7 easy ways to prevent and remove water spots from your car
Are you consistently becoming annoyed by unsightly water spots on your car after spending some serious time washing it?
Well, we know just how you are feeling and hence the reason we put this blog post together.
Some of our methods only need everyday household items to cure those annoying water spots.
Read on to discover why water spots are forming on your car's surface and the best way to prevent these annoying deposits on your clear coat.
The first culprit of water spots is water itself!
Therefore it is always the first place you should look to cure this problem.
Here we are talking "Hard and Soft Water" as there is a significant difference when it comes water spots.
Hard water generally contains more minerals than soft water. By mineral deposits we mean granules of limestone or other types of stone carried in the water drops.
They are not visible in the water but if the drops are allowed to dry on any body panel then the water will evaporate to leave the mineral deposits on the surface.
These are known as hard water spots.
They are not only unsightly but if they are not removed after washing and the car is then polished they can cause untold damage by forming swirl marks. This happens by the fine mineral deposits being picked up by the polishing cloth or even the wash mitt. Then being dragged across the surface of the clear coat to cause light distracting marks that will really spoil the look of your car
So first thing is to establish if your water supply is hard or soft water. This is surprisingly easy to do.
Simply fill a bottle of water from you tap and give it a really good shake for a few seconds.
If there is a distinct lack of bubbles and the water appears misty or cloudy then you definitely have hard water. Soft water will have more bubbles and remain clear.
If you are certain you have hard water then using distilled water is the best way to avoid the water spots problem.
Distilled water will have no deposits in as they will have been removed during the distilling process. You can purchase distilled water or you can make your own
Another cause worth noting is that water spots can be caused by acid rain or even rain that carries sand from the deserts.
It is possible to make your own distilled water by heating tap water to boiling point so that it turns to vapor. When the vapor condenses back to water, you can be assured is leaves behind any mineral residue. The resulting condensed liquid is called distilled water.
This can be a time consuming process but I thought I would mention it if your budget is tight.
Next problem that could be causing water spots is not drying the car properly after washing. If drops of hard water in particular are left on the car and the sun dries them out then often the mineral deposits will be left on the car surface.
If you take the time to dry your car properly then all the droplets will be removed and it will be impossible to have any water marks left on your paint work.
This often happens if you use a car wash, then leave the car in direct sunlight to dry off. Therefore a shaded area to give your car a good wash is important it you want to minimise the chance of water spots forming.
Taking time to dry the properly eliminate all hard water stains. Please note I have found this method especially effective on ceramic coating.
Microfiber Towel Dry
One of the best ways to dry your car is to use a microfiber drying towel. These come in various sizes from household duster size to the size of a baby's blanket.
I do find the bigger ones do the best job. You can literally throw them onto a car's surface and just pull them along from one edge.
If its a good clean microfiber towel then it will literally draw all the water off the car surface.
You could also use paper towels or even a bath towel but I would highly recommend a good quality microfiber drying towel to be part of any detailers toolbox.
Another very effective way to dry a car is to use a leaf blower. Use it immediately after the final rinse. Start at the top and work your way down the entire vehicle. You may need a small step ladder or something similar to stand on to begin with as some of the leaf blowers can be quite heavy to lift up to car roof height!
You will see the water drop literally move to the edge and simply drop off the body work. If you can figure out a way to get warm or hot air through the leaf blower then you will have an even more effective solution. But we haven't figured this out yet, so if you do please let use know!
Wash in Shade
To reduce the chances of the sun drying out the water droplets it is best to wash the car in the shade.
This is especially important if you have to use hard water and if you have a black car as the color attracts the heat more that a lighter color car.
Always wash the car thoroughly ideally starting with a pressure washer of a good foam cannon. Use the two bucket method and always have a grit guard in your buckets to prevent and further swirls or scratches forming as you wash the car.
Start at top of the car and work down. That way you will not be dragging all the dirt and possibly brake dust from the lower half onto the upper parts and causing scratches and swirl marks.
The better you wash the entire car the more you reduce the surface tension which tends to prevent water spots forming. Another way to reduce the surface tension is to clay bar. Many a professional detailer will tell you this is for sure the best method to reduce surface tension and prevent water spots.
Use Vinegar Solution
Adding some good quality white vinegar to the clean water you use to wash your car can have a very positive effect on reducing water spots. And the good news is that it is the most inexpensive option to prevent water spots. Therefore if your budget is tight then this could be your ideal solution to the problem!
This happens because the vinegar has a low PH level making it very effective at removing minerals from hard water. If you are unable to use anything other than hard water then this could be you simplest and easiest solution.
You can even purchase Distilled White Vinegar, which follows on well from the theme of first section of this post.
You many have used white vinegar to clean your car windows. This is also the best type of vinegar to use in your wash water.
Water Spot Remover
If all the above suggestions fail then you can try using a water spot remover. These relatively inexpensive and do a great job. Most come in a spray bottle which allows you to spray the solution on the entire surface of your car.
Water spot remover solution contains de-ionized water and various surfactants that help to release the tension of the surface of the clear coat, creating less chance of water spots forming
This should be done after you have washed and dried the car, then after reapplying you should rewash the car. It is then advised to give the car a good coat of spray wax or quick detailer
I would advise to start with the water treatment suggestions and the improve your drying methods. Both these will go a long way to stop the mineral content deposits forming on the car and the glass surfaces.
Washing your car out of direct sunlight is another important consideration as the sun drying out the drops of a poorly dried car is often the main cause of water spots forming and also streaking on window glass.
Clean water is also a very important consideration as dirty water will not only contain mineral deposits but also dirt deposits that will again dry to form annoying marks