Best Headlight Restoration Kit: Refresh And Revive Your Cloudy Headlights

Make your view clear again with these headlight restoration kits.

byLisa Conant|
Best Headlight Restoration Kit: Refresh And Revive Your Cloudy Headlights
Corey Foster

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BYLisa Conant/ LAST UPDATED ON May 12, 2023

Few things make your vehicle look old and worn than cloudy, UV-damaged headlights. Not only that, but cloudy headlights limit the reach of your car's headlamps and can hinder your ability to see far enough in front of you at night safely. That's why it's essential to keep your headlights looking fresh and clear.

If you've got damaged headlights and buying a set of brand new replacement headlights isn't in your wheelhouse right now, consider purchasing a headlight restoration kit. While it's not nearly as fun as buying a new car, it will drastically improve the look and function of your headlights without having you go into a five-year payment plan.

We've put together this handy product review and in-depth buying guide to help you weed through the plethora of headlight restoration kits on the market so that you can be sure to get one that will deliver great results.

Best Overall
Rain-X Premium Headlight Restoration Kit

Rain-X Premium Headlight Restoration Kit

A complete all-around kit that will restore clarity and shine to your headlights with long-lasting results.
  • Includes rugged sanding and polishing pads that won’t dull too quickly
  • Comes with an adapter to use with a drill to sand and polish
  • Includes a chemical sealant and protectant
  • Need to be extra careful to apply sanding and polishing pads evenly for a uniform appearance
Best Value

Turtle Wax Speed Headlight Lens Restorer Kit

A great budget-friendly kit that’s ideal for minor to moderate headlight damage and cloudiness.
  • Kit includes a sturdy polishing pad, proprietary renew and restore compound, and two ceramic acrylic sealant wipes
  • Can be used on all headlights.
  • Super affordable
  • Sealant doesn’t last as long as some other products
  • Hand sanding can be difficult without the aid of a drill
Honorable Mention

Meguiar’s Two Step Headlight Restoration Kit

A high-quality product from a name you can trust in an easy-to-use two-step kit. Perfect for quick restores on minimally damaged headlights.
  • A proprietary formula that prevents re-oxidation for up to a year
  • Easy to apply by hand; no tools needed
  • Great shelf-life allows for lots of re-use
  • Doesn’t come with an abrasive, making it better suited to fixing minor headlight clarity problems

Summary List

Our Methodology

We selected these fine headlight restoration kits based on their price, ease-of-use, reviews, features, and effectiveness. Whichever had the best of all five simply won. They're all popular, name-brand products, too, so it was especially tough figuring out which was crowned the undisputed champion. You can't really go wrong between any of them, it's just that some cost more than others, some require you buy extra products to do an effective job (such as not including abrasives), and some aren't as easy to use as others. But that's why we're here: To help guide you in purchasing the best for your own scenario!

Best Headlight Restoration Kits Reviews & Recommendations

When it comes to a combination of reliability, great results, and great value, our top pick is the Rain-X Premium Headlight Restoration Kit. This kit relies on a dual chemical and mechanical solution to restore your car’s headlights to almost new clarity and shine.


  • Product Number: 610153
  • Include Abrasive?: Yes
  • Hand or Drill Use?: Both


All-in-one kit

Long-lasting protective sealant to coat your headlight

Easy to apply with quick results


Directions don't include that it's necessary to use even pressure while sanding

The Turtle Wax Speed Headlight Lens Restorer Kit is a great budget-friendly option for headlights with minor to moderate discoloration and scratching. It’s a four-step solution that will reveal results in minutes with just a little bit of elbow grease. This kit is designed to work manually, without the need for a drill or power tool. According to The Drive's own Corey Foster, Director of Commerce Account Management, "The Speed Headlight Restorer Kit from Turtle Wax means you can stop messing around with toothpaste, baking soda, vinegar, sandpaper... and whatever other DIY amalgam some forum thread told you to rub on your yellowed and fogged headlights. Just spend $10 and about 15 minutes to restore and protect your aging headlights the right way. The Turtle Wax Speed Headlight Restorer Kit comes with a bottle of repair solution, a two-sided spongy sanding pad, and two ceramic acrylic wipes - enough to renew two sets of headlight lenses. The instructions are easy and only require following basic steps and applying some physical effort. The results are nothing short of stunning."


  • Product Number: 51768
  • Include Abrasive?: Yes
  • Hand or Drill Use?: Hand


Among the least expensive kits on the market

All-in-one kit



Results can take a while to show up as chemicals must cure

This kit makes restoring old, oxidized, and yellowing lights surprisingly easy, protecting them at the same time to keep them clear. One of the easiest systems on the market, this product restores headlight clarity without sanding. A quick cleaning with the included formula followed by the restoring liquid improves headlight clarity almost immediately.


  • Product Number: G2970
  • Include Abrasive?: No
  • Hand or Drill Use?: Both


No sanding required

Good shelf life

Simplest application


On the expensive side

Not an all-in-one kit

If you have severe discoloration and haze on your headlights, consider the 3M Auto Advanced Headlight Restoration System. Its drill-activated sanding sheets are the key to getting maximum clarity and brightness.


  • Product Number: 39008
  • Include abrasive?: Yes
  • Hand or Drill Application?: Drill


Almost-comprehensive kit

Includes masking tape

Includes plenty of sanding discs


Requires using a drill

No longterm protection, anti-UV solution included

This renewal kit promises to clarify, protect, and maintain the clear look of your headlights. It will remove surface scratches and oxidation. The kit includes a 3-inch backing plate, polishing tool, restoration disks, and 8 ounces of polish. The process requires two steps. First, you place the polish on the center of the PowerBall, then you buff and clean.


  • Product Number: 07251
  • Include Abrasive?: Yes
  • Hand or Drill Application?: Drill


All-in-one comprehensive system

Two-step, easy process


Requires a drill

Our Verdict on Best Headlight Restoration Kits

Now that you know what constitutes a high-quality and reliable headlight restoration kit, it’s easy to see why we chose the Rain-X Premium Headlight Restoration Kit as our top pick. It’s an excellent combination of reliability, results, and value. It’s easy to apply and delivers quick and dramatic results.

For a quick, budget-friendly option, consider the Turtle Wax Lens Restorer Kit. It doesn’t require any power tools to apply and is suitable for minor to moderate discoloration and damage.


You've got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What are some key features of headlight restoration kits?

A. Single vs. multi-step products. Headlight restoration kits vary a lot—some are one step only, while others include two or even three steps. One-step kits typically consist of a cleaning solution only. While these do work to some degree, they’re really only meant for minor restorations. Two- and three-step kits contain an abrasive as well, which makes a huge difference in the quality and longevity of your results.

Tools vs. no tools needed. Some kits will include everything you need, while others require you to have a drill or sander on-hand. If you want stellar results, using a power tool can make a difference, but lots of kits out there work really well even without this additional step. What you select is really up to you—just keep in mind that the more damaged the headlight, the more restoration it needs, which is where tools do come in handy.

Q: Why should I consider restoring my headlight lenses?

A. Safety first. You’re eliminating a potential safety hazard by restoring your headlights to optimal clarity. Cloudy or yellowed headlights often greatly reduce the amount of light able to shine through the lens, leaving you with poor visibility. Don’t ignore your headlights when they look like they need a touch-up.

It's a money saver. Headlights, like most major parts of a car, are pretty expensive. By keeping yours in great condition with routine maintenance, you’re less likely to have to buy a replacement set, saving you lots in the process.

Resale value. If you think you might want to sell your car at some point in the future, properly maintaining it can make all the difference in its value. Yellow, spotty lights aren’t exactly a feature people look for when purchasing a used car, so do yours a service and keep the headlights squeaky clean.

Aesthetics. Even if your headlights aren’t cloudy enough to reduce light emission, they still make a difference in terms of the overall look of your car. By keeping your headlights in great shape, you’re ensuring that your otherwise spotless car always looks its best.

DIY repair. A lens restoration kit lets you take matters into your own hands by giving you the tools to repair your lights without needing a professional. That saves you time and money in the long run, plus it’s super convenient.

Q: What are some tips for restoring my headlights?

A. Make sure to cover the edges of the headlight with masking tape to avoid damaging the paint job. This will also make for crisp lines in your headlights and a worry-free work area.

Use varying grades of sandpaper to get the best results when resurfacing your headlights. Move from coarse to fine as you work your way down, and make sure to work in back and forth strokes if sanding by hand.

It’s important to completely remove any yellowing before moving on to the next restoration phase. This will ensure a clear and even end result that lasts for many months.

Remember to apply a UV sealant, whether it comes with your kit or not, as resurfacing headlights removes the factory protective coating. UV protection is one of the best defenses against future oxidation.

Lens covers are a useful added precaution to keep your lights looking like new. They’re especially useful if you park your car outside in harsh sunlight, mitigating any potential elemental damage.

Q: Will resurfacing the headlights improve night visibility?

A. The number one reason to resurface your headlights is to improve night visibility and, thus, overall safety. Scratches and yellow haze drastically diminish the ability of your headlights to reach far into the night to see objects safely. The fact that your headlights will look new again after using a headlight restoration kit is just a bonus.

Q: What causes headlights to get cloudy or yellow?

A. Several environmental factors can cause your headlights to develop a haze or cloudy appearance over time. These include prolonged UV exposure, exposure to salty sea air, dirt and debris from driving or living in a dusty or desert climate, and high humidity, among other things. It’s just a natural side effect of driving an aging vehicle.

Q: What should I expect to pay for a headlight restoration kit?

A. Under $10: You’ll find a number of budget kits at this price point. Most of them will deliver decent results, but it really depends on the brand and the overall quality of the product. If you’re looking for great results, we suggest investing a little bit more.

$10-$30: Here, you’ll find several great options. Most will work well and deliver lasting results, but again, everything depends on the brand, with the more well-known ranking better than off-brands.

$30 and up: You’ll get the best of the best in this price range. Products priced here will deliver stellar results for all cars. We suggest making this investment if you have a more expensive car, as the overall results will be much better.

Q: Can my car fail an inspection because of yellow or cloudy headlights?

A. It’s unlikely that your vehicle would fail a safety inspection because of cloudy headlights unless they were exceptionally severe and posed an obvious safety hazard. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry and be proactive in restoring your headlights before they get to that point. 

Q: How often should I restore my headlights?

A. Headlight restoration is a car maintenance project that is easier, faster, and more economical to do regularly. Unless you have very severe exposure to harsh elements, a yearly restoration of headlights should be more than sufficient to keep them clear and looking new.

Q: Is a DIY headlight restoration kit as good as letting a professional restore them?

A. That depends on a couple of factors, including the quality of the kit you’re using, how closely you’re following the instructions, and how yellow or cloudy your headlights are to begin with. In most cases, a DIY session will rival a professional restoration job, but the results might not last quite as long.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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