How to remove water spots from a car? 4 proven ways that help

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How to remove water spots from a car

Has your car been baked with water frosting too? Then cheer up as you are not the only one!

Water spots take no time to mar the shiny, lustrous appearance of a newly washed car.

Stubborn white-edged circles appear on your car’s surface, making it look lunar and spotted.

So, luck is by your side if you are looking for ways to remove water spots from a car like a pro.

The following article covers every nitty gritty of it!

Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into the different ways of removing spots from a car!

How to remove water stains from cars?

So, here are the easy steps to remove stains from your car.

First of all, wash the car.

Before moving into any technical step, it is better to wash your car with simple water.

It will dissolve and remove all the dirt and debris stuffed on the paint’s surface, allowing you to remove water stains effortlessly.

Once done with basic washing, opt for any of the following four ways to remove water stains from the car according to your ease.

1. Clay Bar Method

The easiest way to remove hard water mineral deposits from your car’s surface is by washing it with soap.

All you need to do is take a cleaning soap, wet the car, and start rubbing your clay in. It will remove all the calcium and magnesium compounds from the surface.

But since it doesn’t remove the stain accumulated in pores, it works only on nano-ceramic coated or sealant bodies.

2. Vinegar and distilled water solution 

Believe it or not, white vinegar is the most effective solution against the stubborn chalky spots present on the car.

It contains acetic acid and citrus compounds having acidic pH, which can easily clean the coat.

So, to try out viewer water mix, opt for the following steps:

  1. Wash the car with wash and let it dry.
  2. Park your car in the shade, as using vinegar directly under the sun can be explosive.
  3. Make the vinegar spray. Mix 1 portion of vinegar with one portion of distilled water. Don’t use tap water as it contains minerals.
  4. Apply the mixture to the affected or stained part of your car, and allow the combination to act on the area for 10 to 12 minutes. The citrus compounds will loosen the complex compounds clogged in the paint during this time. 
  5. Rewash the car with water to remove the vinegar solution, as it can damage the paint if applied for longer.
  6. Last but not least, give a final touch with car step polish, removing the light leftover stains of water spots (if any) and providing a smooth finish.

3. Baking Soda Method

The baking soda method is the third method to remove water spots from the car.

For this purpose, you need baking soda, white vinegar, an absorber, and distilled water.

Once you get all the things ready, follow the given steps:

  1. Make the paste by mixing 1 part of distilled water with three ratios of baking soda and a few drops of vinegar.
  2. Take a cleaning cloth, dip it in water and then apply the paste. 
  3. Rub the cloth on hard spots
  4. Leave the baking soda paste in the spots for 10 to 15 minutes to complete its action.
  5. Remove the paste using distilled water
  6. Dry the area with an absorber.
  7. Here you go!
  8. If any stain is left, repeat the steps.

4. Hydrochloric Acid Method

If none of the abovementioned procedures work for you, here is the last method you can opt for. However, it is highly corrosive and needs proper handling.

Therefore, one must wear complete protective equipment, which includes:

  1. Eyewear
  2. Gloves
  3. Respirator

One of the most potent acids, Hydrofluoric acid, is used in this method.

It is a potent oxidizing agent that direct application can eat up your car metal.

Here are the steps:

  1. Make a dilute solution by mixing 1 part of HF with four pieces of distilled water.
  2. Take a towel and dip one end in the solution
  3. Apply that end on the white water spots and rub
  4. Let it dry for 40 to 50 seconds, and then wipe it with a clean towel, followed by rinsing with water.
  5. Indeed all the troubled spots would be finished.

Polishing and Compounding

If wheel acid hasn’t succeeded in removing water spots, then there might be small etchings or dimples on the surface of your car that can’t be released for sure.

Instead, it needs correction. For this purpose, compounding or paint correction is the only solution to flatten out the micro-size dimples and regain the smooth car surface.

What are Water Spots? The Chemistry behind it!

Water spots are never simply water. Instead, they combine water with traces of minerals, acids, debris, salts, and other air pollutants.

That is why removing these obdurate water spots or stains from car surfaces often becomes a nearly impossible task.

Depending on the water supply and environmental conditions, two types of water spots deposit on the surface of car paint, damaging it in all possible ways. 

Mineral Deposits

Suppose you live in an area rich in magnesium and calcium mineral rocks. In that case, the hard water deposits on your car as the rainfall, and even the garden hose water manages to trap calcium and magnesium. 

Thus, calcium carbonate lodges into the microscopic coat when you wash your car with hard water, giving it a chalky, powdery look.

Chemical Etching

The second type of water stains is due to acid rain.

So, suppose you live in an industrial area. In that case, there is the active release of acid rain pollutants in the air like sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, etc., which react with oxygen in the air and dissolve to produce acid rain.

These highly corrosive water stains due to acid rain can deteriorate your car paint within no time.

How can I prevent water spots on my car?

Since prevention is always better than treatment, here are a few steps you can opt for to prevent water stains and spots the following time:

  • Apply a ceramic coat or paint sealants on your car surface as they offer low friction and high protection against mineral deposits
  • Try not to park your car near sprinklers as they shower hard water on the car’s surface, resulting in water stains.
  • Wash your rain every time it rains because rainwater contains harsh chemicals that can erode the car paint easily
  • Dry the car with a microfiber towel immediately after washing


The stubborn water stains mostly appear on the car’s body due to the accumulation of minerals like calcium and magnesium from the hard water after it evaporates.

These minerals embed in the body, becoming difficult to remove. 

However, from using vinegar to hydrofluoric acid, there are different ways to clean the water stains off your car, depending upon the severity of the problem.

So, choose the best one, and get rid of those chalky spots right now!

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