How To: Best Headlight Restoration Method – Chemical Guys Car Care


Hey guys! Today I’m going to show you how to polish headlights. Earlier I polished the driver’s side headlight using V36 and an orange cutting pad without wet sanding it. It looked pretty great! But on this side I’m going to show you the best way to get the most clarity. So I’m going to wet sand it and then I’m going to polish it. But first I’m going to tape off the area I’m going to be working on just like I did the driver’s side. So again I left the hood up just so I don’t have to tape off the lip of the hood and it’s also going to make it a lot easier for me to get to the top of the headlight. Especially when I’m wet sanding and won’t get any of those marks on the hood. So I’m going to start by taking my sanding block and a sheet of 2500 grit sand paper. It’s got an adhesive back here, it makes it stick to this face of this pad. So this sanding block has a pretty dense foam handle. It makes it easy to grip and hang onto. The pad itself is made out of a thinner foam, more flexible which is going to be easier to flex over the headlight. And then the reason you’re starting off with a 2500 grit sand paper is so that you can get off most of that dead plastic and then I’m going to go ahead refine it with the 3500 sandpaper. So first I’m going to spray the surface of the headlight with plenty of water, then I’m going to spray this block. The water acts as a lubricate. It’s also cleaning away the dead plastic. So first I’m going to start by sanding in one direction. Already I’m pulling off a lot of this dead plastic. That’s what that milky dead brown liquid is. So as I can see, the surface is nice and smooth. I’ve taken off a lot of the dead plastic. I’m going to go ahead and sand it one more time just so I can get as much clarity from these headlights as I can. So the reason why I’m going to sand it again is because the more effort and the more plastic I can get off at the beginning, the better your results are going to be at the end. So now that I finished sanding with the 2500 grit, I’m going to switch over to the 3500. These sheets are reusable. They have more than 1 one time use. You can get yourself a second block and make one dedicated to a 2500 grit and the other to a 3500 grit. But in this case I’m going to take the sheet off and replace it with the 3500 grit. So same procedure as before, I’m going to go ahead wet the surface. I’m going to start by sanding off as much of the dead plastic as I can. It’s also going to refine the fine scratches that the 2500 made and it’s going to make it a lot clearer. So now it’s time to polish these headlights. I’m going to grab my drill here. A lot of people use a rotary or even a dual-action. I chose to go with a drill just because it’s a lot easier to hold and handle around these headlights. I have my backing plate with an orange cutting pad on it. Then I’m going to apply V34 which is a mild abrasive compound. So first I’m going to spread the compound over the headlight. One thing you need to be aware of, if you;re using a drill like this, it doesn’t have a speed setting. So it’s either all or nothing. If you are using a rotary or a dual-action, where you have different speeds, just be sure to keep it moving also. But this is an extra precaution just to keep moving just so you won’t burn the plastic. Even from just the first pass with the first compound. This headlight looks a lot better than the one-step polish headlight over there. Because anything you do in steps is going to have more clarity and result. So now it’s time to put on a white pad with our V36. So same process as before, I’m going to go ahead and work this compound in until it goes clear. It’s going to take off all the scratches that the 34 and sanding marks made. It’s going to give it nice clarity and let’s get to it! So this headlight looks amazing! Like brand new! Compared to the headlight over there where it had some clarity, anything you do in steps, is going to give you a better finish. With the wet sand you can see that this headlight has a lot more clarity. So the final step is to protect these headlights to keep them from oxidation or anything like that. I’m going to go ahead and put a sealant on it. So this is JetSeal, which is 12 months of protection. It’s going to lock in all the work I’ve done here. Give it a good gloss a lot of protection. You simply spread it over the surface. I’m going to let this sit for about 15 minutes. It will haze up and I will wipe it off. Wow this headlight looks amazing. Like brand new. I’m going to go ahead and jump on that other headlight, because although, the single stage polish did work, it took off a lot of dead plastic and gave it more clarity. It’s not 100% clear like this one will be. So I’m going to go ahead, wetsand it, polish it again to get those great results.

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