit with Quick Clear Coat, 39175
SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights with Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
Philips Headlight Restoration Kit with UV protection - Complete Kit to restore headlight lenses
Dupli-Color - HLR100 E00 Headlight Restoration Kit
Prime
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-
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Customer Rating
Price
$32.00
$22.95
$19.99
$22.76
$39.99
Preview
Meguiar's G2980 Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit
Title
Meguiar's G2980 Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit
Prime
-
Customer Rating
Price
$32.00
Details
Preview
3M Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit with Quick Clear Coat, 39175
Title
3M Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit with Quick Clear Coat, 39175
Prime
-
Customer Rating
Price
$22.95
Details
Preview
SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights with Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
Title
SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights with Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
Prime
Customer Rating
Price
$19.99
Details
Preview
Philips Headlight Restoration Kit with UV protection - Complete Kit to restore headlight lenses
Title
Philips Headlight Restoration Kit with UV protection - Complete Kit to restore headlight lenses
Prime
Customer Rating
Price
$22.76
Details
Preview
Dupli-Color - HLR100 E00 Headlight Restoration Kit
Title
Dupli-Color - HLR100 E00 Headlight Restoration Kit
Prime
-
Customer Rating
Price
$39.99
Details

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Headlight Restoration Kit

1. Meguiar’s – Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit

The Meguiar’s brand makes a few products that disappoint, but it also makes a few gems. The company’s Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit is a bright spot. In a crowded marketplace, this kit stands out, with results that are truly professional-like.

These kits come with two grits of sanding pads that connect to a molded sanding block.

The multiple sanding steps are labor-intensive but necessary. Things get easier after you move on to the buffing phase. The wool buffing wheel in the kit is top quality but requires a drill.

The final-step clear coat produces striking clarity. The results cannot be beat and can last more than the year Meguiar’s advertises if not left in the sun.

Pros:

  • Molded sanding block is comfortable
  • Sanding pads are cleanable and outlast the kit
  • Produces dramatic results
  • Included PlastX plastic cleaner has other uses
  • Buffing wheel is a pro’s tool
  • Enough included to restore several cars’ lights

Cons:

  • Requires a drill for buffing step
  • Requires more elbow grease than some others
  • Only works on clear plastic

Meguiar’s products are hit-or-miss, but this kit is a winner. Its performance is the equal of any other kit on the market, and there is enough product for repeated uses.

Meguiar's G2980 Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit
  • PROFESSIONAL RESULTS: Cleans oxidized, yellowed and hazy headlights
  • REVOLUTIONARY COATING: Protects against yellowing and re-oxidation of headlights for up to 12 months
  • HEADLIGHT RESTORER: drill powered polishing combines with sanding for outstanding results
  • CRYSTAL CLEAR HEADLIGHTS: Enhances visibility & safety for night driving
  • MAKES HEADLIGHTS LOOK NEW: professional, clear finish to heavily oxidized or cloudy headlights

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. 3M – Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit

The folks at 3M have a solid reputation for delivering products that work, and this Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit works well.

This is the kit for users who don’t want to wear out their arms sanding. The included sanding discs attach to any high-speed drill, eliminating the need to use elbow grease.

The use of packets for the headlight clearcoat is confusing, as is 3M’s decision to include so little of it. However, a little bit of this compound goes a long way, and there is plenty to restore the headlights and tail lights on a single vehicle.

Pros:

  • Sanding discs attach to drill for reduced effort
  • Comes with everything you’ll need (except a drill and spray bottle)
  • Solid product from a trusted brand
  • Sanding can be done with or without drill
  • Works on any plastic lens, not just for headlights

Cons:

  • Using a drill shortens sandpaper life and may scratch paint
  • Does not include permanent UV protection
  • Non-sealable pouches of clear coat do not last very long

The 3M brand is well-respected, and products like this headlight restoration kit are the reason why. It is a no-nonsense solution to hazy headlights, and could have won this comparison were there more product included.

Sale
3M Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit with Quick Clear Coat, 39175
  • Kits contain masking tape, light sanding discs, wax protectant and more
  • For use on plastic lenses – headlights, taillights, fog lights, directional lights and more
  • 3M abrasive technology removes yellowing and buildup without damaging plastic lens surface
  • Easy to use – choose a kit with no tools required, or for use with a common household drill
  • Save hundreds vs. replacing headlight lenses

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Sylvania – Headlight Restoration Kit

Sylvania is a name synonymous with headlights, so it would stand to reason that it would produce an effective headlight restoration kit.

Like most others, this one comes complete with everything you need to restore the headlights on a single car, but it won’t do more than that.

Unlike most others, this kit does not require the user to have a high-speed drill or any other tools. It takes only 30 to 60 minutes to use this kit, as it has only three steps.

It is more labor-intensive than some others, but it isn’t as prone to damaging the area around the light. The UV clear coat is a revelation, so much so that Sylvania sells it alone as a final step for use with any other restoration kit.

Pros:

  • One of the most effective UV-blocking clear coats available
  • Spectacular results without a power tool
  • Guaranteed for life of the vehicle
  • Only three steps and you’re done
  • The simplest, fastest way to restore a car’s headlights

Cons:

  • Really needs a finer-grit sandpaper for final sanding
  • Only enough product to restore approximately two headlights (one car)
  • Clear coat takes hours to dry, during which it must not get wet

Sylvania does headlights. This kit does what it is supposed to do and doesn’t require tools. The long drying time of the clear coat takes it down from the top spot, but you can’t argue with the results.

SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights with Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
  • Restores Headlight To A Like-New Appearance and Removes Haze: Headlight lenses on your vehicle can become yellow, dull, and hazy from the sun. Our Headlight Restoration Kit fully removes haze and corrosion and restores the clarity and shine you need to see downroad at night.
  • Restores Headlight Light Output: Restores original clarity and vision to sun damaged plastic headlight lenses. The lenses will be clearer, the headlight will shine brighter, and the road ahead will be better illuminated.
  • 3 Easy Steps To Restore Long Lasting Uv Protection To Your Headlights: Step 1 - Surface Activator, Proprietary activator softens plastic, making it easier to sand smooth. Step 2 - Sand and Polish. Step 3 - Finish and seal with UV Block Clear Coat applicator.
  • Lifetime Warranty: The components of this kit are good for two headlight assemblies. Once installed properly, the performance of the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit is guaranteed by a Lifetime Warranty for as long as you own your car.
  • The Sylvania Standard Of Quality: With over 100 years in business, Sylvania is the world leader in automotive lighting for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket.

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Philips – Headlight Restoration Kit

The Philips company has its hands in a lot of baskets, but it is doing something right with this headlight restoration kit. It has everything required – even paper towels – to bring faded lenses back to clarity.

The chemicals effective enough to be used alone, but there are three grits of sandpaper included for extra-cloudy headlights. Because the three-phase chemicals work so well, there is no need for using a drill or sander.

And unlike some others, the UV-protectant clear coat – here called Shine Restorer – dries quickly to get you back on the road.

This is the among the best plastic headlight restoration kits for people who don’t want to spend an entire Saturday tackling this job.

Pros:

  • UV protection can last up to two years
  • Requires no drill or other power too
  • Good for all lenses on a car
  • Works and works quickly
  • UV clear coat dries in minutes

Cons:

  • Only enough for one vehicle (two lights)
  • UV protection won’t last if vehicle left in direct sun
  • No power tools also means hard work sanding

Philips has a reputation for quality and intuitive use in its products. This kit lives up to that promise. It’s easy to use and effective, though the results are not as permanent as one might prefer.

Philips Headlight Restoration Kit with UV protection - Complete Kit to restore headlight lenses
  • Removes haze and yellowing from sun and dirt and restores headlight to like-new conditions
  • Provides 2 years of UV protection for your headlight lenses
  • No power tools needed. The kit includes everything you need to restore both headlight lenses.
  • Can be used on: headlights, taillights, turn signal lights, reflective lens covers
  • In four easy steps, you can achieve professional results with no power tools needed.

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Dupli-Color – Headlight Restoration Kit

Okay, so no one has all the time in the world to sand a headlight then repeat the process with gradually finer sandpaper.

For people who just want to restore some clarity to their headlights without earning a degree in automotive restoration, there is Dupli-Color’s Headlight Restoration kit.

For this one there are no tools required, because there is no sanding required.

Dupli-Color’s kit consists of two spray cans – similar to the company’s car spray paint cans. The big idea is really the Spray Polish, which strips away the old, yellowed factory clear coat.

The second step is to apply the Dupli-Color clear coat. That’s it.

Admittedly, this kit is not as effective as some of the more intrusive and labor-intensive kits. But then, that’s not the point. In two simple steps you can have headlights that work well at night. Then you can go on about your day.

Pros:

  • Only two steps required
  • No sanding and very little work
  • Quickly gets the job done
  • Spray stripper nearly as effective as sanding
  • Enough product for several vehicles (and all lenses on each)

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work as well as sanding
  • Clear coat not as long lasting as some others
  • Is it really a “kit”?

Dupli-Color’s spray paints are industry standard for restoring cosmetics, and this little “kit” fits that mold. Simplicity defined and generous in value, this is the quick fix for those in a hurry. Results can be mixed, but what do you expect for such little effort?

Dupli-Color - HLR100 E00 Headlight Restoration Kit
  • These Products On Exceptionally High Order Fulfillment Rates, Breadth Of Available Products
  • These Are Complete Line Of Heavy-Duty Shop Products
  • Through Creativity, Productivity And Innovation - This Brand Continues To Develop The Finest Automotive Accessories

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A Guide to Using a Headlight Restoration Kit

Almost all modern headlights come from the factory with a UV-protectant clear coat applied to their surface.

Ultraviolet light from the sun’s rays eventually deteriorate the coating, causing the yellowing that is common when headlights age.

The first step in restoring the headlights should be to clean any dirt or grime from the surface. Simple glass cleaner will work fine for cleaning. Next, the old coating should be removed.

Sanding is (Sometimes) Critical

Automobile headlight restoration usually requires sanding to some extent.

Many kits have sanding pads or discs meant to be attached to a drill. Some may provide sheets of various grits of sandpaper for hand sanding, while others use chemicals to strip the old clear coat off a headlight.

One way or another, the old surface must go.

Protecting Painted Surfaces

Whether you use a drill or sand by hand, be mindful of the painted surfaces around the headlight.

Protecting this area can be as simple as covering it with masking tape. If the kit you select does not include tape, you should provide your own.

This YouTube video from Sylvania shows the areas that need covering. Sanding can permanently scratch these areas, so take the time to do this step correctly.

SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration Kit

Follow Instructions Carefully

It might seem obvious, but each restoration kit utilizes its own process and chemicals.

Some kits are more simple to use than others, but each can produce lackluster results if the steps are not done precisely.

If you don’t want to spend time on the procedure, select a kit that doesn’t ask for as much patience on your part rather than rushing the sanding process, for example.

Conclusion

You don’t have to put up with poor nighttime vision from cloudy headlight lenses. Unfortunately, short of replacing your headlight housings with expensive aftermarket units, you will have to work for lasting results. There are shortcuts to hard work, but they simply do not work as well as multi-step kits.

For nearly permanent results, the best headlight restoration kit on the market is Meguiar’s Heavy Duty kit. The sanding pads are unobtrusive and not prone to damaging paint, and the supplied sanding block is comfortable. The polishing phase does require a drill, but the process leaves headlights in immaculate condition. Best of all, each kit has enough product to do several vehicles, or to restore your car’s lights again when the results fade in about a year.

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Bestseller No. 1
3M Headlight Lens Restoration System, 39008
  • KIT INCLUDES:1 - Disc Pad Holder, 3.25 inch (8,2 centimeter)6 - 3M Gold Sanding Discs 500 Grit, 3 inch (7,6 centimeter) each 4 - 3M White Finishing Discs 800 Grit, 3 inch (7,6 centimeter) each 1 - 3M Trizact Refining Disc, 3 inch (7,6 centimeter) 1 - 3M Rubbing Compound, 1 US fluid ounces (29 meter)
  • LIKE NEW HEADLIGHTS: Easy heavy duty kit solution helps your headlights look like new
  • REMOVE HARSHEST YELLOWING: Kit is powered a drill-activated sanding to provide maximum clarity
  • RESTORE CLEARNESS: Improve the appearance of your vehicle.
  • SEE BETTER AT NIGHT: Enhances visibility and safety for night driving
  • SAVE MONEY: Save hundreds vs. replacing headlight lenses
SaleBestseller No. 2
3M 39195 Ultra Headlight Restoration Kit, Easy Heavy-Duty Restoration
  • KIT INCLUDES: 1 - Disc Pad Holder, 3.25 in, 6 - 3M Gold Sanding Discs 500 Grit, 3 in, 4 - 3M White Finishing Discs 800 Grit, 3 in, 1 - 3M Trizact Refining Disc 3000 Grit, 3 in, 2 - 3M Quick Headlight Clear Coat Pouches
  • FOR USE ON plastic lenses – headlights, taillights, fog lights, directional lights and more
  • 3M abrasive technology removes yellowing and buildup without damaging plastic lens surface
  • Easy to use – choose a kit with no tools required, or for use with a common household drill. Volume (Imperial) 8 fl oz | Volume (Metric) 236 mL
  • Save hundreds vs. replacing headlight lenses
SaleBestseller No. 3
CERAKOTE Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit – Guaranteed To Last As Long As You Own Your Vehicle – Brings Headlights back to Like New Condition - 3 Easy Steps - No Power Tools Required
  • - GUARANTEED TO LAST AS LONG AS YOU OWN YOUR VEHICLE! - You read it right! We're so confident in our CERAMIC coating that we'll stand behind our limited lifetime warranty that it will last as long as you own your vehicle, or we'll cover the next kit for free. Our chemists developed this kit IN HOUSE at Cerakote HQ. We aren't re-bottling another company's product. This is a CERAMIC coating that chemically bonds to your headlights and provides UV protection for as long as you'll own your vehicle.
  • - NO POWER TOOLS REQUIRED - Everything is included in your kit. There are no tools required that could potentially damage your headlights or paint. There's nothing worse than having to call your crazy uncle you haven't seen since the holidays because he's got the power tools you need. After he hollers "STAND CLEAR!!", fires up his wheezing disk sander, runs it off of your headlight and across the paint on your hood.. It's too late. DON'T BUY A KIT THAT REQUIRES TOOLS!
  • - RESTORES AND PROTECTS FROM UV! - This isn't the classic bait-and-switch you're used to. We won't sell you something that needs to be purchased again in a few months. Our CERAMIC coating provides a layer of UV protection that is guaranteed to stand the test of time. We believe in providing our customers the best products on earth, the first time. After all, we're the chemists that have been providing world-class ceramic coatings to endless industries for DECADES. It's what we do.
  • - 3 EASY STEPS! - Cerakote's Headlight Restoration Kit is a simple, 30 minute process. Step 1: You'll be mesmerized by our Oxidation Remover as you wipe away the hazy surface oxidation. Step 2: Use our ergonomic surface prep pad to remove the deep oxidation and prep your headlight for the CERAMIC clear coating. Step 3: Cerakote's pre-moistened Ceramic Headlight Restoration Wipes restore your headlights to a like-new condition that is backed by our limited lifetime warranty.
  • - START-TO-FINISH. WE ARE THE CREATORS - We are chemists. To the core. We invent things and make them right here at our headquarters in beautiful Southern Oregon. Every part of this headlight restoration kit was done at our campus. From formula development to production, packaging design, all the way to shipping. We've been restoring and protecting products all over the world for decades with our CERAMIC coatings and we're proud to put our name on this revolutionary kit. TRUST THE PROS!!
Bestseller No. 4
SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights with Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
  • Restores Headlight To A Like-New Appearance and Removes Haze: Headlight lenses on your vehicle can become yellow, dull, and hazy from the sun. Our Headlight Restoration Kit fully removes haze and corrosion and restores the clarity and shine you need to see downroad at night.
  • Restores Headlight Light Output: Restores original clarity and vision to sun damaged plastic headlight lenses. The lenses will be clearer, the headlight will shine brighter, and the road ahead will be better illuminated.
  • 3 Easy Steps To Restore Long Lasting Uv Protection To Your Headlights: Step 1 - Surface Activator, Proprietary activator softens plastic, making it easier to sand smooth. Step 2 - Sand and Polish. Step 3 - Finish and seal with UV Block Clear Coat applicator.
  • Lifetime Warranty: The components of this kit are good for two headlight assemblies. Once installed properly, the performance of the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit is guaranteed by a Lifetime Warranty for as long as you own your car.
  • The Sylvania Standard Of Quality: With over 100 years in business, Sylvania is the world leader in automotive lighting for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Meguiar's G2970 Two Step Headlight Restoration Kit, 4 fl. oz, 1 Pack
  • RESTORE HEADLIGHT CLARITY: Quickly and easily restores clarity to oxidized and yellowed headlights
  • YEARLONG PROTECTION: Revolutionary coating protects against yellowing and re-oxidation for up to 12 months
  • ONLY TWO STEPS: Simply apply the included cleaning solution, then the headlight coating – no drill required. Makes removing oxidation, cloudiness and yellowing fast and easy while providing brilliant, lasting clarity
  • BETTER VISIBILITY: Enhances visibility and safety for night driving
  • NO DRILL REQUIRED: Delivers crystal clear finish without sanding or the need for a drill

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API