How To Restore Plastic Auto Headlamps

Need to know how to restore plastic auto headlamps? Restoring your car's old plastic headlamp covers is not a hard procedure in most cases, but it does normally take a bit of elbow grease. Since most people do not have them, we will avoid talking about the use of rotary buffers, though they can make the process of restoring plastic auto headlamps easier if they are available.

To restore plastic auto headlamps, you will need:

  • Plastic polish
  • Wax
  • Clean cloths
  • Masking tape
  • Wet or dry automotive sandpaper
  • Water
  1. Assemble the materials. Before starting, make sure you have the materials needed to restore your plastic headlamps. There are various plastic polishing compounds available, some made specifically for this task. The blue painter's masking tape is easiest to remove later if it is available to you. You will need several grits of fine wet or dry automotive sandpaper; 1,000 through 3,000 grit will be used.
  2. Tape off the area. Use the masking tape to mask around the headlamp cover so you do not damage painted areas.
  3. Hand polish the headlamp cover. Use the polishing compound and a clean cloth. Dip the cloth in the compound and rub one area at a time. This takes some time and will need to be performed over the entire surface. You will see the compound working, and when the cloth gets dry, add more compound. Once the entire lens is shiny, you are finished.
  4. Inspect the surface. Inspect the surface for pits and blemishes which would not come out with simple polish. If there are none, move on to step six below. If there are, you will want to move on to the next step.
  5. Wet sand the lens. Starting with the 1,000 grit wet sandpaper, sand the cover. Dip the sandpaper in the water and sand. When it starts to dry, wet the paper. Sand until the blemishes are gone. When they are gone, repeat this process with each grit of sandpaper, working your way up to the 3,000 grit. Make sure to sand in different directions with each grit so that you remove completely the scratches from the previous grit. When finished with this step, return to step three and re-polish the area you sanded.
  6. Wax the surface of the lens cover. Use the wax and wax the surface of the cover. Polish it off according to the directions on the wax.
  7. Remove the masking tape. Remove the masking tape from the car. Go slowly, especially if you did not use painter's tape, and make sure all of the adhesive is off, especially if you got it wet from the sanding. Waxing these areas will remove any remaining residue.

There, you have now restored the lens of your headlamps. Waxing them occasionally will help to keep them in top shape in the future.

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