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Thread: Cleaning headlight scuz

  1. #1
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    Default Cleaning headlight scuz

    Anybody here done the tooth paste or baking powder fix, or paid the extortionate price for a commercial product?

    Looking for comparisons of my experience. Not sure I was persistent enough or used the best tools.
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

    Photographer of sailing and sailboats
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Done the toothpaste one. European Nissan Almera. Pile of scrubbing, but it worked a treat.

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Done it myself with a kit, pain in the butt and didn’t look that great. Then I paid a detail shop an extra $30 when they washed my car and the headlights looked great…for a while. Ask the detail shop to do it again but they said not enough material left on the headlights and they wouldn’t do it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    I did the PT Cruiser a couple of years ago with very fine wet sandpaper and then clear coated it. Will probably have to re-do it next year. Last time I asked the parts mgr. at the local Dodge dealership the lenses cost $300 and they will get scuzzy anyway.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Talk, methylated spirit in newspaper works on glass.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    I used some Turtle Wax rubbing compound that was already here. Helped quite a bit on my 2008 Tacoma.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    I gave up on all the different tricks on my 2011 Tundra. Dealer cost for new headlights $2500.00. Got a set on Amazon for $250.00. So far so good. About an hour to change both, quite easy actually YouTube can be your friend.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Polycarbonate headlights (which is what most all modern headlights are made from) will yellow over time. Toothpaste will work, but if they are badly yellowed, you'll be spending a lot of time. No way will hand rubbing get through the damaged areas - a foam pad on a drill or sander is necessary. If really bad, some 1000 grit sandpaper first may be necessary.

    If you can handle this guy, he does a bunch of very good comparison videos:

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    3M starts you at 500 grit and works up through 3,000 grit. Then on to the Perfect-It rubbing compound and then the machine polish.

    3M Headlight Restoration Kit ("For industrial/occupational use only. Not for consumer sale or use." Right.) Here's the instructions.

    https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b40072113/



    Available at a Waste Marine or autobody supply store near you (the product page has a store locator).

    This will be the premium option (it comes with a pneumatic DA sander and a pneumatic buffer):

    3M™ Perfect-It™ Headlight Lens Restoration Kit includes:
    3M™ Trizact™ Foam Discs, 3", P3000
    3M™ Trizact™ Foam Discs, 3", P1000
    3M™ Perfect It™ Foam Compounding Pad, 4"
    3M™ Perfect It™ Foam Polishing Pad, 4"
    3M™ Hookit Soft Interface Pad, 3"
    3M™ Random Orbital Sander, Pistol Grip, 3" 1/8" orbit
    3M™ Buffer, Pistol Grip, 3"
    3M™ Purple Clean Sanding Hookit™ Disc 3", P800
    3M™ Purple Clean Sanding Hookit™ Disc 3", P500
    3M™ Perfect It™ EX Rubbing Compound 8oz
    3M™ Perfect It™ EX Machine Polish 8oz
    [Of course, if you own a DA sander and a buffer, nothing to stop you from swinging by Fisheries Supply or your local purveyor of 3M finishing products and picking up the individual consumables.]

    3M also has multiple other headlight restoration kits, aimed at DIYers rather than pros: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/c/auto...toration-kits/

    Video on how to use at

    https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/...o-1-minute.mp4

    Looks like 3M also has a clearcoat solution for your headlight lenses.

    3M™ Quick Headlight Clear Coat Wipes

    https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b400...710800+8711413

    That would probably be really useful if you got in the habit of applying it when you car is new.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    If I had that problem I would order a pack of Micromesh abrasive sheets, or their 5" disks. The disks are made to fit a random orbit machine, but work quite well for hand wet-sanding and give you the most square inches for the money compared to their smaller square sheets. The assortment runs all the way up to 12,000 grit. They aren't cheap, but especially for small-ish jobs used wet by hand, they last a long time. You just work your way up through the grits, a few minutes at a time. If needed, you can then use a polishing compound like "Perfect It" and a rag for final buffing.

    https://www.amazon.com/Micro-Mesh-Sa...=A7O51HGOUZ91S

    https://www.amazon.com/Micro-Mesh-No...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    There really isn't any way to resurface clear plastic with a little wipe-on goo and expect it to last. This stuff takes off the badly weathered surface and then polishes what remains under it.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    I've used Turtle Wax "Cut 'n Shine" on hazy headlights - a very mildly abrasive car wax product for cleaning up sun faded or scuffed paintwork. It was what I had in the garage, it worked well without too much elbow grease, and I'd use it again. I'd be surprised if you local car place didnt have some even more purpose specific product, but failing that, any mildly abrasive household cleaner will work - just try a small area first if you're unsure.
    Brasso (mildly abrasive brass polish), Chemico or Jiff (mildly abrasive cleaners) would be my go to cleaning product brands for polishing plastic, if they aren't in the US, I guarantee there is some eqivalent.
    There common theme is mildly abrasive. Not valve grinding paste abrasive, but more agressive than toothpaste - more like cutting compound for automotive paintwork.

    Pete
    The Ignore feature, lowering blood pressure since 1862. Ahhhhhhh.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    I've done at least a half dozen sets of headlights & if the hazing is really bad, sanding is absolutely necessary. If it's light, just compound of some sort will work.

    The 3M full kit is about $25US on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/3M-Headlight-...65177742&psc=1
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    The 3M full kit is about $25US on Amazon
    Yup, I've used this kit too. It takes a while but is straightforward to use and, so long as you don't hold back at each stage of the sanding, it produces excellent results.

    Splash out another $7.50 and finish them off with the wipe-on clearcoat:

    https://www.amazon.com/3M-Quick-Head...079QL8BYK&th=1

    I've tried the toothpaste thing before. It got rid of some of the yellowing on the lenses, but they were still not very clear.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Why, oh Auto Gurus, do they not make them of glass?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    I would imagine a matter of optics and expense.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  18. #18
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Why, oh Auto Gurus, do they not make them of glass?

    Big optical glass castings like that would be quite expensive and very heavy.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    IIRC, the first year of the XKE, it had glass over the headlights.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Look at the shape of those lenses, vs what cars have now.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Cleaning headlight scuz

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Why, oh Auto Gurus, do they not make them of glass?
    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    I would imagine a matter of optics and expense.
    Especially the latter. Also polycarbonate is way, way stronger than glass. IIRC, over 200 times as strong.

    Besides, it sells more replacement headlights!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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