How to Repair Foggy Headlights

Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Repair Foggy Headlights

Foggy or milky looking headlights are a common problem on many vehicles with plastic headlight lens covers. Road grime, dirt, and wax residue combined with the effects of heat from the headlight itself bake the headlight assembly with layer upon layer of cloudy film. However, replacing headlight assemblies can be quite expensive. Fortunately with some elbow grease and the right cleaning supplies, vehicle owners can restore the original clear appearance of their headlights and improve night time visibility. Consumers can find headlight repair kits at auto parts stores, some department stores, and on eBay. TheeBay D eals page is a good place to start for discounted prices on many popular products.

Tools and Supplies Needed to Repair Foggy Headlights

In addition to purchasing a headlight restoration kit, there are some tools that can assist with the repair. Having all the necessary supplies ready before starting the project allows owners to complete the task much easier and quicker.

Tool or Supply

What the Item is Used For

Car wash soap

Cleans dirt and road grime off the headlight

Painter's tape

Masks off painted surfaces to protect them from damage

Buffing pads

Applies cleaning compound

Headlight cleaning compound

Removes built up road film on the headlight

Cordless drill

Spins buffing pads for severely clouded lens covers


Cleans and removes scratches, 500 and 1,000 grits

Headlight cleaning kit

Kits contain an assortment of products necessary for headlight cleaning

Using a drill to apply polishing material cuts the time necessary to clean built-up film off of the lens. Cordless drills are much more convenient and a 14-volt model can generally accomplish the task on a single charge. A supply of soft rags can also be helpful for washing and drying headlights during the cleaning process.

Clean the Headlight and Tape Off Adjacent Panels

Owners can use a concentrated car wash soap or household cleaning agent to remove any dirt or road grime that has accumulated on the headlight cover. After washing the headlights, consumers should then let it dry and wipe it with a soft cloth rag. The next step is to use painter's tape, and mask off the area surrounding the headlight where a buffing pad could come in contact with the painted surface.

Buff the Headlight With Cleaning Compound

Start with a buffing pad and a cleaning compound and work the material around the surface of the headlight to remove as much baked-on film as possible. For badly clouded headlights use a buffing pad on a cordless drill to strip off the film. Owners should be careful to not run the buffing pad onto painted surfaces of the vehicle. Headlight cleaning kits generally provide buffing pads and a cleaning material; 3M is a popular brand that offers headlight cleaning kits. Buffing pads with drill attachments are also available separately and buyers can purchase cleaning solutions such asMeguiars, 3M and Fast Brite.

Finish Up With a Light Sanding

Buffing can occasionally leave swirl marks in the headlight lens cover. For a badly fogged headlight, buffing may not entirely eliminate the cloudy film on the cover. To restore as much clarity as possible to the headlight, owners often have to perform a light sanding. Wet sand with 500 grit sandpaper to remove swirl marks or any remaining film in the headlight. Finish the job with 1,000 grit sandpaper to provide a clear, scratch-free surface. Be sure to sand in 90 degree opposite directions with the two different grit sandpapers to provide the best results. Finally, owners should finish the process by rinsing and wiping it down with a soft rag to remove sanding residue and then remove the masking tape from adjacent areas.

How to Buy Headlight Cleaning Products on eBay

Vehicle owners can find all of the products they need to repair and restore clarity to foggy headlights by shopping on the eBay marketplace. Sellers are eager to earn your business and offer headlight cleaning materials at competitive prices. Review seller feedback ratings to see how previous buyers rate their experience with individual sellers and buy with confidence. Use PayPal to complete your eBay purchase transaction in a safe and secure manner. Cloudy headlights not only detract from the appearance of your vehicle but can also be a safety hazard if the headlight beam does not properly illuminate the road when driving during night time hours. Cleaning foggy and dim headlight lenses yourself saves considerable expense when compared to the price of a new headlight assembly.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides