How to Restore Oxidized Headlights & Plastic Windows

by / Tuesday, 02 May 2017 / Published in Blog

Restoring Oxidized Headlights & Plastic Windows

We’ve all seen those convertibles and Jeeps that have perfectly good tops, but their plastic windows are cloudy and need replacing. When this happens, most owners will try to and clear them up with a glass cleaner, and when that fails, they usually give up and buy a brand-new top. What they don’t know, however, is that like oxidized headlights, their oxidized windows can easily be restored.

Three Steps to Restore Oxidized Headlights & Windows

Most plastic windows are made from a thick and durable material called polycarbonate plastic. When it’s exposed to the sun for long periods of time, the plastic oxidizes and the window becomes cloudy and almost impossible to see through. Provided the plastic is not cracked or scratched, the cloudiness can be buffed right out. If you are interested in deoxidizing your car’s plastic windows, follow these simple steps. When you’re done, your car will look nicer and be a lot safer to drive!

Restoration Step One

Start by taping off the edges of the window to protect the top from the chemicals and buffer that we’re about to use. Then clean and dry the window thoroughly.

Restoration Step Two:

Next, grab a bottle of high quality metal polish and apply it to the window. With a wool buffer pad locked and loaded, set your buffer speed at 1400 rpm and go to town. You’ll want to use a light touch as you work your way around the window, being mindful not to put too much pressure on the fragile plastic.

The metal polish will act as a cleaning agent and remove the oxidation from the plastic. Once you’ve removed as much oxidation as you can from the outside, jump inside the vehicle and repeat the process. Again, tape off the edges of the window, and put some plastic or towels over the seats. Though the plastic window should be looking white-free and clear by now, we’re not done yet. 

Restoration Step Three:

Grab a foam polishing pad and a bottle of good quality swirl remover. This will remove the small scratches from the surface of the plastic and seal it against further oxidation. Once again, don’t press too hard on the window, but polish and seal both sides of it until you’re satisfied with the result.


This guest post was contributed by Brittany Larson on behalf of Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner. Her father and grandfather were in the automotive industry and therefore she knows a lot of great tips to keep cars looking their best!


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