cleaning plastic repro lenses

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    Can the yellowing of repro plastic lenses be cleaned off? I vaguely recall a post awhile back that i cant find with a comment that it can be done. I am installing the lights and using my 28 year old repro lenses initially to not risk the original glass before I know better what I am doing.


    look up head lamp buffing on youtube.

    we do it on modern cars all the time


    I have done the buffing on post-modern cars but those are more of a UV sun exposure problem dulling the outer surface and I haven’t seen much yellowong,on them. These repro lenses have been wrapped in newspaper sitting in a closed box for 29 years and the surfaces are perfectly glossy. I did a half hearted scrub with plastic lens compound on a small area of one of the park lenses but saw no difference.

    I assume that with it not being a sun exposure phenomena the inside is yellowed as well and a mechanical scrubbing of those complex prism shapes would be very difficult if that worked at all.

    I think the question is whether this is just at the surface and something can react with it or whether it is something that goes through the entire thickness and probably irreversible.

    The Oracle (internet) has a lot of answers saying to use bleach, rubbing alcohol, toothpaste, hydrogen peroxide, or even acetone (which I ma pretty sure will make a much bigger problem).

    Fortunately I have a set of glass lenses but these plastic repros are my backup in case I break one. I may try bleach.


    I soaked one of the park lenses in uncut Clorox bleach for a week. It isn’t like new but it was making a difference. The lens on top is original glass, the middle is the plastic soaked in Clorox, the one on the bottom untouched. Maybe soaking for a month or a year.

    repro lens clorox



    If interested, go to eBay and search for the following:

    1936 Olds Headlight Lens Guide Multibeam

    There are a BUNCH of this style headlight lenses available, but I DK if they will fit your Pierce.

    Have FUN searching,



    Peter, thanks. I think the Olds headlight lens may fit ’36-38 Pierce. 33-35 are bigger. I bought a park lens from you a few years back so I have 3 original glass now with one split in two. I used super glue to put that one together and it and one of the plastic lenses is what I have on the car at the moment. The closeup of the turn signal posted a few months ago is of the broken lens. At some point I will put in tbe good glass.

    As a side note, I left one of the plastic repro lenses in the Clorox for a couple months and it did some surface clouding of the surface without doing much for the yellowing. It appears that plastic lens cleaner will polish the cloudiness back off, but longer soaking not looking like a good idea.

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