Over time, your car's plastic headlights can get hazy. It doesn't matter how much you clean your car, they will eventually become hazy. No you don't have to invest in new headlights or try to take them out to scrub them clean. You can keep your headlights intact and restore them to look like new again, which will also make driving safer. Follow the instructions below to get your headlights clear.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Dish detergent
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Painter's tape
  • Sanding block
  • Sandpaper (500 grit dry and 1,000 grit wet)
  • Garden hose


  1. Begin by washing your headlights with a few drops of dish detergent mixed with warm water and a clean rag. Rinse the headlights with a garden hose and wipe them dry with another cloth.
  2. Next, use the painter's tape and apply it around the surrounding areas around the headlight. You can trim away any tape touching the headlight using a razor blade.
  3. Take the 500 grit dry sandpaper and wrap it around the sanding block (or even a sponge). This helps cushion the sandpaper and allows you to apply even pressure so you don't leave gouges on the headlights. Begin sanding the headlights one at a time moving the sandpaper back and forth in straight lines. Sand it until the headlight feels smooth and even all the way across. Repeat on the other headlight.
  4. When your headlight is even and smooth, you can wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth. Inspect the headlights to be sure you reached the edges as well. Use water to clean off any sanding dust from the headlight.
  5. Next, fill a gallon bucket with water and add a few drops of dish detergent. Place a couple of 1,000 grit sandpaper sheets into the bucket. Using the spray bottle, add some of the mixture to the bottle and spray down one of your headlights. Retrieving one of the pieces of 1,000 grit sandpaper, wrap it around the sanding block (or sponge), and begin sanding the headlight. For this step, you need to be sure the headlight stays wet, so keep the spray bottle nearby and spray it often.
  6. Continue sanding the headlight in back and forth motions until the headlight is smooth again. Rinse it with water and inspect the headlight again to be sure the headlight was sanded evenly. If you see any rough spots, repeat the last step. 
  7. When you are satisfied with your headlights and they look clear, you can add some headlight polish. Polish the headlight with a microfiber cloth until smooth.
  8. Rinse the polish off with the water and detergent solution, and then rinse with the hose. Allow the headlight to dry completely. 
  9. Finally, use rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth. Polish your headlight and allow it to dry. Your headlight should be clear, shiny and look like new again.

Although it does take some work to get your headlights clear again, it's worth it. Hazy headlights aren't just unsightly on your car, they can also be dangerous, as they can make it difficult to see when night driving. If you're a little leery about doing this work yourself, take your car to a professional auto detailing shop, such as Deluxe Detail & Window Tint, to have the work done for you.