Buyers Guide & Information

Best Clear Coats For Headlights Reviewed

We have reviewed & compared the best clear coats for headlights. Restore the lights of your vehicle with these top-rated brands suitable for all cars.

Car headlights are an essential aspect of automotive lighting. To maintain optimal visibility, it's critical to place importance on regular headlight maintenance.

One way to maintain your headlights is to use the best clear coat for headlights. If you aren't sure which product to choose, you will enjoy our best clear coat for headlight restoration comparison.

Preview

Product

Application Method

Inclusions

Check Price

Spraymax 3680061 2K Clear

Spraymax

3680061

Method Spray on

Spraymax Spray bottle

SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration UV Block...

SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration

Wipe on

1 oz. UV Blocking Clear Coat
1 oz. Surface Activator
1 blue lint-free UV Clear Coat applicator cloth
Instructions

3M Quick Headlight Clear Coat, 39173

3M Quick

Wipe on

Masking tape
Light sanding discs
Wax protectant
Instructions

Meguiar's G17804 Keep Clear Headlight...

Meguiar's G17804

Keep Clear

Spray on

Spray Only

Rust-Oleum HDLCAL Wipe New Headlight Restore,...

Rust-Oleum

HDLCAL Wipe New

Wipe on

Wipe-It packet
Headlight polishing pad
Microfiber cloth
Pair of gloves

MEGUIAR'S Headlight Restore 2step

Meguiar's Headlight Restore 2step

Wipe on

4-ounce bottle of Cleaning Solution
4-ounce canister of Headlight Coating
2 cleaning pads
Instructions

CERAKOTE Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit...

CERAKOTE

Ceramic

Wipe on

Oxidation Remover
Surface prep pad
Cerakote's pre-moistened Ceramic Headlight Restoration Wipes
Instructions

Clear Coats: A Better Alternative to Replacing Headlights

By using the best clear coat for plastic headlights, you ensure more years of service out of the lighting assembly. The UV clear coat for headlights keeps the plastic from fogging or yellowing over time. Once this occurs, it becomes more difficult to see and can be challenging to reverse.

In fact, you might need new headlight lenses, which can cost far more than simply protecting them in the first place. For a small price, you ensure a longer service life of the headlights and improve visibility.


Choosing a Quality Clear Coat for Headlights

Quality of Product

Evaluate the ingredients when deciding what clear coat for headlights. Some ingredients are going to be more effective than others, but the chemicals might also be dangerous. Furthermore, you can read through the customer reviews to see what's rated as the best clear coat for a headlight.

Application Method

How do you want to apply the headlight clear coat? Are you interested in using a spray-on formula, or would it be easier to wipe it on? If you choose a spray-on protectant, make sure the nozzle is simple to use and durable. Additionally, the wipe-on product should come with a towel or cloth to apply the formula. Otherwise, you will need to purchase one.

UV Protection

One of the top reasons your headlights begin to distort is the UV rays beating on the car every day. That's why you want a headlight restoration UV clear coat that provides the protection to keep your lights working at optimal levels. The best clear coat for the headlight lens will have UV protection, so you don't have to worry.

Quantity

If you purchase a clear coat spray for car headlights, you want to know how long it will last. After all, the cheap protectant might look like a good option, but if you can't use it multiple times or it won't cover both headlights, it might not really be a value. Determine how much you need for your vehicle and ensure you purchase enough.

Ease of Application

The best clear coat spray paint for headlights often includes a drill application. By attaching the buffer to your drill, you can complete the process much faster than if you were to buff the headlights by hand. However, not everyone has access to a drill, which would make this method unusable by some.

Price

While you might desire Duplicolor clear coat for headlights at a rock bottom price, you want to be careful what you purchase. Evaluate the brand, ensure you have enough for a full application, and look at customer reviews to ensure that you get the best value for your money.


7 Best Clear Coats for Headlight Protection Reviewed

1. Spraymax 3680061

Best Clear Coat Spray for Headlights

Method of Application

Spray on

What's Included

Spraymax Spray bottle

Above all, this is the best 2k clear coat for headlights. Spraymax makes a formula that contains two effective components and delivers the protection through an aerosol clear coat. You should have no trouble applying the coating to your headlights with the simple to use spray container. It is designed to flow through the nozzle smoothly and lasts longer than other products. Plus, you will be impressed with the high gloss finish provided by this 2k urethane clear coat.

To use the spray, you simply activate it, shake it and spray. Once it is dry, it provides a high gloss finish that helps your headlights stand out. Plus, the Spraymax offers superior chemical and weather resistance for maximum protection. You can use this over any basecoats, making it the best clear coat spray for headlights.

This automotive clear coat comes with exceptional customer reviews. Most people praise the easy application and durable protection. However, there are some comments about the flimsy design of the can itself. It appears that the container can become easily damaged, which might cause the contents to leak out. If you still want to use the spray, be careful when moving the container and store it effectively.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Easy to apply
  • Chemical and weather-resistant
  • Effective 2k urethane clearcoat

Cons

  • Flimsy bottle construction

2. SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration

Best UV Clear Coat for Headlights

Method of Application

Wipe on

What's Included

1 oz. UV Blocking Clear Coat

1 oz. Surface Activator

1 blue lint-free UV Clear Coat applicator cloth

Instructions

Sylvania is a leader in headlights, so the company knows how to restore the lenses as well. In this kit, you receive a specially-formulated UV blocker that seals your headlights once they are restored. In the end, you are left with lenses that remain clearer for longer. It's also a simple product to use if you want to provide an effective UV-resistant barrier and ward off yellowing or hazing headlights.

This kit comes with the UV blocking clear coat, surface activator, instructions, and a blue line-free UV clear coat applicator. However, the company also offers a Complete Kit if you want to take the restoration further. With the reputation of Sylvania behind this product, you know that you are getting a high-quality restoration kit. Just look at the exceptional reviews.

This manufacturer also offers a limited lifetime warranty, which is unheard of in the industry. However, you will be required to reapply the kit every three months in order to file a claim. If you aren't interested in having to apply a clear coat so often, you might look for something that lasts a little longer instead. If you plan to clean and restore your headlights that often anyway, then this is the product to use.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Complete kit
  • UV-resistant barrier
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Requires frequent application

3. 3M Quick

Best 3M Clear Coat for Headlights

Method of Application

Wipe on

What's Included

Masking tape

Light sanding discs

Wax protectant

Instructions

Are you hoping for a quick solution that doesn't require a lot of work? You can trust this 3M headlight clear coat kit instead. It is for use on all plastic lenses, so feel free to apply it to your fog lights, taillights, and directional lights. 3M has been known as a manufacturer that produces some of the highest-quality automotive products, and this headlight restoration kit is no different.

With the special abrasive technology, you can quickly remove any buildup and yellowing without causing any damage to the headlight lens. Plus, you don't need any tools to use this kit. When you factor in the cost of this kit, you see that it's possible to save a lot of money versus replacing your headlight lenses. Because this kit includes wipes, you can finish the job in just minutes.

In fact, to apply the clear coat to your headlights, you want to use the included disc to clean off the surface. Then, wipe the coating onto the headlights and allow it to dry. Once it is dry, you get a UV-resistant coating that lasts longer than some other products. On the downside, if you don't follow the instructions carefully, the overall finish could be less than expected.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Easy to use
  • Special abrasive technology
  • Use on all lighting lenses

Cons

  • May not apply correctly

4. Meguiar's G17804 Keep Clear

Popular Product

Method of Application

Spray on

What's Included

Spray Only

Over the past few years, Meguiar's car care products have gained a lot more popularity. If you want headlight restoration, it only makes sense to trust this manufacturer as well. Whether you have new or restored headlights, this spray can help you maintain the clarity needed to see down the road. Inside the bottle is a proprietary headlight coating that offers durable UV protection.

Overall, the aerosol spray is one of the easiest to apply. You don't need any special equipment to ensure your headlights remain clear. Once the spray is completely dried, you will also get superior UV protection. What makes this formula different than some others is the reapplication time. The company recommends using it once a year, which is far longer than most.

In addition to this, you don't have to pay a lot for this product. It's on the lower-priced end of the spectrum, allowing you to spend money on other car accessories. The only time you won't want to use this clear coat is if you are already using a complete restoration kit. In those cases, you will be applying the protective spray twice, causing a dull, blurry finish on the headlights instead.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Low cost
  • Simple application
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Can't be used with restoration kits

5. Rust-Oleum HDLCAL Wipe New

Best Rust-Oleum Clear Coat for Headlight Restoration

Method of Application

Wipe on

What's Included

Wipe-It packet

Headlight polishing pad

Microfiber cloth

 Pair of gloves

Everyone knows the Rust-Oleum name, but did you know that there is a Rustoleum clear coat for headlights? This simple to use kit comes with everything needed to restore your headlights to their original luster. It includes wet sand and polish to restore dull or cloudy lenses. The nano-polymer formula effectively removes any oxidation from the lenses and provides plenty of future protection.

Not only is the application quick, but it dries in just an hour. However, the company does recommend waiting 24 hours until you expose the headlights to any moisture. With this in mind, you won't want to take the vehicle through the car wash for at least a day. However, with the right care, the protectant can last for years after application. In total, the company rates it for protection over 100 car washes. There's even a lifetime guarantee put on the product.

It might be surprising to see a product with such a great guarantee at this incredibly low price. This product provides one of the best values when you consider how long it will last. The only difficulty with this wipe kit is that it isn't always effective if the headlights are extremely oxidized. In these cases, you might need something more powerful.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • One wipe works on multiple lenses

Cons

  • Not meant for extreme oxidation

6. Meguiar's Headlight Restore 2step

Best Value for Money Restoration Kit

Method of Application

Wipe on

What's Included

4-ounce bottle of Cleaning Solution

4-ounce canister of Headlight Coating

2 cleaning pads

Instructions

We have another option from Meguiar's if you are looking for something from this highly-rated brand. As with some of the other high-end options, this formula will also last for up to a year. The coating effectively protects against re-oxidation and yellowing when applied correctly. What you are left with is enhanced visibility and optimal clarity of safer nighttime driving.

To apply this kit, you don't need a drill. Plus, there's no need to sand the headlights. In fact, the kit only requires two steps. You apply the cleaning solution. When that is complete, you put on the headlight coating. With this simplicity, you can remove oxidation, yellowing, and cloudiness without putting forth too much effort.

The price is slightly higher than the other Meguiar's headlight product we pointed out. However, this one is meant to last longer and work harder, making it a better value overall. The only negative complaints come from some users that didn't see the results they hoped for. In these cases, it might be that the lenses were severely oxidized and require more care than what this simple kit could provide. Still, the majority of users have nothing but positive comments about the restoration kit.

Pros

  • Reliable company
  • Good value
  • Simple to use
  • No drilling or sanding required

Cons

  • Not meant for extreme oxidation

7. CERAKOTE Ceramic

Best for Ceramic Coating

Method of Application

Wipe on

What's Included

Oxidation Remover

Surface prep pad

Cerakote's pre-moistened Ceramic Headlight Restoration Wipes

Instructions

While the ceramic coating might cost more than you wanted to spend, you get additional guarantees with this product. CERAKOTE offers a limited lifetime guarantee on this restoration kit, as long as you own your vehicle. Apparently, this formula chemically bonds to the headlight lens to provide lifelong UV protection that other companies can't offer.

Everything you need to restore the headlights is included with this kit, and you won't need any power tools. Plus, you should be able to complete the restoration in just thirty minutes. First, you use the Oxidation Remover to wipe away any hazy surfaces. Then, you will use the prep pad that removes and oxidation. From here, it's time to use the pre-moistened restoration product to create a like-new condition to your lenses.

While you won't need to purchase more than one application for your vehicle, the company does offer options to cover multiple vehicles. This allows you to do your car and your significant other's at the same time. While there are only a handful of negative customer comments, there are a few that talk about scratching the headlights. It's possible that the application was performed too roughly in these instances, so make sure you use the product with care.

Pros

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Only one application needed
  • Complete kit
  • Durable ceramic coating

Cons

  • Could scratch lenses

Common Causes of Lessened Visibility in Headlights

  • Cloudy/Dirty Headlights 
    Road debris and dirt are constantly being thrown at the headlights, wearing down the topcoat. Over time, this leads to pits, scratches, and grime, which causes a dirty coating.
  • Oxidation or Yellowing Headlights
    As UV rays beat down on the car headlights, the clear coat begins to wear off. Once there is no protection, the heat of the sun can turn the plastic a yellow tint.
  • Hazing or Fogging Headlights
    The headlights' watertight seal can be worn out, allowing water vapor to get inside and create a cloudy film. The water further affects the beam of the light, reducing visibility.

How to Use Clear Coats

To apply a clear acrylic coat to headlights by using a sandpaper method, you want to follow these steps.

  1. 1
    Begin with clean headlights.
  2. 2
    Apply masking tape to protect the area around the headlights
  3. 3
    Spray headlights with plenty of water.
  4. 4
    Use 400-grit sandpaper. Make sure it is soaking wet. Sand the lens using horizontal strokes.
  5. 5
    Use masking tape to protect the surrounding areas on the headlights. This will also prevent you from sanding off painted surfaces, which is not good to begin with.
  6. 6
    Use a towel to wipe off the grit and liquid.
  7. 7
    With wet 600-grit sandpaper, sand the lens again in the same direction.
  8. 8
    Repeat the process once more with 2000-grit sandpaper.
  9. 9
    Wipe the headlight clean with your towel. Make sure there is no grit remaining.
  10. 10
    Allow the plastic lens to dry.
  11. 11
    Follow the directions on your headlight clear coat spray or wax.
  12. 12
    Allow the solution to dry overnight.
  13. 13
    Apply a thin layer of carnauba wax for additional protection.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I use household cleaning materials such as WD 40 to clean my car's headlights?

Several household products have been used to clean headlights, each with varying results. You might decide to try baking soda, WD40, bug spray with Deet, or toothpaste.

Should a professional do the clear coat application after a car cleaning?

You can have a professional apply the clear coating, or you can do it yourself. With most products, the process isn't difficult and doesn't require any expertise.

How long do headlight coatings last on average?

It depends on the product you are using, the environment, lens material, altitude, and exposure to harsh chemicals. Headlights can oxidize as soon as ten months, but could also make it several years without more care.

How do you clean heavily oxidized headlights?

There are many methods available to clean heavily oxidized headlights. In most cases, you will use the same products mentioned before, but simply put a little more elbow grease into the effort.

What grit sandpaper should I use for headlight restoration?

In our instructions listed above, you will need 400-, 600- and 2000-grit sandpaper to complete the job. However, if your headlights are already in good condition, you can stick to the finer sandpaper to finish the clear coat application.


Conclusion

What is the best clear coat for headlights? We recommend Spraymax 3680061 if you are looking for an easy application and superior protection. You deserve to see clearly as you head down the road.

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