Being able to see your vehicle’s headlights is crucial when it comes to your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Your headlight lenses will deteriorate over time due to UV radiation and start to look yellow. While driving down the road, you will also get dirt and grime on them, or even the occasional flying stone might scratch or chip them.
All of this will affect the brightness of your headlights, and a headlight restoration kit can save you a bundle compared to buying new lights.
In the following review, we are going to find the best headlight restoration kit to suit all your needs. That way, the next time you drive your vehicle, your lights shine as bright as when they were new.
- 1 Best Headlight Restoration Kits Comparison Table
- 2 Top 8 Best Headlight Restoration Kits On The Market Review
- 2.1 1 SYLVANIA – Headlight Restoration Kit – Best Quick Headlight Restoration Kit
- 2.2 2 Rust-Oleum Headlight Restore Kit – Best Quick Headlight Restoration Kit
- 2.3 3 3M 39084 Headlight Restoration Kit – Best Drill Fit Headlight Restoration Kit
- 2.4 4 Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit – Best Like New Headlight Restoration Kit
- 2.5 5 Mothers 07251 NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit – Best Comprehensive Headlight Restoration Kit
- 2.6 6 Meguiar’s Headlight Restore 2step – Best Hand Application Headlight Restoration Kit
- 2.7 7 Rain-X 800001809 Headlight Restoration Kit – Best Sealant Headlight Restoration Kit
- 2.8 8 Blue Magic 725CD-06 Headlight Lens Restorer – 8 oz. – Best Budget Headlight Restoration Kit
- 3 Best Headlight Restoration Kit Buying Guide
- 4 Speaking of Highly Effective Car Products…
- 5 So, What is the Best Headlight Restoration Kit?
Best Headlight Restoration Kits Comparison Table
|SYLVANIA – Headlight Restoration Kit||3 Step||Yes||Yes||$$$$|
|Rust-Oleum Headlight Restore Kit||3 Step||Yes||Yes||$$|
|3M Headlight Restoration Kit||2 Step||Yes||No||$$$|
|Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer Kit||3 Step||Yes||Yes||$$|
|Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit||2 Step||Yes||Yes||$$$$|
|Meguiar’s Headlight Restore||2 Step||No||No||$$$|
|Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kit||3 Step||Yes||Yes||$$|
|Blue Magic Headlight Lens Restorer||1 Step||No||No||$|
Top 8 Best Headlight Restoration Kits On The Market Review
|(4.6 / 5)|
Rust-Oleum Headlight Restore Kit
|(4.5 / 5)|
|(4.5 / 5)|
|(4.1 / 5)|
|(4.3 / 5)|
Meguiar's Headlight Restore 2step
|(4.5 / 5)|
|(3.8 / 5)|
|(4.2 / 5)|
1 SYLVANIA – Headlight Restoration Kit – Best Quick Headlight Restoration Kit
First up in our review is a three-step restoration kit from Sylvania. This kit features multiple products that will restore your headlights light output in as little as thirty minutes.
Sylvania has provided a spray-type surface applicator that will soften up the plastic housing of your lens. You will want to let this sit on there for 30 seconds before using the included 400 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.
The supplied 1000 and 2000 grit sandpapers will leave your headlight as smooth as possible. From there, you will want to use one of the polishing cloths to apply the clarifying compound.
The bottle of clear coat goes on last. You need to be careful when applying this, or you might notice a tiny bit of streaking once it dries. We found that if you spray on some more of the surface applicator before applying the clear coat, you are less likely to have this problem.
When all is said and done, the difference in headlight brightness is easy to notice. Sylvania also backs this restoration kit with a lifetime warranty in case you have any problems.
- 2 grit sandpapers for blemish removal.
- Easy to apply.
- 30 min application.
- Lifetime warranty.
2 Rust-Oleum Headlight Restore Kit – Best Quick Headlight Restoration Kit
Rust-Oleum’s Headlight Restore Kit comes in four pieces. It includes a microfiber towel, nitrile gloves, polishing pad, and a Wipe-It™ cloth.
To apply this restore kit, you want to begin by rinsing off your headlights. Then use the green side of the polishing pad to go over the entirety of the light. Once you have thoroughly gone over the headlight once, flip over the pad and go over it again. Finally, put on the gloves and open the pouch containing the Wipe-It™ cloth.
You will want to wipe this cloth evenly over your headlight. If you find the fabric getting dry, simply place it back in the pouch to wet it.
But there’s a catch…
The polishing pad is made to remove any oxidation or UV coating on your light, and this pad didn’t last as long as we would have liked.
When we tested this on our SUV, the pad’s performance reduced, and we struggled to remove oxidation after cleaning only one headlight. So, you might find yourself buying more than one of these, depending on how many lights need restoring.
Best for lightly oxidized lenses…
These pads do a reasonable job, given how easy they are to use, though. For best results, you’ll want to use these on lightly oxidized lenses to get the most out of them.
- Two-step application.
- Light oxidation comes off easily.
- The polishing pad could be more robust.
3 3M 39084 Headlight Restoration Kit – Best Drill Fit Headlight Restoration Kit
This kit from 3M™ includes everything you could ever need when restoring a headlight all in one small box. You will even find masking tape to apply around the edges of your lights that will protect your vehicle’s paint.
For buffing out any oxidation or scratches, 3M™ provides what they call Trizact™ Discs. These discs all vary in grit, thus allowing you to remove the tiniest of imperfections.
You can use these discs by hand, but the process was rather slow. This is why we like that each disc can be attached to a drill, which will provide results far more quickly.
Chuck them on your drill…
We found that the grey sanding discs work best when used on a slightly wet surface. After you have sanded down your headlight, you will want to attach the buffing pad to your drill.
Apply a little bit of the compound on to the rubbing pad and place it over the headlight. Rinse it off and wipe it down with a clean cloth, and you are done. The results are immediately noticeable.
While the entirety of this kit can be used by hand, we ended up with mixed results. If you choose to use a drill, we found results to be more consistent.
You will, however, find yourself going through the sanding discs a lot quicker. One kit was still able to clean our headlights, rear lights, and even fog lights.
- Hand or drill compatible.
- Single kit for multiple lights.
- Masking tape included.
- Trizact™ Discs wear quickly with drill use.
4 Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit – Best Like New Headlight Restoration Kit
Turtle Wax is a huge name when it comes to car detailing products, but do they produce the ideal headlight restoration kit?
The T-240KT restoration kit from Turtle Wax can be used in one of two ways. You can simply clean off your lens with soap and water and apply the clarifying compound. Then wipe off the compound, and you will begin to see noticeable results. For heavily oxidized lenses, you will need to do a few more things, though.
Almost like new…
To get your lenses looking as close to new as possible, you will want to start by reapplying the rubbing compound. You might find yourself doing this two to three times.
Once that is done, cover the lens with the spray lubricant provided. Next, you will notice two small pads. On each side of the pads, you will find a different level of grit. Work your way from the coarse grit side of the first pad to the finer grit side of the second pad.
Make sure to wipe off and reapply the spray lubricant before switching pads. Unfortunately, working with these pads isn’t that easy because of their small size.
Before using the lens sealing wipe, make sure to apply and remove one last coat of the clarification compound. This lens sealing wipe doesn’t have much formula on it, so try to use it as sparingly and as evenly as possible.
- Restores headlights to almost new.
- Ample size bottles.
- Four levels of grit pads included.
- The sanding pads are small and difficult to handle.
5 Mothers 07251 NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit – Best Comprehensive Headlight Restoration Kit
Mother’s NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit is another product that can be applied by hand or with a drill. It comes with four different components that will leave you headlight lenses looking crystal clear.
You will find a polishing compound, their PowerBall 4Lights® Polishing Tool, and an assortment of abrasive discs in the box. To connect either the restoration discs or the polishing tool to a drill, Mother has even supplied a backing plate.
Like other renewal kits, you will want to clean off your headlights before you begin sanding away scratches and applying the polishing compound.
We used this kit both by hand and with a drill. You will definitely want to use the drill attachment for best results.
A few tips…
The polishing pad this kit comes with features multiple layers of foam. When you are using it to buff in the plastic polishing compound, you need to go rather slowly.
For best results, you will find it best to buff in the polish at a slight angle. At the same time, we used the top section of the polishing pad for touching up small areas. Once you have gotten rid of any oxidation or hairline scratches from your headlight lens, all you have to do is buff the surface with a clean cloth.
That’s not all…
This kit comes with an eight-ounce bottle of polishing compound, which you will definitely be using more of. We found that to keep optimal lens clarity, this compound will need to be reapplied every so often.
When you go to reapply more polish, you won’t find that it takes too much time. You can simply just buff it on by hand and wipe it off.
- Includes a 3” drill backplate.
- PowerBall 4Lights® Polishing Tool
- Easy to use.
- You’ll need to reapply polishing compound every month or so.
6 Meguiar’s Headlight Restore 2step – Best Hand Application Headlight Restoration Kit
This two-step restoration kit from Meguiar’s is one of the easiest to apply by hand. It comes with a spray-on headlight coating and a cleaning solution. Both bottles are four ounces in size.
Not much needed…
You can use one of the two provided circular applicator pads for cleaning the headlight and removing oxidation. It only takes a small drop of cleaning solution per light.
Wipe off any excess cleaning solution and make sure your headlights have a frosted look to them. You will want to use one pad per light. These pads are not abrasive, so do not expect them to polish out small scratches.
The included spray-on headlight coating takes a while to apply correctly. You will need to apply two coats of this UV protectant spray in total.
Before applying the second coat, you need to wait at least five minutes for the first coat to dry. Do not spray it on too thick, or it won’t set without streaking. This headlight coating then takes a further twenty-four hours to cure fully. We found it best to have your vehicle sit in the garage while this is happening.
Not a quick option…
If your headlight gets wet during the curing process, you will need to start over. The finished results are great, but for a two-step product, it takes quite a while to apply correctly.
- Cleaning pads for each front headlight.
- Easy application by hand.
- The overall curing time takes just over 24 hours.
7 Rain-X 800001809 Headlight Restoration Kit – Best Sealant Headlight Restoration Kit
Rain-X is well known at removing water from your windshield, but how good is it at removing oxidation from your headlights?
Quite well, actually…
Thanks to this multi-step restoration kit. Start by using the first of the three colored polishing pads in coordination with the included lubricant.
Work your way through all three pads while making sure to spray on more lubricant each time. You will also want to wipe off the lens each time before moving on to the next pad. The lens will become clearer as more and more yellow oxidation is removed. Next, take out the included microfiber towel and apply some of the headlight restorer compound to it.
A couple of niggles…
The headlight restorer compound was slightly runny when we applied it to the cloth. It takes quite a bit of effort to implement this compound thoroughly, and you will also find yourself using quite a lot of it.
Also, if you want to reuse this microfiber cloth, make sure to wash it by hand immediately afterward.
The sealant that Rain-X has supplied is top-notch. All you need to do is spray it on a damp cloth and wipe it on your headlight.
It dries quickly while leaving your headlights nice and shiny. After six months, we still haven’t had to reapply more compound or sealant.
- Reusable microfiber cloth.
- Longlasting headlight sealant.
- Easy sealant application.
- The headlight compound isn’t so easy to apply.
8 Blue Magic 725CD-06 Headlight Lens Restorer – 8 oz. – Best Budget Headlight Restoration Kit
This final headlight restoration kit we are going to look at is the cheapest one in this review. It comes in an eight-ounce bottle and supplies an all in one type of restoration solution.
What do you get for this low price?
You will need some sort of cloth to apply this Blue Magic restorer. Make sure your lenses are cleaned with soap and water before applying the restoring compound.
Drop about a nickel size amount on a cloth or buffing pad and start applying it in circular motions. You don’t need to buff it for long, but you will want to clean it off and reapply it a few times.
While it performs well given the price, we’re not sure if we can call it the perfect headlight restoration kit.
You will notice that oxidation comes off easily, but it won’t stay gone for long. Since it doesn’t come with any sort of sealant, you will need to rebuff the headlights with more compound every few months.
- One bottle is all you need.
- Easy to apply.
- You will need to reapply it often.
Best Headlight Restoration Kit Buying Guide
A headlight restoration kit can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run, but some don’t work as well as others.
Your headlight will become clouded over from the oxidation build-up caused by UV radiation. This is inevitable, unfortunately.
You will find restoration kits that include everything you need in one simple bottle. Some come with applicator pads and different types of compounds and sealants as well.
Essentials to know
Before you ever attempt to restore your headlights, you will want to mask off the area around your light as different compounds and sealants can damage your car’s vulnerable paint job.
With multiple-step restoration kits, you will commonly find abrasive pads included. These are great at prepping your headlight and removing thick oxidation and even small scratches.
Some kits have pads with different amounts of grit. Alongside these abrasion pads, you will want to use some kind of lubrication. Most kits include this in the package, but you can always use soapy water as an alternative.
The polishing compounds used vary by manufacturer. They will all help in preventing your headlight from turning yellow from oxidation, though.
You will eventually have to reapply more of the polishing compound over time. But, we found that you will have at least four months on average before more buffing is required. That is unless your kit includes a lens sealant.
These apply a thin coating over your lens that is UV resistant. Sealants can typically be sprayed directly on your headlight, but you need to take care when coating your light. If spray-on sealants are not applied evenly, they can occasionally leave streaks down the headlight.
They also require time to dry, and you might need to apply multiple coats. You can also wipe on some sealants with a cloth giving you more exact results.
Manufacturers will sometimes provide guarantees on how long their product will last before needing to be reapplied.
No matter the type of kit you end up with, you will definitely notice the difference they make after being applied.
Speaking of Highly Effective Car Products…
It’s not just your headlights you should be maintaining. So, why not check out a few other reviews, like the Best Car Upholstery Cleaners, the Best Dashboard Cleaners for Cars, the Best Rust Converters, and Best Penetrating Oils currently on the market?
Also, if you really appreciate the cost savings of DIY, next time you get in a ding, consider trying one of the Best Car Scratch Removers, the Best Automotive Touch Up Paints, or even the Best Automotive Paint Guns! Just make sure you have the Best Mechanic Gloves first.
Back to headlight restorer kits…
So, What is the Best Headlight Restoration Kit?
The ideal headlight restoration kit, in our opinion, is the…
This is because it restored the most amount of clarity to our headlights during testing.
You can apply this kit in different ways depending on how oxidized your lights are. For best results, you are going to use the entirety of this multi-piece kit. The multiple grit level pads are small but work well at removing all levels of oxidation when used with the spray lubricant.
Finishing off your headlight restoration is also super easy thanks to the included sealant wipe. When all is said and done, you will find your headlights nice and bright for a long time down the road.
Take care and enjoy your like-new headlights!