It happens to us all: it’s a few hours after you’ve washed your vehicle and now your car is covered in water spots that make its beautiful finish look unattractive.
So how did this happen?
Water spots are the result of the minerals that are inside the water that is on the surface of your car.
These minerals can be abrasive and even acidic and can leave crater-like marks deep inside the top layer of your paint job, so anyone might ask how to get rid of water spots on the car?
I love to keep my paint job in a tip-top shape, so after I wash, I tend to dry my car with a microfiber cloth that I keep in my trunk for just such a situation, but sometimes, I don’t have the time or I get the spots due to a recent rain shower.
Rain showers are pretty bad for this because rain can have more acids and minerals inside it than the water that you use to clean your car from the hose. So how do you get rid of water spots?
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How To Get Rid Of Water Spots on Cars Easily
What You’ll Need
There are two methods of taking care of water spots. Personally, I prefer the white vinegar method because of its safety. For this method, you’ll need:
- A bottle of white vinegar
- Water for rinsing
- Wax (preferably clear)
- A spray bottle
- Soap and water
- A microfiber towel
- A dual-action or random orbital buffer (optional)
This method is great at removing harder mineral substances like cement as well, but as I mentioned there is another method that is a little less safe. This method uses muriatic acid, which is a blend of hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acids.
As you might have guessed, this is a very corrosive method, which is why I tend to stick with the white vinegar method and recommend that you do as well.
If you insist on using these acids on your water spots, you have to be 100% sure that you take extreme caution; the fumes are dangerous and you really don’t want that acid anywhere near your skin, so wear gloves and a respirator if possible.
Getting Rid Of Water Spots With White Vinegar: The Step By Step
Step One: Give It A Good Wash
This is the simplest step in the process. Simply wash your car so that you can at least remove the top layer of acid and minerals from the paint of your vehicle.
This ensures that you’ll primarily be fighting to rid the surface of any ingrained materials. Since you don’t want to be wasting your time, I recommend using your microfiber cloth to dry the washed area thoroughly when you’re done.
Also, the sun is usually your enemy in this situation since it loves to dry the water prematurely, which makes the spotting worse, so try to do this process in a shaded area like a garage or even under a tree.
Pro Tip: I like to use dish soap during this step since it seems to cut grease the best. Also, always wash your car from top to bottom since the water is going to run down as you wash your vehicle.
Step Two: Mix It Up
Since the problem with water spots comes from using water with heavy mineral content, I like to use distilled water for my solution.
In any situation, throw one part white vinegar in together with one part distilled water in order to create your solution.
Place this vinegary mixture into a spray bottle so that you have a delivery system.
Step Three: Apply It!
It’s time to start squirting with your spray bottle. Simply put on a nice layer of the vinegar and water mixture until all of the water spot-affected surfaces are nice and wet.
It’s imperative that you do this in an area that’s not too windy or exposed to sunlight. This is because you don’t want the solution to dry on the surface of your car.
Allow this mixture to work into the affected area for about ten minutes or so.
What’s happening while you wait
- While you let it sit, the acid in the vinegar is loosening the tacked-on minerals that have become fused into your paint job.
- This is the same reason why vinegar works so well to remove hard water buildup inside of your coffee maker.
Step Five: Polish It Up
It’s important to polish up your vehicle before you wax it because waxing just covers the etching that’s been caused by the water spots.
Polishing, on the other hand, buffs away the mineral damage because car polish has special abrasives in it that will quickly even out the surface of your car.
Think of it this way, waxing is superficial and polishing hits the trouble at its base. The best polishes will use what is called diminishing abrasives, which break down to fill in the surface as it’s abraded.
Simply apply a coat of polish to the dried car.
You can rub it in with a plush cotton towel or a microfiber cloth, or you can use a dual-action or random orbital buffer to apply it to your car; just have it on a medium intensity or lower.
After this part is done, buff it with another microfiber.
Step Six: Time To Wax
This is particularly easy if you have a random orbital buffer, but if you just have a trusty microfiber, then you’ll just have to wax by hand.
Once again, in a shaded environment apply the car wax; this step ensures that your car surface is protected against future water spots, UV rays, or even bird droppings.
Apply the thinnest coat possible; there’s no need to lay it on thick because this will cause streaks as well.
Buff one coat with your microfiber before adding a second very thin coat and buffing it on with your microfiber once more.
Then, make sure that you consult the product labeling so that you know how long you need to let the wax cure.
Once it’s applied, you have some definitive protection; just remember to dry any water that accumulates on the surface of your car so that it can’t set in and cause water spots all over again.
Pro Tip: An orbital buffer is really a great way to quickly apply wax to your car; just select a foam finishing pad and apply it evenly with the device.
Did you enjoy our tutorial on how to remove water spots from the surface of your car?
Water spots can really damage the beauty of your vehicle, so I always take the steps needed to diminish their impact. If you want your car to look its best, use these steps and you’ll be amazed at the results.
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