3 Best Headlight Lens Restorer Cleaning Kits

What Cleans Foggy Headlights?

In a minute you’re going to find out which product the data says is are the best headlight cleaning kits.

But first:

Let’s discuss 3 auto problems we’re all too familiar with that are caused by Phoenix sunlight…

First, the need to replace windshield wiper blades yearly due to dry-rot, but the UV rays don’t stop there. Second, they cook car paint and interiors. And third, they oxidize headlight and turn them foggy, which is our topic for this DIY auto tip.

In Phoenix, you can look at any car or truck a couple of years old, and you’ll see cloudy or foggy headlight lens. Your lenses are probably foggy, too! Why is this?

Most twenty-something-year-old drivers wouldn’t remember when headlights were round or rectangular bulbs. The perfect example is an old Mustang with round headlights…

Nowadays headlights are molded plastic assemblies with a small halogen bulb that clips in. Enough history for today, back to our main topic…

best headlight lens restorerWhich Are The Best Headlight Cleaning Kits?


Before we go any further let’s break this car problem down.

The solution we’re looking for needs to do 3 things:

  1. It needs to remove oxidation. Oxidation is the cloudy film that builds on the lens surface. The same thing happens with car paint, too. But car wax is another topic we’ll cover another time. It needs to clean lenses.
  2. Once the oxidation is cleaned off, the product needs to repair the headlight lens surface, so the plastic is clear again. Just sanding off the film isn’t enough. We want a ‘like new’ lens when we’re done. It needs to shine!
  3. It needs to protect the headlight lens surface from future oxidation and discoloration. Protect.

And I’ll throw in a 4th requirement…

The cleaner needs to be easy to use so anyone can follow the steps safely and clean their headlights.

Now let’s see which product is the best car headlight cleaner…

Headlight restoration kits.

After reading far too many Amazon reviews about which headlight cleaner works the best I have found 3 cleaner kits with above average reviews.

But I have a dilemma.

I only need 2 kits to compare because I only have 2 cars.


Here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to use my Amazon Prime and buy the top 2 reviewed kits. I’ll test one on my car and one on my wife’s car.

Yes, both cars have foggy headlights…

Unfortunately for the 3rd headlight restoration kit, I’m not going to be able to compare it against the other packages.

What I’ll do is post the data for the 3rd kit so you can compare it, too…

Comparing Best Headlight Lens Restorer Kits (Data current as of 6/2018)

Ready, let’s do this!

3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System

#1. Let’s start with a brand we all know and trust around the house, 3M.

3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System

The 3M kit ranks the highest, and at this writing, is in the top position on Amazon.

  • Listed as a Best Seller
  • Average 4.5 Stars
  • Sold and Shipped by Amazon
  • Eligible for Prime Shipping

3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System Product Details


3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System
5,438 Reviews
3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System
  • For use on headlights, taillights, fog, and directional lights
  • Kit contains sanding discs and polishing pad with compound
  • Saves 100s versus purchasing a new headlight
  • Improves the appearance of a car - with "like new" headlights
  • Restores cloudy and dull lenses

SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration Kit

#2. Next on the list is another brand we know, but this brand is more associated with electronics. Let’s welcome…

SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration Kit

The SYLVANIA kit comes in 2nd place…

  • Listed as a Best Seller, too!
  • Averaging 4.5 Stars
  • Sold and Shipped by Amazon
  • Eligible for Prime Shipping

This kit is not as popular as the 3M, but I guess it’s due to the difference in price.

SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration Kit Product Details

SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights With Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
4,116 Reviews
SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights With Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection
  • THE SYLVANIA STANDARD OF QUALITTY: With over 100+ years in business, Sylvania is the world leader in automotive lighting for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY: The components of this kit are good for two headlight assemblies. Once installed properly the performance of the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit is guaranteed for as long as you own your car.
  • EASY STEPS TO RESTORE LONG LASTING UV PROTECTION TO YOUR HEADLIGHTS: Step 1 - Surface Activator, Proprietary activator softens plastic, making it easire to sand smooth. Step 2 - Sand and Polish. Step 3 - Finish and seal with UV Block Clear Coat applicator.
  • RESTORES HEADLIGHT LIGHT OUTPUT: Restores original clarity and vision to sun damanged plastic headlight lenses. The lenses will be clearer, the headlight will shine brighter, and the road ahead will be better illuminated.
  • RESTORES HEADLIGHT TO A LIKE-NEW APPEARANCE & REMOVES HAZE: Headlight lenses on your vehicle can become yellow, dull, and hazy from the sun. Our Headlight Restoration Kit fully removes haze and corrosion and restores the clarity and shine you need to see downroad at night.


Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit#3 Coming in a close third on the list of best headlight cleaning kit is another brand we all know. Let’s hear it for Turtle Wax!


Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit

What would cars look like without Turtle Wax? About 20 years ago I had a red Cutlass Supreme that I used to wax all the time with Turtle Wax. When I was done, my hands and every towel in the house was red. But it got the oxidation off, and my car was shiny!

Alright already…

The headlight cleaning kit by Turtle Wax came in close for 2nd place…

  • Averaging 4 Stars
  • Sold and shipped by Amazon
  • Eligible for Prime Shipping

Don’t get mad at me. I’m only telling you what the data says.

Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit Product Details

Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit
2,544 Reviews
Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit
  • Kit includes: 3 restoration pads of various grits from 2400 to 8000 grit, Spray Lubricant (4 oz.), Lens Clarifying Compound (4 oz.) and Lens Sealing Wipe (4"x4")
  • Can be used on all lenses, plexiglass and plastic surfaces
  • Restores dull, yellowed headlights to like new condition in less than 5 minutes per lens
  • Lens Clarifying Compound quickly removes surface discoloration and may be all that is needed to restore clarity
  • 3 multi-stage wet restoration pads focus on deeper discoloration and scratches to restore the lens to like new condition

Watch this video on how to clean headlights…

Transcript - Headlight Restoration Kit
So you’ve got headlights that are scratched and faded kind of milky looking rather than clear not good you know why it’s happening UV rays they’re the number one reason your headlights can become a dangerous problem for you and everyone else on the road and this is how to fix it Sylvania is headlight restoration kit will do more than remove thousands of miles of wear and tear and years of UV damage it will actually restore your headlights to like-new condition before we get started a couple of tips don’t try to restore your headlights if it’s below freezing outside make sure the headlights have been washed and dried also be sure you have some clean water available either a bucket spray bottle or a hose will work fine oh and you’ll probably want to have a pair of scissors and some paper towels or a clean cloth handy tool the kit has everything you need the first thing to do is to tape off the areas around the headlight you’ll make your life a whole lot easier if you open up the hood first all right the taping is done just for protection in case you stray too far with the sanding I usually like to use one for the top one piece for the bottom and one piece for each side good to go after making sure the headlight is completely dry you take the surface activator and you spray it over the entire headlights this will remove the yellow cloudy stains and soften the original hard coat give the surface activator 30 seconds or so to work and then just rinse it off now you’re ready to start smoothing out the scratched and fade of the headlight with the three different types of sandpaper first with the 400 grit which want to do is you want to wet both the sandpaper and rhe wet the headlight because this is a wet sanding process you want to sand the entire headlight not too hard nice and smooth in circular motions in some spots like the corners might need a back-and-forth motion and as you Sam the water starts to get cloudy when you think you’re done just run your fingers all across the headlight looking for rough spots and if you find one just hit them again then you dry the lens just make sure you have a uniform white hazy appearance there piece of cake next we rents and move on to the thousand grit sandpaper we’re refining the surface here making it steadily smoother getting it back to like new condition you can use even more pressure now do this for two to five minutes and then rinse again and then with firm pressure we’ll give it a final sanding with the 2,000 grit paper again two to five minutes and then rinse again now the sanding process is complete and you have got a really smooth headlight we are going to make it even smoother with the clarifying compound which is a very fine polish put about a quarter sized dollop on one of the white towels you got to rewetting and apply it you can apply the compound just like you would car wax over the entire headlight using a firm pressure then when you’re ready just rinse dry the headlight and again it should be uniformly white and hazy by this point you’ve done 90% of the work but the best part is yet to go next we’re going to repeat step 1 the surface activator spray it over the entire headlights and wait 30 seconds then rinse it off completely and remove the tape next with the other way towel supply in the kit make sure everything is bone-dry even the crevices around the headlight then we’re on to step 3 the UV clear coat the real magic I’m wearing the vinyl glove they give to protect my hand they also give you a blue lint-free cloth to use as an applicator you apply the UV clear coat onto the folded edge and with the folded edge completely with the UV clear coat it’ll work just like a paintbrush then wipe it on with smooth strokes from one side to another working in top to bottom remember that old head lay before we started well watch as we apply the clear coat and your new headlight comes into view overlap your strokes slightly stopping for a few seconds to keep the towel wet with a clear coat is okay coat the headlight completely and don’t repeat it’s done oh if you happen to miss a spot just go back and gently touch it up but do it immediately look at this before and after comparison amazing one last tip let the clear coat dry an hour before touching it it may take 4 to 6 hours to fully cure so try to avoid driving for a few hours and that’s all there is to it so get your car in the shade and get started and if you like the way it works on your headlights it’ll work just as well on your brake lights or your motor motorcycle windshield just about any plastic or acrylic surface looks like it’s seen better days.


Which Headlight Cleaning Kit Will be the Best?

As I said in the beginning, I’ll go with the data because I need some heavy duty headlight restoration…

So it looks like I’ll be comparing the 3M vs. the SYLVANIA headlight cleaner kits to see which is the best foggy headlight fix.

It’ll be a week or so before I post the update from my test results so stay tuned.

You don’t need to wait for me.

Go ahead and order one of the headlight lens cleaning kits online via one of the links I provided (save the trip and frustration of standing in line).

Or drive on over to Walmart, Autozone or Pepboys and see what kits are available near you.

My guess is they’ll all have similar foggy headlight cleaners and as long as the solution does what we agreed:

Cleans, polishes and protects, we’re all good.

I wish there were something the car manufactures would do to improve the headlight lens so we wouldn’t have to hassle with cleaning oxidation off plastic headlight lenses. Although, I’m sure Lexus and Mercedes Benz don’t have this problem? Hmm…

I’ll have to inspect the next luxury car I see in the parking lot at work to see if pricier cars have a glass or plastic headlight lenses. Hopefully, the security guard doesn’t think I’m breaking into the car and arrest me!

I can hear myself telling the guard, Nah, I’m good. I’m just checking to see if the lens is plastic or glass…

DIY Tip:

That does it for this DIY Gotcha Garage Tip. Please feel free to share your comments and feedback below, and share this tip with someone on social networks…

Don’t go another day with foggy headlight lenses now that you know how to clean them!

* Last updated on 2019-02-21 at 02:18.