How to Polish Headlamp Lenses In 4 Easy Steps

Headlamps often get musty and dirty over time because they are often exposed to dirt outside. This is quite dangerous because this dulls out your light, rendering it not very effective for night driving.

Thus, it’s very important for you to know how to polish your headlamp lenses properly.

What Headlamps Are and What They Do

Typically, a headlamp is a type of light that can be found in the front of any vehicle such as a car or a truck. 

It is used for shining light on the road whenever it is too dark to see the surroundings.

The term “headlamp” is often synonymous with the term “headlight”.

Headlamps work by making use of a component known as a filament in order to convert electricity to light.

When electricity travels from the energy source (in a vehicle’s case, its battery) to the filament, the filament brightens up creating light for the headlamp.

To know more about how the headlamp works, it’s important to learn the components of a typical headlight.

While the headlamp is made out of several parts, in this case, you’ll only have to take note of the bulb, the filament, the reflector, and the headlight lens.

Basically, the electricity is transmitted from the battery to the bulb.

Specifically, the energy is brought to the filament, and the bulb uses that energy to create light.

The reflectors then disperse the light to all directions, and the lens caps the light to control it.

Also Read: Choosing the best headlamp

Why It is Important to Polish Your Headlamp

Now that we know what a headlamp is and how it works, let’s focus on the importance of keeping it clean.

While it is normal for headlamp lenses to have dirt all over it and have a change in its light color, too much debris in the lenses can seriously hamper your driving and put you to possible danger.

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Additionally, another cause for headlamp clouding is when UV rays cloud the outer layer of the lens, so you should also be wary of such.

Why is this important to keep this in mind? Simply because having cloudy headlights decreases the brightness emitting from the headlamp.

Thus, if you’re driving at night, and there happens to be no street lights or lamp posts, you’ll have a hard time seeing where you’re heading.

This is very dangerous since you may hit something on the road and cause disruptions or accidents.

This is also risky when there is heavy rain, fog, or snow since it can blind your vision when you drive, thus blurring your view furthermore.

In fact, cloudy headlamps can reduce the light by 70% which can really be a nuisance during a bad weather.

In order to keep safe while driving, you must regularly polish your headlamp lenses thoroughly.

The next section will provide a step by step process on how to properly do this.

How to Properly Polish Your Headlamps

Step 1: Put Masking Tape on the Area Near the Headlamp

To avoid affecting the area near the headlamp, put tape over them.

A painter’s masking tape is the perfect piece of tool to use because it doesn’t absorb any liquid, and it’s also easy to take out when you’re done.

Step 2: Use Sandpaper On the Headlamp

Sandpaper can scratch out the outer layer of the cloudiness in a headlamp effectively.

You will notice that when you do this, the stubborn dirt comes off easily; this is the first layer of haze which blocks off the light.

Before you sandpaper your headlamp, soak it first in cold water for around 10 minutes to peel off the dirt quickly.

Step 3: Use Polish On Your Headlamp

Once you’ve sandpapered your headlamp, you may now apply polish. Put some polishing solution on a microfiber cloth, and start wiping the lens with the cloth.

Polish thoroughly so that it also masks out the scratches made by the sandpaper.

 This should take around 10 minutes for you to finish.

However, the murkier and cloudier your lens is, the longer you might need to polish it.

Thus, clean it as much as you see fit until you think that your lens is clear of any fog.

Also Read: 9 best headlamps for hunting

Step 4: Put on Some UV Sealant

In the process of scraping the sandpaper on your headlamp, it’s possible to scratch out the existing UV sealant.

Without the UV sealant, your headlamps will be more susceptible to fogging. Thus, you should apply a new coat of UV sealant subsequently.

What Are Other Ways to Polish Your Headlamp

If you don’t have the necessary materials for your polishing job, there are other alternative ways to do so.

You can actually try using some toothpaste as polish instead of the regular polishing solution.

After that, rinse the toothpaste away with water and you’ll see your headlamp shinier.

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However, it will be better if you sandpaper your lamps first before you polish them with toothpaste.

Another alternative to toothpaste is to use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. This solution is also an effective polish for your lenses.

Just repeat all the steps mentioned above. Instead of using a commercial solution, use this natural solution instead.

Once you’ve applied this solution, let it sit there for a while before rinsing and wiping it off.

Strangely enough, bug spray also seems to work as a good polish.

However, you might want to avoid using this method unless your bug spray is the natural kind because of possible accompanying health risks.

Lastly, there is the option to use dish soap as well.

Although not as effective as the other methods, using dish soap can be a good polish solution especially if you mix it with salt.

However, this is much more effective if the dirt on the lens is minimal.


Your headlamps are very important when you’re driving at night or during a bad weather because they can save you from potential accidents.

This is why you should take time to clean and polish them regularly so that they can shine light properly.

If you don’t know how to polish your headlamp lenses, then try the step-by-step process mentioned above.

These steps are guaranteed to make polishing easier for you. Schedule a day when you’ll polish your car headlamps so they won’t fog up in the long run.

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