If you’re like me, the only thing more frustrating than a dirty car is a clean car with water spots. Which is why we created this post about how to remove water spots from a car.
Little dots of imperfection caused by the same thing you use to wash the car in the first place.
There are three levels of these little devils.
1st I like to call the spot, which is when the elements or corrosive particles left behind by water are only sitting on the surface of the paint.
2nd is called the imprint, where the mineral elements have sunk into the actual paint.
3rd Then the baked in spots, that are just as the name suggests. These spots require some machine work which I will explain in step 8 and step 9.
Now here’s a question:
Are you supposed to use water to remove water spots from your car?
The truth is that it was the mineral in the water, or the acids from air pollutants in the rain that damaged your car, not the water itself.
This fact, at least, allows me to trust water again, it was touch and go there for a minute. So after trying and failing, numerous times, I think I actually have a way to help you remove water spots from your car.
I wrote it step by step and easy to follow, let me know how it worked for you in the comments.
What You’ll Need:
- Microfiber Towel
- Water Spot Remover
- Clay Bar
- Waterless Car Wash and Wax
7 Steps on how to remove water spots from car
Step 1: Remove All Water
If you haven’t done it already, remove any remaining water from the surface you are working on with a microfiber towel. And this is worth repeating, use a microfiber towel.
You don’t want to create more scratches with something coarse or dirty- this is one of the reasons the 2 bucket method was created when washing your car.
Step 2: Spray Surface with Waterless Cleaner and Wax Spray
Generously spray the cleaner on the surface and make sure to cover the water spots. Do Not Use Water!
I know, I know, but I better say it…just in case. The Waterless Cleaner is basically an oil that allows particles to slip off, think of using mayonnaise to get gum out of your hair. It’s the same basic concept.
Use a good quality wax sprayer to spray the wax.
Step 3: Dry The Surface
Using a dry towel, dry the surface in one smooth motion going up and down.
This will minimize streaks. It also helps minimize scratches if something gets caught up on the towel your using to dry the surface.
This step should work if the spot is still on the surface of the paint. If you still see water spots on the paint of your car, then the spot has gone deeper. Continue on to the next step.
Step 4: Prepare Claybar
Clay bar is pretty much what it sounds like, it’s synthetic bar of clay used to remove various contaminants from the paint of a car.
Use about a third of the bar and create a patty like you see in the above picture. It’s easiest when you start in the middle with your thumbs and gently flatten and widen the clay from there.
Play-Doh is not a good idea, just in case you are looking in the toy box right now 🙂
Step 5: Spray Luber on the Surface
Before you run the clay bar over the surface you’re working on, make sure to spray it down with a lubricant. This will allow the clay bar to move back and forth smoothly over the surface.
Step 6: Apply the Clay Bar
Run the clay bar over the water spots in a quick motion taking care to keep the area lubricated until the surface feels smooth.
Remember keep your motions in a straight up and down, or back and forth motion. Repeat step 3.
- If the water spots are still there, no worries, we have a few more steps to try. Continue on to the next step.
Step 7: Apply Water Spot Remover
Okay, so we have tried to lubricate and gently agitate the minerals to remove them, but if you are on this step it means that your spots are almost completely baked into the surface.
Water spot remover contains acids that can neutralize the alkalinity found in the minerals in the water spot. Squeeze a quarter size amount of the remover onto a soft sponge.
Cover the water spots and gently work the remover in with straight lines across the surface. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 in that order.
Water spots Still Not GONE?
Step 8: Prepare Your Machine Polisher
If you’ve followed all the steps until now and still see water spots, chances are the corrosive elements have been baked into the paint. At this point, I call my favorite detailing shop and make an appointment.
But if you are a serious DIYer then it’s time to prep the machine polisher.
Using a microfiber pad, squeeze on enough compound to cover the pad, then spray the pad and compound with a pad conditioner.
Step 9: Machine Polish the Water Spots
Once you have the polish machine prepped, dab the area you’re working on spreading the compound on the surface.
Then, on the lowest speed, begin polishing the water spots in a smooth back and forth motion until the polish is completely rubbed in. Repeat Step 3.
And there you have it, how to get rid of water spots in less than 10 steps.
Of course, if you already know that your water spots are baked in, then you can skip straight to step 8.
That is if you own a machine polisher, for the rest of us, I would suggest starting with the simplest step and stepping it up from there.
Water spots can be an eyesore, especially if you love a nice shiny car on a sunny day. Try these steps and let me know if they worked out for you in the comments below.
Most of the products that I have mentioned you can find in the car care center of any Wal-Mart or Target, but I personally like the chemicalguys.com line of products because the are eco-friendly and gentle on my pride and joy, however, there are many products out there.
So if you know of something that you really like to use, let me know in the comments.