[Philkotse tips] This is how you deal with pesky water spots

Updated Feb 02, 2021 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Learning to prevent the formation of water spots on your car -- and removing them once they form -- is crucial. Here’s a quick tutorial from Philkotse.com.

Your vehicle will inevitably get dirty. It is always exposed to dust, mud, and other environmental pollutants or such each time you drive it. Additionally, there are bird droppings, tree twigs, leaves, and other debris that may find their way on and in your vehicle.

One thing some of us often ignore, though, is water spots because they are not as visible as the others we mentioned earlier. Unless you really are meticulous, the spots shouldn’t annoy you. However, whether or not you’re bothered, water spots need to be removed because they can eventually blight your car’s paint. 

water spot

Water spots are not good for the car appearance for sure!

You don’t want to spend on a new paint job for your brand-new vehicle or car you just bought from a reliable second-hand car dealer, right? As such, we will provide information on the types of water spots as well as how to prevent and remove them.

1. Water spot types

You’d be surprised to know that the water spots on your car are not actually caused by water itself, but what the water contains. There are also different types of water spots.

Hard water spots

As the name denotes, this spot can occur due to the mineral and dirt found in hard or tap water. The deposits stay if the water is not dried off immediately. Hard water spots usually appear as dry, chalk-like material. It is the most common kind of water spots.

Bonded mineral water spots

As a more problematic and harder to remove water spots, a bonded mineral water spot appears when your car is exposed to water with higher mineral content -- such as acid rain, which has sulfuric and nitric acids.

This kind of spot can make your vehicle’s painting appear dull and leave stains, even after you remove it. What’s worse is that there is a tendency to cause clear coat corrosion because it bonds with your car’s paint

bonded mineral water spot


How a bonded mineral water spot looks like

Etching water spots

Considered as the most severe type of water spots, this can damage your car’s surface permanently when you use the wrong technique for removing the spot. These spots usually happen when droplets of water dry on the car’s surface due to the sun’s heat. As the spots are baked into the surface, they are the most challenging to remove.

etching water spot

An example of etching water spot

2. Preventing water spots with these 5 tips

Avoiding the appearance of water spots on the car’s surface is easier than one might think. Here are some valuable tips:

Tip #1. Dry your car properly

As you may have noticed from the types of water spots, a common cause is improper and inadequate drying. That being said, once you’re done washing your vehicle, make sure that you dry the water completely and immediately. This way, the water will not evaporate and leave deposits.

Tip #2. Use distilled water

Since the main cause of a water spot are the minerals and other content of water, it is recommended to wash your car with water that has lower or no minerals. Distilled water is one of the best. Of course, this will cost you money.

Tip #3. Keep away from mineral-rich water

When you park your car, ensure that it is not near sprinklers, puddles of water, and similar items that might expose its surface to water. Parking it in an enclosed facility is also ideal so as not to expose it to rain and, worse, acid rain.

water spot removing

You can clean your car, but a professional can do it better

>>> Also check: 10 Must-have car care products.

Tip #4. Coat with a good car wax

Coating your vehicle’s surface with a quality wax is one of the most recommended ways to prevent water spots. That is because it will also protect the surface from dirt, debris, and dust. The wax will allow any type of water to just slide off the surface, so there is little to no possibility that it will dry and leave spots.

Tip #5. Have it cleaned by a professional

Bring your vehicle to a professional car wash. They have the right materials and equipment, such as blowers, to thoroughly wash and dry your vehicle from the inside out.

3. 3 tips to remove water spots

Removing water spots from your car’s surface would depend on the type of the water spot. Also, it would be best to do so immediately or once you any. Here are three different methods you can use for each type:

Tip #1. Vinegar bath

Vinegar is known to dissolve mineral deposits, especially calcium and magnesium, present in hard water. Thus, this method is useful for the first type of water spot. It can also work on bonded mineral water spots, but may not be as effective.

For this method, you would need either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, distilled water, a spray bottle, a sponge, and a microfiber wash cloth. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Mix an equal amount of vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray a small area and leave it for 30 seconds.
  3. Use a sponge to absorb the solution.
  4. Wipe it dry with the microfiber cloth.
  5. Repeat until you’ve covered all surface areas.

>>> Read more: Car cleaning tips during the rainy season.

Tip #2. Clay treatment

This can help get rid of the second type of water spot, and would be best to do after doing the vinegar bath.

For this method, you need to buy some stuff, including a vehicle lubricant or lubricant spray, detailing clay bar or mitt, and a clean microfiber cloth. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Spray a particular area of the vehicle with the lubricant. Make sure it covers the area well; an excess is never too bad, it’s actually better.
  2. Using the bar or mitt, wipe the area back and forth (not in a circular motion) until the bar or mitt glides smoothly.
  3. Wipe dry with the microfiber cloth.
  4. Repeat in all areas.

water spot remover

For the two techniques, make sure you dry the surface thoroughly

Tip #3. Polishing or paint correction

This is one of the most recommended methods for embedded water spots.

For this last method, you need to purchase a car ceramic coat or wax. You would also need a mechanical polisher, but you can use your hands if you choose to. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Apply coat or wax in one area.
  2. Spread the product thinly and gently.
  3. Spread the compound, up and down and then left and right, using a polisher or your hand.

Note: If you’re not confident or comfortable doing this last method, it is best to go to a professional.

>>> You might not know: Car Waxing, Detailing & Polishing: What’s the Difference?

A comparison of water spot removal techniques

Now you know that water spots on your car’s surface are not something to ignore. You must immediately try to resolve them to prevent damage to the car. With the help of Philkotse.com, car water spots removal and prevention tips, you can have a car that is spotlessly clean.

Charisse Kim

Charisse Kim


Charisse has joined Philkotse since July 2018 as a part-time content writer. Besides writing high-quality SEO articles, Charisse also works as a content editor and provides coaching sessions to her teammates.

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