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How To Clean Cloudy Headlights And Make Them Shine Again

How To Clean Cloudy Headlights

You can clean cloudy headlights and they will look like new. The step by step process is easy to follow.
How To Clean Headlights Petticoat Junktion AutoRight Project

AutoRight 4” Buffer and AutoRight Headlight Restoration Kit Project

This post about cloudy headlights  is 100% a JTS project. The JTS, aka Junktion Technical Specialist, aka hubby, is the car specialist at our house. He takes care of the cleaning and the maintenance. All of our automobiles are over 10 years old. They just keep going and I’m good with that.

The JTS has been trying to remove the cloudiness from my car headlights forever. He’s tried several specialty kits and also a few techniques he found in online forums. One of those techniques was the use of bug spray containing Deet to remove the cloudiness. Didn’t work.


How to clean headlights: AutoRight Buffer and Headlight Restoration Kit for removing film from cloudy headlights Pettiocat JUnktion project

So needless to say when I received an email from HomeRight asking if I would like to try the 4” AutoRight Buffer I checked it out. The buffer is great for applying wax and for buffing my furniture. I love it.

I ordered the AutoRight Headlight Restoration Kit to use in conjunction with the buffer. The JTS was so anxious to give it a try that he started working on the headlights and I didn’t get any before photos or photos of him applying the tape. In his defense I was in the workshop working on a piece of furniture.

How To Clean Cloudy Headlights:

Supplies Needed To Clean Car Headlights

The AutoRight Headlight Restoration Kit 

What’s included in the kit:

  • (2) 400 Grit Sanding Discs
  • (2) 800 Grit Sanding Discs
  • (2) 1500 Grit Sanding Discs
  • (1) Interface Pad For 4″ Detailing Polisher
  • (2) Cotton/Poly Polishing Pads for 4″ Polisher
  • (1) 2 oz Bottle of Polishing Compound
  • (2) Headlight UV Blocker Packets
  • (1) Instruction Sheet

Buffing headlights to remove cloudy film using AutoRight Buffer and Headlight Restoration Kit Petticoat Junktion

To Clean The Headlights

Step 1. Apply painters tape

Protect the cars paint by taping around the headlight with painters tape.

Step 2. Sand The Headlights

Attach the 400 grit sandpaper to the interface pad and attach to the buffer.

Sand the headlight 3 or 4 minutes or until the headlight is completely white with a frosted look over the entire surface. Then attach the 800 grit sandpaper and sand to remove the marks left by the 400 grit paper. When the 800 grit paper isn’t sanding effectively anymore it’s time to move on the the next step.

How To Clean Headlights

The sanding disk and headlight will need to be wiped with a paper towel periodically during step 2.

AutoRight Buffer and Headlight Restoration Kit to clean cloudy headlights Pettiocat Junktion project

Step 3. Wet Sand The Headlights

Attach the 1500 grit sandpaper to the buffer and wet the sandpaper and headlight with water until just damp.

Buff the headlight until you begin to see white residual or slurry then continue buffing for 3 minutes. Continue to add  water to keep the headlight and paper damp. Don’t let the headlight get dry. Use paper towels to wipe pad and headlight during the process.

how to remove cloudy film from headlights Petticoat Junktion

When finished with the sanding wipe the lens clean.

Step 4. Polishing The Headlights

Apply the polishing compound to the headlight and to the cotton polishing pad.

Remove the interface pad from the buffer and attach the polishing pad to the buffer. Buff until the cloudy haze is gone.

clean headlights with AutoRight Buffer Petticoat Junktion

Rinse and wipe the headlight dry.

Headlight Restoration Kit to remove cloudy film Petticoat Junktion

Step 5. Protect The Clean Headlights

Wipe the dry headlight with the UV towelette.

Do this process in a shaded area. The JTS worked under our carport. You can see the girls’ chalk art on the concrete.

AutoRight Headlight Restoration Kit

This is a photo of the Headlight Restoration kit after the project was finished. The JTS even read the directions. I read the directions too and I admit to being more than a little worried about the process. I mean, using sandpaper on the headlights. Doesn’t sound right. I could only see problems ahead. Wouldn’t that scratch the headlights? I needn’t have worried.

How to Make Cloudy Headlights look like new Petticoat Junktion AutoRight Project

No More Cloudy Headlights !

The headlight looks brand new! My car is a 2003 Honda Accord and you can tell from the paint it’s been through a lot. We lived near the coast in Florida for 3 years. The sun, sand, and wind are hard on a vehicle.

AutoRight Buffer and Headlight Restoration Kit project Petticoat Junktion diy

The headlight on the left is finished and the one on the right is next…..you can see the how cloudy and yellow the lens is.

AutoRight Headlight Restoration Kit project Petticoat Junktion 2

The process sounds lengthy and complicated but it’s really not. The JTS estimated the project at 45 minutes. Sounds about right. He also had downtime while waiting on me to take photos.

Autoright giveaway Petticoat Junktion

You guys know what comes next, right? I have a giveaway for you. There will be one winner and the giveaway includes the AutoRight Headlight Restoration Kit and the AutoRight 4” Buffer (The buffer is great for waxing furniture or whatever!). Giveaway closes December 21, 2015 at midnight CDT. Open to US residents 18 and older, void where prohibited. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email

To enter the giveaway answer the question “What is your dream car?’’  You can enter once per day until the giveaway ends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy the buffer and cleaning kit on Amazon. Just click the photos below. (affiliate disclosure)

How To Clean Headlights


Product was provided by HomeRight and AutoRight. All opinions and project ideas are my own.

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Hi Gloria, It’s not really that much work to it. I was surprised at how fast the project was finished! And I love the results 🙂

  2. It’s a lot of work. At a local car wash I noticed they can clean them up. I might have it done next time