Removing hazy scratches from face shield visor

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Forum topic by Thuzmund posted 11-12-2014 02:29 AM 4766 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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148 posts in 1624 days

11-12-2014 02:29 AM

Hi everyone,

So the other day I decided that my face shield visor needed cleaning because it was covered in tree sap from green turning. NOT THINKING about what I was doing, I reached for a product I use on my car’s GLASS windshield—Goo Gone, which is petroleum based and a very powerful solvent. Well, guess what happened when I put a solvent on my PLASTIC visor? Haha, a sticky mess.

SO I set about fixing my mistake. I wet sanded to 2000 grit, but no love—just a lot of hazy, swirly scratches. Then I broke out my buffer and polishing compounds, green and white. Better, but still not great.

Next I will try my finest compound—blue—and if that fails, use a 3M headlight restore kit I bought for my car a while back. I am pretty sure that my visor is polycarbonate, just like car headlights, since that resists shattering.

I will report my results. But I also thought I’d share this really neat resource on visor rejuvenation, which calls for using a heat gun! Interesting:

Also, I hear that clear coat polishes, like this one from turtle wax, can be effective for that final finish:

I have also heard of a protective coating on certain polycarbonate lenses that must be removed if you intend to polish. If my next steps fail, I will attempt to wet sand down a bit further in an attempt to get beyond this layer (assuming it’s been applied to my visor). Worth a shot before I throw it out.

But I wonder if anyone else out there has attempted to restore a scratchy old visor or piece of polycarbonate? Future readers would probably love to hear from you.

Happy Veterans’ Week!

-- Here to learn

16 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2628 days

#1 posted 11-12-2014 02:35 AM

Me personally, I’d just buy another visor and call it a day.
I have 2-3 of these $3.49 Harbor Freight Specials scattered around my shop. I’d never consider trying to restore one.

View copcarcollector's profile


256 posts in 2113 days

#2 posted 11-12-2014 02:45 AM

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6704 posts in 2194 days

#3 posted 11-12-2014 02:55 AM

+1 on the HF visors.. I get them on sale and then use a coupon which makes them just under $2 a piece. In addition, the clear plastic part is easily removed and if you have some plastic sheet, you can make as many replacement shields as you like.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View bigblockyeti's profile


5112 posts in 1716 days

#4 posted 11-12-2014 02:57 AM

I tried polishing compound and then automotive cleaner wax on mine, better than it was, but not great.

View Thuzmund's profile


148 posts in 1624 days

#5 posted 11-12-2014 03:16 AM

You might check out Novus products. They have three different ones.

- copcarcollector

I also hear the meguiar’s clear plastic polish is good, though the extra grits in the Novus might be handy.

-- Here to learn

View MNclone's profile


192 posts in 1579 days

#6 posted 11-12-2014 03:23 AM

If it is acrylic try using pledge with future shine. It is a liquid acrylic coating for floors that you can use on clear acrylic to remove scratches and whatnot. You will want to saturate the whole surface and then just let it try.
Plastic model makers dip clear parts in it to make it look like glass.
I’ve never tried it on anything as large as a shield, but it might work.

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#7 posted 11-12-2014 03:40 AM

If the lenses in your plastic, wrap-around safety glasses and face shields get scratched up as bad as mine do, you can extend their life with a trip to an auto parts store.

Meguiars makes a product called “PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish” that does a great job of polishing out scratches on lenses. It is also a great way to bring up the shine on acrylic, plastic resin, and CA-finished turnings.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Thuzmund's profile


148 posts in 1624 days

#8 posted 11-12-2014 03:48 AM

TheDane, good tip on polishing CA-finished turnings—thanks!

-- Here to learn

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2282 days

#9 posted 11-12-2014 05:23 PM

try toothpaste.
Yes, you heard me right. :)
I used to use toothpaste on the rear plastic window of my MGB (actually… I’ve had 4 MGBs) and it always worked great!

toothpaste on a soft cloth.

Also something I learned from having to clean off small aircraft windshields before flying…. you CLEAN hands and some water will do a pretty decent job of cleaning a plastic “screen” without scratching the hell out of it.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1332 days

#10 posted 11-13-2014 05:27 AM

The heating article is really cool. In terms of polishing products, wouldn’t that mess with the optical clarity of the visor?

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View Thuzmund's profile


148 posts in 1624 days

#11 posted 11-13-2014 06:20 PM

So I tried the heating technique, but it did not go well. It turned everything very hazy and sort of caked over—much like what happened when I put a solvent on to begin with. But it was worth a try. Maybe I’m not working with polycarbonate after all. I tried to be dainty to ensure that I wasn’t overcooking it (per the article’s instructions), but to no avail.

Interesting experiment, though. Now it’s on to plastic polishes.

-- Here to learn

View JAAune's profile


1797 posts in 2312 days

#12 posted 11-13-2014 06:24 PM

Polishing plastic to optical grade clarity is very difficult without special equipment. It’s easier to just buy a new shield.

-- See my work at and

View mudflap4869's profile


1731 posts in 1455 days

#13 posted 11-13-2014 06:29 PM

Newsprint or coffee filters work great on glass for buffing to a shine. I haven’t tried it on plastic but it might work there as well. It is a extra fine abrasive. Be carefull what toothpaste you use, some is too abrasive, but it will take bugs and tar off the windshield rather well.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2981 days

#14 posted 11-13-2014 06:29 PM

Micromesh was developed for optical clarity purposes and is easily available. I have used it on guitar finishes before. Should work pretty well if you have it around.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Thuzmund's profile


148 posts in 1624 days

#15 posted 12-12-2014 05:49 PM

Hi all,

I can report moderate success with Blue polish compound followed by bare cotton spiral buffing wheel. It’s usable now. I think I may buy the Harborfreight “deluxe” faceshield just to have a backup. That cheaper one seems way too flimsy to protect my stupid self.


-- Here to learn

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