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Headlights

dtfd

Autocross Champion
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
MK7.5 GTI
If you want to do it yourself you can get a headlight restoration kit or just use some baking soda. Clean the headlight, apply either the paste from the kit or mix baking soda with a little water to make it into a paste. Let it sit for a minute, and then gently use a brush in circular movements. Be careful not to press too hard because you could scratch the lens, just take your time with it. The paste is mildly abrasive so it will take off the fuzziness but it wouldn't damage the lens.

I've heard toothpaste works as well but I've never seen anyone try that method. I'm guessing they're referring to standard toothpaste which is just baking soda, not the minty fresh gel crap.
 

Daks

Autocross Champion
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
GTI PP
If you want to do it yourself you can get a headlight restoration kit or just use some baking soda. Clean the headlight, apply either the paste from the kit or mix baking soda with a little water to make it into a paste. Let it sit for a minute, and then gently use a brush in circular movements. Be careful not to press too hard because you could scratch the lens, just take your time with it. The paste is mildly abrasive so it will take off the fuzziness but it wouldn't damage the lens.

I've heard toothpaste works as well but I've never seen anyone try that method. I'm guessing they're referring to standard toothpaste which is just baking soda, not the minty fresh gel crap.
And I guess the charcoal activated toothpaste is a no.
 

Maiden69

Go Kart Champion
Location
Texas
Car(s)
2020 GTI
Post a pic to see how bad they are... a mild polish will get them restored, but you will lose whatever UV protection is left on it from the factory and they will haze again but this time faster.

You will need either a polycarbonate specific coating (like lens coating from Optimum Polymers), you can also use clear (or whatever color you like) Lamin-X or another wrap, or spray them with 2k clear coat. Lamin-X or 2K clear will cover 2500-1500 sanding marks.

Baking soda, tooth paste and all the other home DIY crap don't really work. A brush is not the best thing to use either... any brush capable of removing scratches with a mild abrasive, even the expensive Detail Factory and Speed Master induce some kind of marring.

Here are 2 videos from The Rag Company on headlight restoration.


 

dtfd

Autocross Champion
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
MK7.5 GTI
The whole toothpaste idea sounds like something I would have tried when I was 16 working on my first car and I would have ended up with scratched lens. I get the theory behind it because toothpaste is just baking soda in a paste form, which is what you're aiming to make yourself. I just don't think they sell toothpaste with only baking soda in it anymore.
 

whizznbyu

New member
Location
Waxhaw, NC
Get the 3M kit. I used the one that attaches to a drill. The same company makes one where you have to manually rub the sandpaper that is velcroed to a sponge applicator. The hand held kit has a slightly higher grit of the finishing sanding compound.
 

Roald

New member
Location
Ohio
Car(s)
GTI mk 7 2017
If its your first go. Just get one of the kits. 3m, megs... Just get one that you can attach to a drill or other tool. Doing this by hand is miserable, but I Hate sanding so maybe it's not that big of a deal.
They come with everything you'll need to finish the job properly. Don't do the DIY pastes or baking sodas, they don't work and might just make the surface worse.

It takes longer to do than you think, even with a drill. When you think you have the surface fully sanded, keep going. Some folks will use a sharpie inbetween grits to make sure they've removed all the scratches from the previous grit.

Then when you're ready to re-seal make sure you get the surface super clean. Rubbing alcohol on a lint free applicator works well.




Finally Either pull the lamps, or tape around them very well. Use multiple layers of tape. If you're using a drill or power tool to do it you can burn through a single layer of tape pretty quickly.
 

Superfreak

Go Kart Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
'15 R, '05 Taco,
@Daks Did you ever get your headlights restored? I believe I have a turtle wax kit and worked perfectly for my 350z and a friend‘s a6. I‘d advise extra caution at the body panels around the headlight as it’s easy to go outside the lines when sanding. Buddy was in a hurry and sanded some of the body, so taping off is recommended.

So rewarding for me to restore headlights, I’d do it as a side hustle if I needed the money.
 

11blueGTI

Go Kart Champion
Location
Sacramento
Car(s)
2019 DVP Spektrum R
My wife’s mk6 we ended up buying new assemblies. She had them restored once but the place commented a lot of her’s was inside the housing as well which they couldn’t reach to restore.
 
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