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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
 

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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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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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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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