Headlight Restoration in 30 Sec Flat!!!

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Introduction: Headlight Restoration in 30 Sec Flat!!!

I discovered this by accident as I was cleaning the fender area by the headlight for painting.
I ran a microfiber cloth, wet with lacquer thinner, across the area I was prepping for paint and I accidentally went over the old, foggy, looking like crap headlight. To my total amazement the opaque layer of the headlight came right out and was left behind was a crystal clear lense !!!
I made a quick pass over the rest of the headlight and I was astounded by the result. A second quick pass, (quick is the trick!), and the results are what you see on the photos!
I immediately did the same on the rest of my cars and 2 years later the headlights still  look this good.
I would recommend trying a small corner of your headlight before doing the whole headlight.

What seems to ensure success is:
1. Use lint free cloth,(I prefer microfiber cloth),
2. Use enough Lacquer thinner,
3. Use a light continuous motion and don't go over the surface again, until the solvent evaporates and the lense "hardens" again  
    (about 30sec).
4. Please, use proper hand protection, ie: Nitrile gloves, when using solvents of any kind. The long term effects of exposing your bare
    skin to solvents is nasty and irreversible!

Give it a try and have a great success with your project!:o)

PS: As an experiment to potentially improve on the original process, about a year ago, I applied a coat of clear lacquer varnish on an old headlight. I sprayed  the coat of varnish on the headlight immediately after I wiped the lense with the lacquer thinner, while the lense was still in the "green" state. A year later, with the headlight seating outside,exposed to the elements, there is no sign of deterioration, pealing or yellowing. I don't think this step is necessary but I add it here as an informative bit. :o)

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    2 Discussions

    What brand of Lacquer thinner did you use? Apparently there are several types:

    "Lacquer thinner is a generic name made up of many different solvents. This means that the formula for one brand of lacquer thinner may not be the same as the other. Some lacquer thinners are sold specifically for clean up while others can be solely for thinning. Using one kind of thinner for a different purpose may cause the surface of your furniture to worsen. It is therefore important to check that the product you are buying is made specifically for the purpose that you are going to use it with"

    1 more answer

    For this project I had used the Lacquer thinner you see in the photo. The brand is shown on the upper left corner of the photo. It was purchased from a hardware store and I don't think there is anything special about it.

    Over the years I have used other brands of Lacquer thinner and even Acetone, with the same great results.

    Like I say in the instructions, use it on a small area to test results on YOUR headlight.

    The key to success seems to be the speed at witch you pass the soaked cloth over the headlight. Do it fast and don't linger and don't go back and forth!