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Old 10-20-2011, 04:02 PM   #1
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Headlight lenses restoration

The clear headlight lenses on a couple of our cars have been slowly degrading and turning yellowish, almost to the point you think one light must be out due to the deminished birghtness. I've noticed offers around town to restore the lenses from $79.00 to $125.00. My brother told me to use toothpaste with whitening on them. Just now gave it a try on my sons car, none of my own cars are around due to the other sons borrowing them. Gotta tell you guys, it worked amazingly. After wetting a rag and squeezing about an 1 1/2" of toothpaste on the rag then rubbed the lenses for about a minute each, rinsed with a hose and wow, the lenses look almost new. Don't know how long they will last this way but they sure look 1000 times better than they were. Now I just need to get my own cars back from the other boys to do my own lenses.

Of course, I'm probably the last one to know this little secret.

Stacey
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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At $3 a tube, not a bad deal. I have done my headlights on a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I have wet sanded, buffed & had my daughters exboy friend do them professionally. All on the same vehicle. I have found nothing that lasts more than a few months. So if you can do them with toothpaste, you are far ahead of the game. I'll have to try that the next time. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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I too used toothpaste and it works great!
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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Good info for my, saved for future use, file . Thanks
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
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I accidentally spilled some DOT 3 brake fluid on my sons lens when topping it off and when I wiped it off it was clear again. Did both headlight lens and rears. Looks great!
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I accidentally spilled some DOT 3 brake fluid on my sons lens when topping it off and when I wiped it off it was clear again. Did both headlight lens and rears. Looks great!
I hate to be a wet blanket, but if the headlight lenses are polycarbonate (most are), you will likely be seeing crazing within a short period of time.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:48 PM   #7
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Any polishing compound will do the job, and as you say, toothpaste is cheaper than most. The brake fluid just filled in the minute cracks and deterioration. when it washes out or finally evaporates you'll still have the problem. Just keep polishing. I'd like to hear from someone who polished them out and applied something to them to protect them like 404, paste wax, silicon spray??? Anybody?

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Old 10-20-2011, 05:58 PM   #8
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You can buy complete, new headlight assemblies on ebay motors for $60-$70, for the pair. If for a car, you know what to look for, in the case of a MH, you need to determine what car headlights were used. Now, some will say these are cheap, imitations, maybe true, but a lot better than a lens restore that will not last very long. In some cases, they are the same as the original manufacturer used.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:21 PM   #9
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The toothpaste idea has other applications---if any furniture has those white rings from a heated coffee cup---you can buff it out w/toothpaste. It is basically a rubbing compound---and of course the side benefit is---headlight lenses w/o cavaties.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I hate to be a wet blanket, but if the headlight lenses are polycarbonate (most are), you will likely be seeing crazing within a short period of time.
Not a wet blanket at all, they did start to haze over about 3 months after, but I just redid the DOT 3 rub and they are back to new. It's an older stratus so not worried if I need to keep doing it every couple months. Cheaper than new lens.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:35 PM   #11
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For me, it is not a big deal to repolish the lenses every few months. I would think one tube of toothpaste would last the life of a car.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
Any polishing compound will do the job, and as you say, toothpaste is cheaper than most. The brake fluid just filled in the minute cracks and deterioration. when it washes out or finally evaporates you'll still have the problem. Just keep polishing. I'd like to hear from someone who polished them out and applied something to them to protect them like 404, paste wax, silicon spray??? Anybody?

Pigman
Be careful what you put on plastic headlight lenses. The plastic material is probably polycarbonate, which does not like most solvents and petroleum products. Solvents are used as carriers for many lubricants, and exposure to most solvents will cause polycarbonate to craze and even crack and fall apart completely.

That being said, 303 or paste wax would probably be OK.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:46 AM   #13
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Check this out.....

Turtle Wax
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