Tips On Removing Old Clear-Coat From Headlights

Are you frustrated with the peeling clear coat from your headlights? Be sure that you are not alone. There are many people who are suffering from the same problem. Over time the clear coat that is painted on the headlights starts peeling, leaving behind a yellow color on the headlight lenses. The peeling off is not even, and it chips off at many places. This looks flaky and is much worse than having a few scratches.

Original headlights don’t come with clear-coat on them. But many people get it applied to protect the plastic headlight lenses that are very popular in modern cars. The clear-coat is applied to the headlights to protect it from the sun’s UV rays which can damage the lenses very fast.

The coating also protects the headlight lenses from getting damaged by stones and grit hitting it while driving. But when the clear-coat starts to peel off, it is very ugly to look and prevents the full light of your headlights hitting the road. You must get it completely removed.

Things You Need To Know

It is possible to remove the remnants of the clear-coat from your headlights. There are a few things that you will need for the process. You will need sandpaper of different grits, water, a microfiber cloth, cotton towel, plastic lens cleaner, and polishing liquid.

You must understand the with sandpaper the bigger number you have, the bigger the size of the grits. The smaller the number the paper will have much finer grits.

The sandpaper you need for the removing the clear-coat from headlights will be 600, 1000 and 2000 grit gauge. The numbers that we have mentioned are only an indication.

If you already have sandpaper with numbers close to these, you can use that too. You must start with the smaller number and then move to the bigger numbers.

The microfiber cloth, polish, and plastic lens cleaner can be of any brand as long as they are of good quality. It is better if you can get hold of polish and lens cleaner that is specifically meant for car headlights to that they don’t do much harm to your plastic lenses. You may check some headlights reviews for jeep wrangler from

You will also need masking tape to protect the paint around your headlights. It is better to get painters’ masking tape so that it doesn’t peel off the paint when you remove it.

Tips On Removing Old Clear-Coat From Headlights

Sanding The Headlight Lenses

Before you start sanding the headlight lenses ensure to mask the paint and chrome around your headlights. Cover the paint and chrome well with the masking tape very well so that you don’t accidentally sand them.

The first thing to do when you start sanding is to ensure that the sandpaper and the headlights are wet. This is to make the sandpaper soft enough to sand without causing additional scratches on the headlight. You want only the sandpaper to scratch the lenses and not other particles.

You must first start sanding with the 600-grit sandpaper. You can use a sanding block if you have one so that the sanding is even. Otherwise, you must keep your hands perfectly flat when sanding. The sanding must be done in straight lines and not in circles. You must go over the full area of the headlight lenses when sanding.

Once you have finished with the 600 number, you can move on to 1000 number sandpaper. Do the sanding the same way you did earlier. Ensure to keep the hand flat and go fully over the plastic.

Once you have finished, then you can move to the 2000 number. Repeat the process with the other headlight too. After completing the sanding move your hand over the plastic. You can see that the headlight lenses are very smooth.

Your headlights may appear cloudy once you have finished with the sanding. That only means that you have done a good job and pat yourself on the back for that. Leave the headlights to dry completely.

Polishing The Headlight Lenses

Once the headlights are completely dry, it is time for polishing them. You can start with the plastic lens polishing liquid. Use a cotton towel to polish your headlights. Go over the surface smoothly in a circular motion.

You must polish evenly for the best effect. You may have to polish the lenses many times before you can get the cloudy look off them. Once you get the lenses to become almost clear, you can move to the next step.

The final step is to use the lens cleaner and polishing liquid with the microfiber cloth. The purpose of doing the same thing with the microfiber cloth is to leave a clear polished surface. Your headlights will look like new when you have finished.

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