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Removing scratches from plastic headlight lens



- BEDFORD, Indiana

First of two simultaneous responses -- ++++

A. If the damage is not too severe you can polish it out with a cloth buff and buffing compound. Auto stores will have a kit which you can use with a hand held drill.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
- Spartanburg, South Carolina

Set of buffing wheels for headlight restoration

Novus Scratch Remover

Second of two simultaneous responses -- ++++

A. More likely, Jewelers Rouge will add scratches. Ordinary paste car wax will help fill in the scratches. And because its index of refraction is close to that of the plastic, it does a fairly decent job. Make sure you use *WAX* and not polish! Polish has abrasives in it that generally make things worse. The stuff often used on motorcyclists face shields and other plastics is 'Mirror Glaze [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]' made by Meguiars in Irvine, CA. But it will be a lot of work if your lenses are in bad shape.

Tom Gallant
- Long Beach, California


A. Probably not, most likely it will just make the places you use the rouge will end up smoky rather than clear and shiny. Plastic finishes much different than metals.

Marc Banks
- Elizabeth City, North Carolina


A. Most headlight covers have a thin plastic film on top of it . If you use a piece of fine sandpaper you can repair small chips if they are not too deep; afterwards you can polish with a soft polishing wheel with a tripoli [link to product info at Amazon by ed.] and finish with a glaze to remove polishing marks. Be careful not to sand too much, if you go through that plastic film at any place you'll have to sand it completely and polish the whole part to get a uniform finish. Also use a slow speed and light pressure to polish and buff to not overheat the plastic. I have a bit of practice with this, and I get very nice results. Practice on a scrap part first.

Pierre Bernard
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada

February 4, 2010

I have to disagree with everyone who says it cannot be used. I have used it several times with great result. I use a hand held drill with a buffing wheel. I first lubricate with a spray of WD-40 [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], then use "blue rouge", after a few minutes of buffing I follow up with "green", then I finish with a liquid plastic cleaner/polisher for a clean shine. This process takes away the clouding most plastic headlamps get after a few years. I don't mean a light clouding, but the kind that makes you wonder if your headlamps are on at night yellowing.

Rick Berry
- San Clemente, California

Blue Polishing Rouge

Green Jeweler's Rouge

Plastic Renew

February 6, 2012 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. How would I clean polycarbonate car headlights?

Thank you,

John East
- Pretoria South Africa

August 12, 2012 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. How do I clean my car headlights from being cloudy?
Thank you for any help.

pam egger
- laurel, Delaware usa

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