How to clean and restore headlights

Your headlights take the brunt of all the dirt and grime on the road, and they can also become clouded and yellow over time due to oxidation from the sun.

As both of these factors can affect the quality of your headlight beams and reduce your visibility at night, it’s really important to make sure your headlights remain in good condition.

Stay safe and keep your headlights shining with our step by step guide.

Start with cleaning

Giving your headlights a good clean will help to remove the worst of the dirt, and will also allow you to see if any restoration is required to get the plastic casing clear and shining again. You can do this as part of your regular car cleaning process – just make sure you give your headlights a bit of extra attention while you’re working your way around your car.

Choose a restoration product

If you find that the plastic covering on your headlights is cloudy, yellow or showing other defects then we’d recommend a product like the Meguiars One Step Headlight Restoration Kit.

The kit’s simple, easy to use and has been specifically designed to clean headlights. It effectively removes fine scratches, surface contaminants, oxidation, cloudiness and yellowing, leaving plastics brilliantly clear and polished. While it’s been designed for headlights, you can also use the kit on brake lights, plastic convertible windows, motorbike windscreens, helmet face shields and more.

Prepare your headlights

It’s a good idea to cover the area surrounding your headlights with tape, to protect it from any potential damage. Make sure you use low tack tape like masking tape or automotive painting tape to avoid marking your paintwork.

Remove defects

This step is optional, if you find that your headlights have any defects, then the Meguiars kit comes with a Stubborn Defect Removal Pack. Liberally spray your headlights with water and then carefully use the sanding pads to work those defects out. Make sure you follow the kit’s instructions at all times to prevent any accidental damage.

Apply the Plast-RX

Next, you want to attach the unique wool buffing pad to the end of your drill and apply the Meguiar's Plast-RX formula to the pad.

Buff and polish

Spread the Plast-RX formula across your headlights using the pad. Working in tandem, the pad, drill and formula will deliver amazing cleaning results in minutes.


Rinse off any residue with a damp microfibre cloth and remove the tape. Your car should now be ready to hit the road!

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