DIY: Remove Headlight Oxidation

I know I did a quick polish on the headlights when I got home, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied with how they turned out. I only used the polish and half assed it. I basically wanted to know if I could actually fix them or needed some more work.

I was confident I could get the oxidation off, but wasn’t quite sure how much of it would come off. After that first polish, I got rid of I’d say 90% of the oxidation. There was still a bit more along the top edges that was bugging me so bad that I decided to fix it up again.

I’ve done a lot of headlight polishing over the few years so I wasn’t too scared to tackle the LS headlights. Take a look at the process  – what do you guys think?

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I took 1000 grit sandpaper and wetsanded it first. I usually use dish soap and warm water and keep it well lubricated as I’m sanding.

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Here is what it looks like after doing the 1000 grit and then moving to the 2000 grit. You always want to move up in grit to try and get the scuffs to be finer. When you run your hands over it, it should be smooth and you shouldn’t feel any scratches. I personally would never do less than 1000 grit or else you’d be asking for trouble.

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Another angle of what the headlights look like after sanding. I know some of you might be thinking I fucked up – but have no fear. I also didn’t go all the way to the end of the headlight because there was little to no oxidation by the signal light.

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After polishing with a polishing compound. I personally use Poorboys SSR 2.5 with my orbital but there’s tons of other compounds that you can use. Lots of medium to heavy abrasive polishing compounds are able to remove at least 1000 grit marks from paint/surfaces.


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Closer look at the headlight after polishing. You can’t even see any of the sandpaper marks.


IMG_0299 copyNow you can see the projectors! All nice and clear.

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More detail shots.

IMG_0303 copyFinally an upclose….

If you guys decide to tackle this and need help, let me know! I can give some advice. It can be scary to scuff up your headlights but it’s usually reversible. Just don’t be that guy and use a 400 grit paper – I can’t help you with that lol.


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