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Wipe New Headlight Restore: Does it Really Work?

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Note: For those who are seeing this as the first Wipe New article, I would recommend reading the Wipe New Trim Kit article first to get an idea of this product.

In this article, the focus will be on the Wipe New Headlight Restore kit.

wipe new headlight restore box

Wipe New Headlight Restore is a kit designed specifically for restoring dull or faded headlights to a like-new condition through a very easy process.  The product used is (at least to my knowledge) the same as the liquid in the general Wipe New Trim Restore Kit, but it comes with a few more tools to aid the process.

everything included in the wipe new headlight restore box

Included are a couple microfiber towels, a sanding block with 2 sides, a small towel pre-soaked with the WipeNew liquid inside a sealed package, a pair of rubber gloves and the instructions.  This kit is what I was really looking forward to trying out and seeing if it really does work.  As soon as I saw the sanding block in the kit, I immediately thought of the false advertising they did, especially with the generic Wipe New Kit.  They say wipe on, wipe off and you get a brand new headlight.  Well, I was going to find out.

The instructions actually say to use the sanding block if the headlights have a lot of yellow residue and are badly faded, but normally worn headlights can be treated without any sanding.  The instructions say to test the headlight by making it wet… if you can see clearly through the lens when it’s wet, sanding isn’t a must.  Only if it’s really bad, yellow and faded.  I tried it both ways.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending how you look at it), one of the headlights on my Toyota Matrix is a bit worn.  As you can see in the photo below, we actually did some polishing last year just to be able to show a before/after of our headlight restoration services.  It has held up pretty well considering no sealant or protection was applied after the polishing.

headlight partially restored

I decided to tape the headlight so that some of the faded section remains after the Wipe New application for comparison…

taping the headlight for comparison

I then sanded the area with both sides of their sanding block (one is a bit more abrasive than the other)…

running water over the headlight

sanded the area with one side of their sanding block

sanded the area with one side of their sanding block

headlight after sanding with one side of sanding block

sanded the area with the other side of their sanding block

The sanding process definitely improved some of the haze previously seen on the headlight…

headlight after sanding with both sides of sanding block

After thoroughly drying, I applied the product to the section I just sanded…

applying wipe new to side that was just sanded with included towel

I was fairly liberal with it, but didn’t need to be.  The product quickly made the lens look clearer…

after applying wipe new

removing some of the tape

For testing purposes, I removed some of the tape and wanted to see just how easily this product works without any prep work.  I simply applied some Wipe New to the middle section of the headlight, which was only washed with soap…

applying wipe new without sanding

After removing the tape, I was left with this monstrosity of a headlight 🙂 …

overall results of the wipe new testing

As you can easily tell, Wipe New definitely improved the look of the faded lens without any sanding, as they initially promised.  I believe this will be perfect for testing purposes because I will be able to see how it looks after a while on the sanded part as well as the section with no prep at all.

Since the towel with the Wipe New liquid was extremely saturated and could probably be used on at least 3-4 pairs of headlights, I decided to do a very random test.  I used it directly on top of my fairly dirty tail light lens.  There was a lot of winter crud and dirt from daily driving, which I first cleaned off with one side of the Wipe New towel, then used a clean side to go over half the tail light to apply it evenly.  I did this simply to see how the product can be used and how long it will last when applied in a very bad manner.

tail light half corrected with wipe new

It definitely changed the look of the lens and made it look much better in terms of clarity and swirl marks on the surface.

So Does it Work?

As with the other Wipe New kit, I do believe this works for the most part as advertised.  It’s a very strong chemical that bonds to the surface and due to it’s thickness and application fills quite a bit of haze and swirl marks.  The one part that’s not true from their advertising is that it makes the lens like new and crystal clear.  It definitely improves it, but you can easily see some of the deeper and some not so deep swirl marks.

I have plans of thoroughly sanding and polishing a different headlight and applying Wipe New to it as protection, just to see how well it works and how long it lasts.  Not sure how good that will look compared to actual coatings on the market today, such as CarPro DLUX, but it’s worth a test in my opinion.

At the end of the day, as with the other Wipe New kit, I have to say Wipe New really does work.  I have yet to see how long it lasts, but if you have faded headlights and simply want to improve the looks and visibility, while leaving good protection, I’d have to say it does the job it sets out to do.  I will surely report back in a few weeks or months once I see how it behaves and looks in terms of durability.  As of today, it has been on for about 1 week with no signs of failure, so at the very least it works to “pass inspections” as they repeatedly advertise 🙂 .

Thanks again for reading and stay tuned for further experiments like this one.

Ivan Rajic LUSTR Deatil
Ivan Rajic
LUSTR Detail
257 N Woodwork Lane
Palatine IL 60067
LUSTRDetail.com
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31 comments on Wipe New Headlight Restore: Does it Really Work?

  1. Doug Mayer says:

    Hi Ivan,

    Just wondering how the Wipe New for headlights is holding up since it’s been a couple of months now?

    Also, I see there is a Wipe New for Wheels. Do you have any experience with this product?

    Thanks,
    Doug

  2. Ivan Rajic says:

    Doug, it seems to be holding up well on the headlights. Even the part where I just threw it on without the prep is holding up so far.

    I haven’t tried it on the wheels so really can’t help there.

  3. Doug Manning says:

    Hi, just a quick question. I bought this but haven’t used it yet. The packet says to keep it completely dry for 24 hours. I’m a daily driver with no garage. Advice or suggestions? Thank you!

  4. Ray says:

    how long after application can you turn on the headlight?

  5. Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing! It is always so disappointing to waste money on products that do not work. I don’t need this product yet, however I may apply to protect.

  6. Randy W says:

    Yes, thank you for giving me the heads up. I will do it on my nasty 2005 Chrysler T&C and let you know the results after a month!

  7. A brook says:

    I was wondering. Did the non polished part look 90%. Or how close was it to the sanded part by your eye test?

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      I really couldn’t say if it was 90% but I doubt it. It simply made it look more wet, thus better, but not that close to the sanded part. I don’t have the car anymore so unfortunately I can’t take any photos to compare at this time.

  8. JessieGirl says:

    Hi there I have a question. So I used this and it worked great. I have never found something that worked so well. Yes you do have to put in some elbow grease but I believe it is worth it when you see the results. Now to my question. It says to only wipe it once with the wipe new smelly towelette, but I accidently wiped it two times and now there is a bit of a hazy. Just a bit not like before.

    Any suggestions on how to fix that?
    Should I wait and try the whole process over again?
    Thank you for any and all input.

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Jessie I would imagine you would have to re-sand it and reapply if you want it to look better, but I’ve never dealt with that exact issue so I can’t say for sure.

  9. virginia says:

    after using wipe renew my lens look hazy after it dried,can I redo them?

  10. Rich says:

    Hi, tempted to try this on my kids 2005. I hesitate because people say the fog is inside from moisture. Could that be true?

  11. Emely de Guzman says:

    Hi, I just applied the wipe new headlight restore , it really works, but unfortunately it rain after 5 hours . I have no enclosed garage, so I notice some streak. What should I do about this? Please,help.

  12. Gabe Engel says:

    I just did two cars and they came out great. I masked the painted surfaces around the lights to avoid damage to paint.
    If you do not have a garage and may rain, try to use Saran wrap on the lights once it cured for at least an hour.

  13. Steve says:

    any chance this would work on a dirty Plexiglas motorcycle windshield ?

  14. hmorris says:

    do not use this product outside in 1010 degree airtemp. the wipe new polymer will dry almost instantly on both the rag and your lens as it did mine. now my lights look worse. and this is gonna cost me a ton to get removed from the lens

  15. Keith says:

    Do you think I could spray this on the headlights? either air brush or a spray bottle?

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Probably, but I haven’t tried it Keith. I don’t see why not if you properly mask everything and spray a light layer.

    • David SPAID says:

      Can this product be used on plastic toys. Some have detailed parts and may require detailed brushing or spraying solution. Comments mentioned using the adapter but what about small paint brush. Wiping off may have to done with a brush of some type as areas are to small.

  16. Tamra says:

    im seeing streaks just did it any advice at this point

  17. Diane says:

    How many applications can you get out of one packet? I want to do two cars but it will be 24 hours in between each application so they can be in the garage. How should I store it so it can be used again?

  18. chrisfiquet says:

    I followed the instructions but then thought I’d wipe my windshield with the WipeNew cloth..now I can’t see out the hazy windshield.HELP!!!!

  19. Ken Boyer says:

    I id my Acura TSX 2005 on 2 different days. Right is 95% left has hazed up?? Can I sand down with their 2000g grit pad and re-apply? Is there a better idea?

  20. BlurredVision says:

    Ivan, it’s been 3 years since you applied Rustoleum Wipe New. How does the headlight look now?

    How does the driver’s side of the grill look, compared to the other side?

    Thanks.

  21. Robert says:

    Does anyone know how long this stuff lasts? 6 months or a year? Everyone has their own idea of how to repair headlights. Too bad there is not a definitive theory on headlight repair. Wetsand or drysand? Polish with a compound and a wool pad or microfiber or foam. What product do you coat the finished product with, 2k clear, Opticoat, or a sealant? Many questions and many different answers.

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