Headlight cleaning: Sanding vs. Polishing - Mazda MX-6 Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 1:28 Thread Starter
 
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Lightbulb Headlight cleaning: Sanding vs. Polish Remover

Ok well I saw there were a few threads about cleaning headlights but I haven't found one that compares different methods, and since my headlights are way over due for a good cleaning I thought I'd make one. First We'll start with supplies reccomended.

Method 1 (AKA the Wet Sanding)
-Wet Sandpaper (Reccomended 450 Grain+)
-Polishing/Rubbing Compound
-Towel

Optional:
-Microfiber cloth
-Lower Grain Sandpaper follwed by higher grain sandpaper finish
-Simple Green or similar (amonia based) cleaning product
-Clear Coat (in a spray can)



Method 2:
-Nail Polish Remover
-Towel
-Simple Green or similar (amonia based) cleaning product

Optional:
-Polishing/Rubbing Compound
-Microfiber cloth



Method 1:

Step 1: Clean any loose residue off the leanses.

Step 2: Wet lenses and begin sanding lenses. (Use lower grain sandpaper if you have it) After sanding a bit, wipe off lens and get a fresh piece of sandpaper. Repeat this method until you have reached desired cleaness.

Step 3 (optional): Use higher grained sandpaper and repeat step 2 a few times (4-10 depending on stinginess)

Step 4: Wipe some Polishing/Rubbing on your towel or microfiber cloth. Rub back and forth until Polishing/Rubbing gets used up. Wipe on some more and repeat until lense is smooth and scratchless.

Step 5: You can use your cleaning product to get off any excess shavings/compound/whatever.

Step 6 (optional): You can now apply the clear coat, be careful not to spray your car.

Step 7: Your light should now be done.



Method 2:

Step 1: Clean any loose residue off the leanses.

Step 2: Poor some Nail Polish remover on your towel. Rub onto lense quickly until it get hard to wipe. Repeat until lense is clean.

Step 3 (optional): Wipe some Polishing/Rubbing on your towel or microfiber cloth. Rub back and forth until Polishing/Rubbing gets used up. Wipe on some more and repeat until lense is smooth and scratchless.

Step 4: Your light should be done. You can use your cleaning product to get off any excess shavings/compound/whatever.



This is the finished product. Method 2 was used for the right headlight, Method 1 on the left.

















Conclusion: As you can see there is not much difference. I personally prefer the nail polish remover (Method 2) over the sandpaper method because you get the same results with a lot more ease.

The products and methods used can be interchanged. I actually used a little bit of nail polish remover on the left headlight, too after taking the pics although I didn't notice much difference.

If you have any questions or need some clarification feel free to post and I or another member will hopefully be able to give you an answer.

I can get some pics during the day if anybody wants them. No I don't have any before pics...sorry...it was pretty much as bad as it gets though.

Enjoy

1993 Ford F-150
1992 SAAB 900s
Hayabusa powered Class 10 Race buggy

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 16:18
 
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i did the sand thing it takes a while....i decided to use rubbing compound and an electric bufffer..came out quite nice after 5 times of doing it

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 19:23
 
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has anyone seen that thing on tv called flitz ( i think) its supposed to polish anything from your car to things around the house jw if anyone seen it
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 20:13
 
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Flitz works for me. I have used it on numerous cars and it always works. Other option is the headlight refinishing kit from www.bavauto.com works freaking great.

1994 ATX LS, Intake, DZ springs, Tokico blues, reverse glows and much much more in the works.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 20:41

 
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Good writeup.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 21:19
 
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I would like to add that sometimes you absolutely need to sand the headlights. My buddy and I tried everything except sanding and it hasn't done anything to his headlights. They feel rough when you touch them.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 21:35
 
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So, I'm confused as to how to get the covers off of the actual headlights :/ They are super duper glued on there! Good write-up though!

-brandoN^-

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 21:37
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandoN^-
So, I'm confused as to how to get the covers off of the actual headlights :/ They are super duper glued on there! Good write-up though!

-brandoN^-
Oven @ 150 for 10 mins
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-05, 22:10
 
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good work. i think i should proabably clean my lights too.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-05, 0:35
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I need to do that to my jspecs but Im afraid to sand them and screw them up.And Karma to you because it's an awesome write up

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-05, 4:48
 
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i like it!
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