SEM Blog Back

How to Professionally Restore Headlight Lenses

Body shops, mobile technicians, and detailers agree that headlight output is critical to safe driving at night. Restoring a car’s headlight lens increases light output, which improves safety, and enhances clarity for an attractive appearance.

Solution - Look for products that provide longevity and replace the OE coating, such as Solaray Clearcoat, which uses the same raw materials as the factory for headlight protection.

Don’t be fooled – some products claim to restore headlights but only polish the lens. Polishing doesn’t restore the protective coating, which leaves headlight lenses prone to yellowing at a faster rate and breaking. Popular wipe-on products only provide a temporary fix by saturating the headlight plastic with chemicals. Once this has occurred, the plastic is unable to accept other coatings, so headlight replacement will be the only option the next time yellowing occurs.


Follow the instructions below to make any vehicle’s headlight lens look and perform its best.


  1. Wash surface with SEM Soap and a gray scuff pad. Rinse with water and dry or remove with a clean, damp cloth.
  2. Clean with Plastic & Leather Prep or Zero VOC Surface Cleaner.
  3. Sand the surface with 400 grit paper to remove the factory coating. Removing the factory coating is critical for proper adhesion and optimal clarity results.
  4. Sand further using increasingly finer grit sandpaper, finishing with 1500 grit or finer.
    Example: P400 – P800 – P1500.
  5. Re-clean with Plastic & Leather Prep or Zero VOC Surface Cleaner and wipe dry.


  1. Mask off areas to protect from overspray.
  2. Shake Solaray™ UV Clearcoat well.
  3. Spray 2 medium coats of Solaray UV Clearcoat allowing 2-3 minute flash time between coats. Allow final coat to flash 5 minutes before exposing to UV light source.
  4. Cure for 2-3 minutes using Solaray™ UV Curing Lamp at a distance of 2-3 inches from the surface, or other comparable UV light source.

Note: Required film build of Solaray UV Clearcoat is much less than typical clearcoats. Cure time will vary depending on lamp energy output and footprint.

For more detailed information, such as the Technical or Safety Data sheets, refer to the Solaray Clearcoat product page.

Recent Posts

Stay Up To Date

Sign up to hear about our new products and current promotions.