Best Headlight Restoration Kit
If you’re looking to identify the absolute best headlight restoration kit available on the market, you’ve come to the right place. In this headlight restoration kit review we’ll take a look at eight of the best headlight restoration kits on the market and determine how they stack up against each other. Along the way, you’ll learn tips about why cleaning your headlights is so important, how you know it’s time for a restoration project, and how exactly you should go about restoring your headlights.
We’ll take a look at eight unique products from eight different brands, each one with its own set of pros and cons when it comes to price, approach, effectiveness, features, ease of use, speed, and overall rating relative to other products. Ultimately, you’ll wind up with an in-depth understanding of what makes the best headlight restoration kit and how you can use it to get your headlights looking brand-new in no time.
As the average age of cars on the road goes up each year, the amount of cloudy and fogged-over headlights continues to increase. But what makes that such a bad thing? Let’s find out.
The Best Headlight Restoration Kit For The Money (Full Headlight Restoration Kit Reviews Below)
Why should you clean your headlights?
With all this talk about the methods and products used to restore your headlights, you might be wondering why cleaning them at all is so important. The importance of regular headlight restoration comes down to two key factors—safety and cosmetics.
First and foremost, hazy or clouded-over headlights create a serious safety hazard. Headlights work to illuminate the road ahead, particularly at night. And headlights that you haven’t cleaned or restored in some time can result in far worse visibility than you think. In fact, cloudy or hazy headlights can be as much as 80 percent darker than clean ones. That means that you could be driving around with 20% of the light that’s safe for you. That’s why finding the best headlight restoration kit is so important.
Aside from the vital importance of safety, sparkly clean and clear headlights improve the visual beauty and value of a car. Nothing makes a vehicle look older than fogged-over headlights. So if you’re thinking of selling your car and want it to look its best, or you just want to make your own vehicle look nice and new, consider restoring your headlights.
What causes headlights to become foggy?
Interestingly enough, it’s not always the buildup of grime that comes from driving on dirty roads. Ultraviolet rays are often the biggest factor. Those ultraviolet rays slowly break down and erode the clarity of your headlight casings, making them foggy. This happens more often in regions with more heat and sun, but cold areas can experience foggy headlights as well. So matter where you live, you’ll want to make sure you have the best headlight restoration kit.
How do you know it’s time to clean headlights?
The only true way to know it’s time to clean and restore your headlights is by an eye test. You might have noticed while driving at night that your visibility isn’t what it used to be. Or maybe you’ve taken a close look at your lights and noticed the fogginess. Whatever the case, you’ll usually know it when you see it. As soon as your headlights are foggy enough to catch your attention, it’s definitely time for a restoration.
What makes a great headlight restoration kit?
But the question must be asked—do headlight restoration kits actually work? The general answer is, yes. The best headlight restoration kit options available all do a pretty impressive job of restoring your headlights to their former glory. Their level of success varies depending on the quality of the product and how they’re used, but each one achieves some level of clarity when dealing with foggy headlights. You’ll also want to factor in price. Some kits may be cheaper than others, but that’s because they offer an inferior product. Some may be inexpensive but proven to be just as effective as other models.
Another factor to consider is time. Will you have to spend hours working away to get the kit you purchased to work? Or is the best headlight restoration kit capable of completely restoring your headlights in less than an hour? (Spoiler alert—yes.)
Finally, you’ll want to think about the additional features and accessories included in your kit. Some come with cleaning wipes, extra scrubbing materials, and more. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, consider a product that comes with everything you’ll need. This will ensure you plenty of convenience and ease right out of the box.
How do I clean my headlights?
In most cases, these headlight restoration kits work by sanding away at the outer layer of your headlight lens. This is the area that has become foggy due to ultraviolet rays and other factors. From there, you’ll use finer and finer abrasive surfaces until you make your way down to a full removal of the foggy outer surface. It’s important to note that not every system will work on every lens. Some car lenses come with a standard hard shell surrounding the lens. This can only be worn off with sanding materials purchased separately. That said, those vehicles are generally fairly rare. In most cases you’ll be able to get the job done with exactly what comes in the box.
Ranking and Reviewing the Best Headlight Restoration Kits
Now that you have some understanding about why headlight restoration is so important and how it works, it’s time for the main event. Let’s take a look at our headlight restoration reviews and rankings. In the list below, we’ve ranked eight of the best options for restoring your headlights. We’ve also reviewed some of their key features, as well as their value for the price. You’ll also find information about how fast you can use each kit, and its overall balance of value, features, effectiveness, and ease of use.
Remember, every car and user is different. What works best for someone else may not be right for you. But in general, this ranking will help you select the absolute best headlight restoration kit available on the market for a price that your wallet will love.
3M is one of the most trusted names in adhesives, repair kits and other must-have items. Their headlight lens restoration system is no different, offering unparalleled restoring quality, easy to use design and a budget-friendly price.
At $16.97, this restoration kit is very reasonable considering it’s the best headlight restoration kit on the market. You won’t break the bank buying this kit, and it offers unparalleled value considering how long its effects will last.
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The 3-step process takes no more than an hour to complete. It uses the included sanding disks and polishing pad to increasingly sand down the fogged portion of the headlight. An hour later, you’re done.
The 3M headlight lens restoration system is hands-down the best available. It restores faded or cloudy lenses quickly, effectively, and for a long time after completing the process. This is absolutely the best lens restoration kit on the market.
The kit comes with masking tape, light sanding disks of varying grit levels, and a wax material to protect your headlight. It also includes a buffing sponge that can be attached to a drill for added restoring power.
Ease of Use
The 3M design scores incredibly highly on ease of use. The kit includes everything you need, and you can complete the process with or without any additional tools. You also won’t need to put a great deal of force into the sanding, as the paper does much of the work for you.
You’ll be done with the entire process in less than an hour, which makes this one of the quickest kits available. Just gradually adjust the sanding grit as you go, follow the instructions, and you’re all set.
Overall, this is hands-down the best headlight restoration kit on the market. It also boasts the greatest value, ease of use, and features of any product on the list. You can’t go wrong with the 3M 39008 headlight lens restoration system.
Meguiar makes a heavy-duty, powerful headlight restoration kit that’s good enough for second on our list. It has a few downsides, but overall it’s a dependable option that will get you the results you’re looking for.
At $24.47, it’s noticeably more expensive than the 3M option at number one. It’s not the best headlight restoration kit, which makes this price tag a bit frustrating. But it’s still a solid value and won’t absolutely break the bank.
Similar to the 3M product, the Meguiar kit uses a combination of hand-sanding and drill-powered polishing. They also include a “revolutionary” coating that promises protection against additional fogginess for twelve months.
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The Meguiar kit is very effective, showing promising results in clearing away headlight fog and yellowing. The combination of products included in the kit work well together to deliver an effective headlight restoration soluton.
The kit includes a buffing sponge, drill-attached polishing tool, sanding disks and the protective coating. It’s everything you need to get the job done except a drill, which you’ll need to have for the polishing portion of the process.
Ease of Use
This product ranks highly in terms of ease of use, offering a straightforward process for cleaning and restoring your headlights. You may want to do a bit of research to know how to properly use the coating and buffing elements.
We found that this process takes a bit longer than the 3M product, but not by much. You’ll still be able to get the job done in less than a couple of hours. That’s still a pretty fast mark given that it will keep your headlights clear for months or even years to come.
Though it’s priced a bit high for what it offers, the Meguiar G2980 headlight restoration kit is a worthwhile investment in your headlight clarity. It may not be the best headlight restoration kit on the market, but it gets the job done.
One of the more feature-heavy products on the list, the Sylvania restoration kit offers plenty of bang for your buck. It’s inexpensive, effective, and easy to use. What more could you ask for in a headlight restoration product?
The $15.36 price tag on Amazon is a steal for how effective this product can be. You’ll find less effective headlight restoration kits for nearly twice that online, and many won’t have as many included features.
The Sylvania kit uses a similar sanding approach to other kits but forgoes the buffing process for a series of solutions designed to serve the same purpose. It’s a unique approach that saves time and effort. It also means you can use the kit entirely without a drill.
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The Sylvania kit is very effective, getting the job done fully and keeping headlights clear for a good long time. It also does a good job of removing corrosive buildup that occurs over years of use. They even offer a lifetime warranty.
The kit comes packed with plenty of tools to use for your restoration job. Large, grippable sanding pads are complemented by cleaning wipes and gloves. There’s also a three-step set of solutions for clearing away fogginess. It’s everything you need.
Ease of Use
This kit ranks highly because it doesn’t require any outside tools to get the job done. You can pull out the kit and instantly have everything you need. You’ll be done in three quick steps.
Those three quick, clear and labeled steps make this one of the quickest cleaning jobs you’ll find. Just follow the included directions and you’ll be done about an hour later. It’s just that easy.
It may not be the best headlight restorer on the market, but it certainly gets the job done. You’ll find everything you need here at a reasonable price, plus the lifetime warranty is a nice touch.
With a sleek design and packaging and a higher price to match, does the Mother’s brand headlight renewal kit match it’s shiny exterior? In short—mostly. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this kit.
The Mother’s 07251 Kit prices at about $22.50 on Amazon. This isn’t going to bankrupt you, but it’s worth noting that there are higher-rated products for as much as 30% less money available. Keep that in mind when buying.
The Mother’s kit uses the standard sand-and-buff method, with a drill attachment for the buffing. It also includes a plastic polish that is designed to help keep the lens clear after restoring.
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This kit is generally very effective, combining the sanding and buffing processes with a useful polish or long-lasting clarity. That said, it’s higher price should bring about a higher success rate. But it’s not the best headlight restoration kit on our list. That said, it’s a dependable option that will generally work well.
Out of the box you’ll get a set of sanding disks, a drill attachment, a buffing sponge that sticks to the attachment, and the included bottle of plastic polish. It provides the basics you’ll want to get the job done.
Ease of Use
You’ll need a drill to use half of the kit, but otherwise it’s a fairly straightforward and easy-to-use design. Just be sure to follow directions in order to make sure you don’t sand to deeply and damage your headlights.
This kit can give you the standard hour or slight more of time taken to complete the process. This isn’t bad but given the slightly higher price we’d like to see a quicker, more time-friendly process.
While it could stand to experience a price drop, this is still a solid value and provides you everything you need. It’s not the best headlight restoration kit available, but it’s a solid option.
Turtle Wax has been providing car-care solutions for decades, and they’ve built a dependable reputation. Their headlight lens restoring kit ranks high on our list based on its incredibly cheap price and overall good-quality effectiveness.
The Turtle Wax T-240KT is listed at just under $7, making it far and away the least expensive option on our list. It may not be the best headlight restoration kit available, but at that price it’s an excellent value.
The Turtle Wax kit forgoes the buffing element for a simple set of sanding disks, solutions and sealing wipes. This means there’s one less step, and you don’t need a drill or other tools to complete the process.
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Without the buffing capability, you won’t quite achieve that brand-new shine that comes with other kits. That said, you’ll still be able to make your headlights noticeably clearer with this inexpensive kit.
Out of the box you’ll find a spray lubricant, lens clarifying compound, three sanding disks, and two lens sealing wipes. It’s everything you need for a basic lens restoration process.
Ease of Use
The lack of a buffing process makes this kit very easy to use. Just apply the solutions at the right times and get to sanding. That’s all there is to it, so you’ll be able to get this done with little expertise required.
At less than an hour from start to finish, this is one of the fastest restorations available on our list. Just follow the directions and you’ll have noticeably clearer headlights in no time. It’s easy, quick, and straightforward.
What the Turtle Wax T-240KT kit misses in features and overall effectiveness it makes up for in price and simplicity. If you’re looking for a cheap, fast way to improve the clarity of your headlights this is your best option. That said, there are more effective kits for only a few dollars more that will work even better.
This is one of the simplest headlight restoration kits on the list, using just a pair of wipes and a solution to do the job. It’s not an amazing value, but it’s a quick fix that’s fairly effective in the short term for increasing clarity.
The CLT Headlight Restoration Kit is listed at $12.99 on Amazon. This is fairly inexpensive but given that it’s just a pair of wipes it’s not the best value on the market. For more bang for your buck, look to other brands.
This kit uses a cleaning and coating wipe combo to clear fog and then protect the headlights for the future. No drills, no sanding, and no buffing are involved. It’s a simple process that many users might enjoy.
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With just a few wipes, this kit isn’t the best headlight restoration kit available. It won’t match the success of more fully-featured kits, but it can quickly make a slight difference in headlight clarity.
There are two cleaning wipes and one coating wipe. That’s it. Don’t expect to open the box to find a plethora of devices and tools for cleaning. This is definitely the simplest package on our list.
Ease of Use
If you can move a wipe across your headlights, you have all the skills you need to use this restoration kit. It’s as simple as removing the first wipe, applying it, then repeating the process with the second and third wipes. That’s all there is to it.
You’ll be finished with this process in less than five minutes. This makes it the fastest kit by far, but that’s mainly because it features less cleaning and restoring power. Still, if you want something fast then this might be your best option.
It’s a very basic cleaning kit, and long-lasting results are not going to come with it’s simple combo of wipes. It’s also slightly overpriced considering there are fuller kits available for half the price. But it will go a little way toward improving your headlight clarity. It’s worth considering if you’re unwilling to devote an hour to the process.
The last kit on our list has a solid balance of price, features, and ease of use. It’s not the best headlight restoration kit on the market, but it’s a dependable choice. It’s also lightning fast, taking just seconds to apply.
At $11.99, this is a fairly inexpensive option. But it suffers from the same issue as the CLT headlight wipes. For something so basic, we’d expect to pay far less than other, more advanced kits.
The Wipe New product uses a two-step process to achieve results. It begins with a oxidation removal and polishing pad that’s meant to remove haze and grime. Then you’ll use a microfiber wipe to clear away fog and haze.
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For how simple and quick the process is, it’s a pretty effective kit. The two-wipe combo works well to clear away a fair amount of haze. That said, it’s not as effective as the 3M kit or others on our list with more features.
Just a pair of specialty wipes, that’s all you’ll find in the box.
Ease of Use
Like the CLT restoration kit, all you have to do is tear open the wipe containers and wipe across the headlight. It’s easy and straightforward. Just be sure you use the wipes in the right order.
The quickest product on our list, the two-step process takes just seconds to apply. Does that make it the best headlight restoration kit? No. But at least it’s the fastest.
Relatively cheap and requiring just seconds to complete, this product makes up for its lack of features and long-term effectiveness with simplicity and value.
In the end, you’ll find each of the products in our list can noticeably improve your headlight clarity. They all offer fairly straightforward use, with a focus on quality that’s higher in some than in others. Meanwhile, the prices vary widely from one brand to the next. This is the case even when the level of quality is roughly the same. That’s why doing your research is so important. The cheapest product is not always the worst, and the most expensive is not always the best. We hope this guide has been helpful as you try to separate the marketing from the truth with this list of brands. We also hope you’ve learned a bit about the causes and approaches required when dealing with a fogged-over headlight.
Another factor to consider is that higher-quality products don’t just work better now. They also help protect against future fogginess for longer. So if you’re considering going straight to the cheapest option on the list simply because it works short-term, think again. It may be worth your investment to choose an option that will keep your headlights clear for longer.
- Always follow the instructions provided by whichever brand’s product you decide to choose. This will not only make your experience easier but will also keep you from damaging your headlights.
- Remember, restoring your headlights involves sanding them down. It’s more than just cleaning away grime. That means that you should always be careful when restoring. You don’t want to sand further than is necessary and damage lenses.
- It’s also worth noting that dim light isn’t always the result of foggy headlights. Sometimes the bulbs themselves dim over time, so consider this before you set about restoring your headlights.
In the end, selecting a high-quality restoration kit is the best way to instantly improve your light while driving. It will help ensure your safety, satisfaction, and the visual curb appeal of your car. So the next time you’re considering skipping the restoration kit, think again. It will be well worth the minimal cost and minor time investment involved in the process.