The Best Headlight Restoration Kits

We test and rate the top five headlight restorers and let you know which will deliver the best shine.

Close-Up Of Illuminated Car Headlight
Getty ImagesSarang Gupta / EyeEm

If you have an old car with plenty of miles, chances are good your headlights might be a bit hazy or even yellowed over. It’s time to do something about it, and not just for appearance’s sake. That haze is limiting the amount of light beaming out, making your car less safe to drive at night.

Walk into your nearest auto parts store, though, and you might be overwhelmed by the choices. So we tested five headlight restorers to see which might be the right solution for your ride. We used every headlight restorer on headlights that were visibly hazy or yellowish, and followed the directions provided exactly the way they were written.

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Best Overall: Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit
Amazon
amazon.com $19.99

This kit left the test headlight clearer and newer-looking than any of the others. Be warned: It was also the most time-consuming process of all.

All you need is a clean towel and a hose for this one, everything else is provided in the box for you. The tested light showed a massive improvement over the cloudiness from the beginning, with the only downside being a long four-plus hour waiting period for the UV protection to take effect. Sylvania offers a lifetime warranty claiming that your lights will stay clear for the life of the car with its kit

Easiest To Use: Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kit
Amazon
amazon.com $11.24

Rain-X was a breeze. Directions were clearly printed and included graphic instructions. The kit did a decent job of clearing up the test headlight, but didn’t impress as much as the Sylvania.

 The sanding squares are easier to grip than traditional sand paper too. You’re getting a good product for a low price here, but you can do better.

Best Value: Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer Kit
Amazon
amazon.com $7.29

We used this one and the Rain-X kit back-to-back, and the process was almost the same. The difference here is that Turtle Wax doesn’t include a small microfiber towel like the Rain-X kit did. But it’s also less expensive, so if you have a towel at home, then you might as well save yourself a few bucks and get this guy instead. The results were almost identical those from the Rain-X.

Least Elbow Grease: Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit
Amazon
Mothers amazon.com $19.93

The Mother’s headlight restorer is the only one that required us to use attachments for a drill. While the process requires a lot less elbow grease, it didn’t actually leave our headlight in any better condition than the others. You’re paying for the heavy-duty attachments in this kit, and if that’s the kind of thing you’re into, then it might be worth the splurge. If you’re confident using a drill, this is the easiest kit for getting solid results, even if those results didn’t quite match the top performer.

Budget Pick: Blue Magic Headlight Lens Restorer
Amazon
Blue Magic amazon.com $5.99

Sure, the Blue Magic lens restorer is cheaper than all the other kits on this list, but it also performs worse. If you were to wet sand the lenses like all the other kits had us do, then it would probably be just as good. However, we only tested the products exactly as they came to us. It certainly beats everything else on price, but for only a few dollars extra you can have a lot more than this bottle of liquid offers. Regardless, it did improve the appearance of the lens after working it in for a while. Consider this option if your headlights aren’t in terrible condition.

The Old Standby: Toothpaste
Amazon
amazon.com $5.71

Toothpaste is an old handyman’s trick for cleaning up those headlamps without purchasing a specialty kit. You won’t end up using more than a small tube’s worth, and you will see some results. But we spent an awful lot of time scrubbing and didn’t come anywhere close to the results the proper kits offered. There were minor improvements, but haze remained after the toothpaste was buffed off.

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