How to clean and restore your 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 a good condition.

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

Step 1: 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.

Start with

Step 2: 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.

An all-in-one kit like this is 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.

Choose a restoration

Step 3: 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.

Optional step 4: Remove defects

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.

Remove defects

Step 5: 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.

Apply the

Step 6: Buff and polish

Spread the Plast-RX formula across your headlights using the pad. The specialist formula, pad material, and movement from the drill should deliver amazing cleaning results in minutes.

Buff and polish

Step 7: Rinse

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


Replacement bulbs

If you find that your headlights are clean and clear, but your beams still aren’t as strong or balanced as they should be, then it probably means that your bulbs need replacing.

In this case, all you need to do is enter your vehicle registration number online and we’ll show you appropriate options for your vehicle. We also offer a hassle-free car bulb fitting service, where one of our experienced technicians will fit the new bulbs for you while you wait. Simply choose this option during the online checkout process or pop into your local Halfords store or autocentre.

Shop all bulbs

Halfords Motoring Club

Did you know that with the Halfords Motoring Club you can save money on the likes of bulbs, wiper blades and batteries? Join the Halfords Motoring Club today to access a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.

It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.

Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.

With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!

Join the Halfords Motoring Club today at

Back to How To Guides