My wife’s car, a 2005 Chevy Equinox, has seen its fair share of use in nearly 10 years. At more than 110,000 miles, it’s shuttled my kids to and from various activities for almost a decade.
Overall, it’s been a solid vehicle, but a little more than a year ago the passenger-side headlamp lens started to oxidize. As it got progressively heavier (and increasingly yellow), I bought one of those headlight restoration kits. It came with a surface prep, a cream that is supposed to remove the oxidation and a couple pads of sandpaper in various grits.
Long story short; that was $10 wasted. It did lighten the shade of yellow, but the lens was far from good as new and the haze returned heavy as ever after a short time.
Never one to take failure lying down, I took to the Internet to see what fights oxidation, but is non-abrasive and wouldn’t harm plastic. I was surprised that many recommendations were common household items. None of them will be a permanent solution, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
I don’t advocate putting sandpaper or steel wool on a plastic lens, even though I did it with the restoration kit. I felt like I was doing something stupid when I did it. On top of that, it didn’t work.
Below are some of the results I found, including one I used with very good results. You probably already have some of these lying around, so it shouldn’t cost you anything other than some elbow grease.