Sometimes you can find small white or brown blots on your car, entirely ruining its look. These are commonly known as “water spots,” created when dirty water evaporates off the surface of a car.
As a car owner, you must know how to take care of water spots. In this article, we will help you with a few ideas as to how you can clear these spots and keep your car clean and shiny.
How Do Cars Get Water Spots?
There are several reasons why water spots form on the surface of a car. You can trace the main reasons back to the kind of water your car was exposed to.
Reasons For Water Spots Forming
- The possibility that there is water coming from a leaky gutter or downspout.
- The paint on your car is not properly sealed. This can happen if you don’t wax your car regularly.
- You can also find water spots on your car right after washing it. This happens when the water you are using to wash your car has minerals in it. These minerals can build up on the surface of your car and cause water spots.
- Water coming from a sprinkler system or other irrigation system.
- Water settled on the car after rainfall.
- If the car is parked in a garage or an enclosed space, the humidity can cause water to condense on the car’s surface. This can be a problem if the garage is not well ventilated.
- Finally, it is also possible that condensation has caused water spots.
Hard Water And Soft Water Effects In Forming Water Spots
The water your car is exposed to can be of two types: hard water or soft water. Hard water has a high mineral content and can leave behind deposits when it dries.
Soft water, on the other hand, doesn’t have many minerals in it and is less likely to leave spots. But both types of water can cause spots if they’re not dried off quickly enough.
Hard water spots are usually white or cloudy and can be difficult to remove. Soft water spots are often clear and easier to wipe away. But both types of spots can damage your car’s paint if you do not remove them promptly.
Chemical Etching From Acid Rain
Acid rain can also cause water spots on cars because the acid reacts with the paint, causing it to corrode. This can happen if the car is left outside in the rain in severely polluted cities or if you wash it with acidic water. Over time, these water spots can become permanent and damage the paint job.
What Materials To Use To Remove Water Spots?
If you are trying to remove water spots from your car, there are a few household items that can come in handy. These range from a simple piece of cloth to baking soda and even a vinegar solution!
These homemade remedies have shown great results in removing spots from metal.
Here is a list of different materials that you can use to remove water spots from a car:
- A soft microfibre cloth is the first choice for cleaning water spots
- A sponge
- Window cleaner
- Soap and water solution
- Baking soda
Whichever material you choose, gently rub the water spots in a circular motion until they are cleaned away.
Sometimes, simply wiping away with a cloth may not help. You may need to combine the cloth with one of the cleaning agents like vinegar to get maximum benefit.
A Few Ideas to Avoid Spots And Cleaning Them
If you are looking for some tricks and tips to preventing water spots from forming or cleaning them if they do, here is a list of things you can do:
- Wash your car regularly. This will help prevent water spots from forming in the first place.
- Make sure to use good quality car wax. This will create a barrier between your paint and the water, which will help to prevent water spots from forming.
- Rinse your car off after washing it. This will remove any soap residue that could cause water spots.
- Dry your car immediately after washing it. This will help to prevent water spots from forming.
- Use a microfiber towel to dry your car. This will help to prevent scratches.
- Use detailing clay to remove water spots. This will help eliminate stubborn spots that just won’t come off with washing and drying.
- Use a polishing compound to remove water spots. This will help to get rid of any remaining spots.
- Wax your car after polishing it. This will help to protect your paint and keep water spots from forming in the future.
Water spots on your car can be a pain to remove. But with a little elbow grease, you can get rid of them for good!
Let us give you a short guide to cleaning these water spots in a home environment without spending a fortune.
A Guide To Cleaning Water Spots From Your Car
Method 1: Vinegar / Detergent
The main items you will need at your disposal are:
- A cotton towel or applicator
- White vinegar
- A bottle of distilled water
- A commercial cleaning liquid if the spots appear to be stubborn
- Car polish for cleaning the surface
Once you have got all your items in place, you will need to identify the type of water spot.
Identifying the type of water spot will help you understand how and what to use when cleaning the spots.
The idea is to use a combination of detergent and vinegar for hard water spots. The vinegar’s acidity will help remove any hard minerals that form the spot. Soft water spots, on the other hand, can be removed with a simple detergent and washcloth.
Once you are set, you can follow the steps below.
Start by washing the car’s exteriors thoroughly. This cleans up the dust that has settled on the car and washes out the unnecessary minerals. Once you see it drying up, choose the water spot areas you need to clean.
Apply the cleaning liquid or vinegar solution, depending on what kind of spot you are cleaning out.
When you have identified the main areas, start by rubbing a soft cloth on the spots in circular motions. Let the spots rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the liquid for a while since the cleaning mixture helps to remove the minerals and other sediments that created the spot in the first place.
After leaving it for some time, use a damp cloth/sponge to wipe out the spot thoroughly. Do this in circular motions so that you clear the whole space. Do not scratch the car’s surface as it might damage the paint surface.
Once you have cleaned the surface, you can see that the spot will slowly disappear from the surface. As a final step, use a dry towel to rub any residual liquid that can cause a spot further.
Leave the car to dry throughout. Once you see the surface has dried up well, use a polishing compound or polishing machine to clear the whole surface of the car. This keeps away the spots and keeps your car clean and shiny.
Using common household items, it is easy to clean up spots that form on your car. However, if you see a lot of water spots forming on your car, it might be time to seek professional help. An annual car cleaning service is always a good idea to help in maintenance.
Method 2: Detailing Clay
Detailing clay is a flexible resin that clears mineral deposits from painted surfaces. This is easy to use and works effectively for water spot removal. It is one of the best items to use when cleaning car surfaces.
Thoroughly wash your car at first. Once it’s dry, take a look at the paint finish. Locate the water spots that you want to remove.
Spray the affected areas with water and then rub the detailing clay back and forth over the spots. The clay will pick up the water spots and remove them from the paint.
Wipe the area with a clean, dry cloth to remove any residue.
Method 3: Commercial Cleaning Solutions
You can use a wide range of commercial cleaning liquids available to clean both hard and soft water spots from car surfaces. Choosing the right product for your particular car’s finish is important.
Some cleaners may be too harsh and can damage the paint or clear coat on your car. Before using any cleaner on the entire car, you should always test a small area first. If you are unsure which cleaner to use, consult a professional detailer or your car’s manufacturer.
To use this method, simply follow the instructions on the cleaner’s label and apply it to the affected area. You may need to scrub the area lightly with a soft cloth or brush to remove all of the spots. Once the spots are gone, be sure to rinse the area well with clean water to remove any residual cleaner.
Why is Removing Water Spots An Important Part Of Maintenance?
Car maintenance is one of the main concerns of any vehicle owner. In 2021, the cost of car maintenance was around $9,500. This included insurance and yearly maintenance of the vehicle.
Professional water spot removal services can cost anywhere between $50-$200 depending on the extent of the damage. The professional will calculate the cost based on a single pane or multiple spots on the paint.
Professional services offer car maintenance in terms of cleaning and repolishing your car. However, if you are someone who washes their car at home, it is not too difficult either. Common household items can always be of great help.
Washing water spots from your car ensures that the vehicle will have a clear exterior and untarnished paint. You have to ensure that the water spots are cleaned from time to time. Spots left behind for too long become more difficult to remove and can cause permanent damage to the paint.
Water spots are unsightly and can be a real pain to remove. You have to deal with them timely and be on the lookout to avoid long-term damage. Maintain and care for your car in a way that every time you take it out feels new and fresh.