How to Remove Water Spots on Your Car
Water spots are one of the most annoying things car owners have to deal with. Not only do they always seem to appear right after you had the car cleaned, but they can also potentially damage your paint job.
Avoiding water is all but impossible, even if you manage to avoid every single rainy day, and take the utmost care while washing your car. All that has to happen for water spots to appear is for you to drive in front of a sprinkler.
But, it’s just water, how bad can it be? Well, it is never “just water.” The water that drops on your car may have come into contact with chemicals or sediments. As a result, it can contain various pollutants. Once the water droplets dry on your car, those materials remain on your car resulting in a spot or stain.
Types of Spots
Truth be told, not all water spots are created equal. You can qualify these by following incremental degrees of washing. People often put water spots into two separate categories; type 1 and type 2.
In type 1 we have water that was suspended for a period of time and evaporated, leaving behind a sediment or mineral. These suspended materials are referred to as total dissolved solids or TDS. They are also known as hard-water stains which are similar to what you might see in your bathroom. The important thing to note here is that these minerals are on the surface of the paint.
Type 2 water spots can also be type 1. The difference here is that the deposits on the surface also leave an etching in the finish. These etchings occur because the water that landed on your vehicle contained a corrosive substance. This corrosive substance dissolved a portion of the paint.
Removing the Spots
So, now that you have these spots on your car, it’s about time you removed them.
You can always start by using a water spot remover or a detailing product. However, we also have some solutions for those who don’t have a remover or detailing spray on hand.
1. Washing Your Vehicle
If you have spots on your car, the first thing to do is a complete wash and dry. Chances are you know how to wash your vehicle. A two bucket wash is best and in most cases, any dried-on sediments will loosen and rinse off.
Dealers will recommend using de-ionized water or in-line water softeners. This isn’t practical for most consumers and really isn’t necessary in order to remove water spots. If you are super concerned about this, consider buying distilled water from your grocery store for a final rinse.
Remember, evaporation is not in your vehicle’s best interest. That’s why the water spots happened in the first place. You should wash your vehicle in a shaded area, and dry with microfiber towels
2. White Vinegar Bath
After washing your vehicle with the two bucket wash, there may still be mineral deposits. A simple solution of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water gently wiped over the spots will remove them. Vinegar works well for hard water spots because it can remove magnesium and calcium deposits.
Again, it’s important to do this after you wash and dry your vehicle. You don’t want to grind loose dirt into your paint causing additional problems.
3. Detailing Clay
After you’ve washed your vehicle, and tried the vinegar method, you may need to use detailing clay. The clay resin material will remove sediments left on the surface like metal particles, industrial pollution, brake dust, rail dust, and overspray. You should always use clay with a spray lubricant or detailing spray. This prevents the loose debris from scratching the surface even more.
When using clay to pick up particles you should knead it often. This ensures you’re using fresh clay each time. Once done, wipe the surface microfiber towels.
Preventing Water Spots
While water spots can be irritating, dealing with them isn’t too hard. However, we would still recommend protecting your car from water spots. The first line of defense we would recommend is always having a good coat of either sealant or wax on your paint job.
Also, don’t give the spots enough time to develop. Keep a microfiber towel in your car and clean it every time it gets wet.
Realistically, you can’t avoid getting your car wet. However, knowing how to treat these spots properly can definitely be a great asset. Especially since you can save some money by not having to pay a professional service to remove them.
Writer for TheVehicleLab.com
Tire specifications are detailed by the numbers and letters found on the sidewall of tires. It is important that we understand tire geometry and be informed of the parameters that govern their performance. Tire sizes are defined by specifications such as the type,...
A radiator is more important than people might think. It’s an essential part of the car and its cooling system. A failing radiator can be quite dangerous. The risks range from an overheating engine to feeling like it's the Sahara Desert inside your car. To prevent...
If you are looking for a way to make necks turn while at car shows then you have probably already considered making flames shoot out of your exhaust. Chances are you don't have a Lamborghini Aventador that does this stock, so what is the best way to accomplish this...