Headlight polishing yourself (inexpensive option)
Restore the opacity of the lights in the home [not professionals]
Over time, the plastic in modern cars is used instead of glass on the headlights, starts to scratch, as if be designed to blur, and gradually ceases to pass sufficient light from the lamps. It is, as you might imagine, is not good. Need to buy new headlights? Some way to put new glass? How to do it, if all modern lights are a sealed unit? Or you need to go to the workshop, where the glass revived by polishing? It is actually much cheaper and easier. Its former luster can be restored literally in the home on their own. Here’s how to do it.
Thus, the majority of headlight lenses made of polycarbonate is a plastic. This type of plastic is very durable (it is enough to say that used to make motorcycle helmets) and easily tolerates all the hardships on the road. Alas, he has a certain drawback. Material afraid of sunlight. For initial protection of a plastic glass is coated with protective filter against ultraviolet radiation. Over time, this film is destroyed as a result of exposure to UV radiation, dust, small stones, eventually the plastic begins to oxidize.
If the headlights on your car started to “romanitsa” or yellowing, then started the oxidation process. Don’t worry, because recovery will not take you a lot of time and effort. Just follow the steps step by step, which we describe below and you will be able to regain the transparency of the glass.
Buy what you need to work
First of all you need to make sure that you have everything you need. The easiest way to do this is to buy a set for the restoration of transparency of headlights (trying to drive in a search engine query: a set of recovery lights to buy), which will include all the necessary components.
You can also separately purchase all the necessary care products, which usually are supplied in the original kit, so you can save money because the cost of branded tools for recovery is large enough. For restoring the outer plastic of the headlights you will need:
- Several different types of sandpaper of different grit for wet and dry grinding. Standard advise to take the sandpaper with grain 1000, 2000 or 3000, depending on the degree of damage to the plastic surface;
- Polishing paste;
- Wax polishing paste;
- UV sealant;
- Roll of masking tape and microfiber towels should also be on your shopping list.
Start to work
The first step is a thorough cleaning of the surface of the headlights. For this you better use special car shampoo that will dissolve in petrol and other oily deposits. Don’t forget to clean the area adjacent to the headlight area, so the tape stuck better. If you do not want to prepare their own surface, go to the nearest sink.
Glue the lights around the perimeter
Why glue the tape around the headlights?
In a minute you start grinding. It is important that you only polished the lenses, and not stripped of the surrounding paint or spoil other elements of the car. So use the duct tape to completely cover the working surface of the headlamp and protect the rest of the car. Even if you are very careful, sandpaper can still slip, and hi is the fading on the paint.
Headlight polishing melkoabrazivnymi sandpaper
Welcome to the most important stage of the work. In the polishing process you’ll appreciate all that you have acquired, whether in the kit to restore the headlights or separately.
You need to start with krupnogabaritnogo variant of sandpaper that you have. If you followed the advice and bought the paper grit 1000, 2000 and 3000, take the sandpaper with minimal grain. In our case it is 1000 (the lower the number, the more abrasive is the material).
Wet sandpaper (wet polishing) and Faro water, begin to sand the lens in straight horizontal strokes. To crawl on the spotlight don’t need, keep the paper in one direction, as in previous times.
Make sure the surface during operation remains wet otherwise you run the risk of badly scratched the plastic surface due to the accumulation of sand particles. Remove fine dust with water as with the lights, and sandpaper.
Your results will depend on how well you will work at this stage. As professionals say, in manual mode, the large polishing grade sandpaper will take about 5-10 minutes.
Repeat the process with a less abrasive grades of sandpaper. In our case it is 2000 and then 3000 grit.
The only difference with the later 2 stages of polishing will be in the direction of travel during processing. As in the previous step you were polished horizontally, now the polishing is carried out in a different direction, say, diagonally. Thus you will gradually get a smooth surface without scratches and nipped.
Final sanding should be carried out in the opposite direction diagonally.
Do not forget to monitor the humidity of the headlights and sandpaper. Even a very fine abrasive can cause serious damage to plastic. The plastic on the headlights have gradually become more transparent. Follow the progress. Otherwise the work will have to begin anew.
Polish and wax
Proceed to the second stage of repair with the use of polishes and wax. Wipe clean and dry the lights, then squeeze part of polishing compound on a clean microfiber towel. RUB the Polish in a few minutes in a circular motion. Of course, for polishing you can use a polishing machine. It’s faster, if you know how to use it. But we are discussing the most affordable repair option, and that can be accessible solely by manual labor? Especially if you don’t do this kind of repair constantly, why are you polishing lap?
After the polycarbonate shines like new, apply a wax. Polish the surface with a soft cloth in the same circular motion as you Polish the car. This will clean and protect the surface in preparation for the final step.
Use with UV sealant
A final, but extremely important stage of work. You should re-apply a UV sealant for headlights, because the old, oxidized has been completely erased you in stage of deliverance headlights from minor scratches.
All your hard work will be wasted if you skip this step, because the sealant is a protective layer that protects the lens from re-fogging.
For applying the sealer you will need to wet a paper towel and in broad strokes applied to the surface of the tool. The key point is the total surface area of the headlamp lens.
Also before applying, please note the instructions for the UV sealant that you purchase.
The General rule is to apply one coat of sealer if the instructions are not written more. Allow the sealant to dry, drove the car in a warm, dry room.
Again, follow the instructions supplied with the sealant, be SURE to, otherwise you can not get quality result and work will have to be repeated. And polishing the headlamps a limited amount of time.
If the result suits you, congratulations – you did it! If not, well, then, the first pancake turned out lumpy, somewhere you didn’t know did something wrong and should turn to professionals.
To gain a deeper plunge into the world of polishing, it is desirable to see a couple of examples of videos on YouTube. For example, like this:
Video taken from the YouTube channel Made in the Garage
Well, as usual, if you are confident in your abilities, you will have to spend more money and go into the Studio. There will certainly do anything to the headlights again began to Shine like new.
And, of course, is the cheapest way: polishing headlights with toothpaste. We specially did not consider, because the Holy believe that toothpaste should be used for brushing and polishing of the headlight fits real Polish.