Headlight plastic covering frosted

The plastic covering the headlights on my 02 Camry has become frosted.

Is there an easy cure for this problem short of replacing the plastic?

I suspect the sun as the culprit, as the car is not garaged.


The headlight cover can be polished. I used a mild polishing compound, water, and a foam buffer wheel on my wife’s 98 Windstar. I usually had to redo the headlights every two or three months.

You can buy kits specifically to do this. Harborfreight and most auto parts stores should carry them.


If you have any cleaner wax you could try that too.

Ed B.

Thanks for the info.
Will give it a try.

Macguires Plast-X will clean them right up…

When you get done polishing it, write a letter to your representatives in congress and suggest that we all would be better off if they went back to the regulations that called for standard glass lamps. Cheaper easy to change, good lighting and no frosting problems. Also write the manufacturer of your car and tell them the same thing. Put the engineers back in charge and put the designers back to second place.

Better yet, write a letter to the car manufacturer stating the same thing instead of to your congressman. Let’s put the engineers back in charge of car design, and keep congress out of it.

The last thing we need is a new law saying “headlamps shall be glass, and nothing else”.

The government already legislates the beejeezus out of headlamps; along with taillights, incoming engine air noise levels, and even the shape, size, and angle of the windshield.

If an examination of the lenses with a magnifying glass show them to be grit blasted by bugs, dirt, etc. then it may take more than polish to really clear them up.
I use 1000/1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper with plenty of water followed up with 2000 grit, and finally a polishing with MeGuiar’s Plast X.

A lot may depend on the environment where you live. Here in OK with dust and chaff being a problem an examination of the lenses with a magnifying glass often show the lens to resemble the surface of the moon and polish alone won’t get rid of this.

After you polish them, you might think about putting a protective film on them to make the repair more permanent. Here’s one place I found: http://www.xpel.com/products/headlight_protection.asp

If it’s on the outside then you can usually buff it out with some very fine grain sandpapaer or you can use on the the commerically available kits. If it’s on the inside, then you’ll have to replace the unit. I had to do this a few years ago. Luckily replacement parts for my car are pretty cheap. I was able pick up a pair of new headling assemblies for $80 (new!) and once I got them , I put a thin bead of silicone around where the two pieces of the assembly meet, put them in the oven for a bit to cure, and then installed them. It’s been a few years since and the new lights haven’t suffered any glazing/frosting.

just what we need, more road debris that can cause a blow out on the freeway. It’d hafta be really strong glass to be able to withstand rock chips and everything else that gets thrown around on the roads today.