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Can Water Spots Damage Car Paint?


Let’s talk about water spots on your car. What are your thoughts about it? Can water spots damage your car paint? You may be indifferent to your answer, but that is fine. In this post, we will discuss the ‌effects of water spots on your car paint.

Water spots can harm your car’s paint or glass, making it possible to damage the exterior of your vehicle. Sprinklers, raindrops, water puddles, car washes at home or the car wash, and kids playing with squirt guns can cause water spots on your car paint.

What are Water Spots?

Water spots are salty, mineral, acid, and dirt residues dissolved in water left on your car’s paint as evaporated water and dry naturally.

As a result, when your car comes in contact with unfiltered mineral water, it leaves harmless-looking spots on the vehicle. However, to avoid permanent paint damage, we strongly encourage you to remove water spots as soon as you see them on your car’s paint and glass.

the windshield of a dirty car in stains and drops of dirt after a rain

Types of Water Spots on the Car

There are three types of water spots, and we will learn about them in this section.

  • Hard water spots
  • Bonded mineral
  • Etching

1. Hard water spots

The most prevalent type of water spot is hard water spots. They’re on your car’s surface as dirt or mineral deposits. Hard water spots appear on your vehicle when mineral-rich tap water remains on it for an extended period.

For example, when you wash your automobile at home or at a car wash and do not completely clean up the water or allow it to air-dry afterward.

Another fantastic example is when you park your automobile near a neighboring sprinkler system, water droplets fall onto the car.

As a result, the water drops on your car dries up and leaves a white chalky substance behind.

2. Bonded mineral

Bonded mineral water has a more adverse effect on your car paint than the hard water spots. They happen when water that has a high concentration of minerals drops in your car and sometimes becomes difficult to clean off.

The presence of the bonded mineral water spots on your car corrodes with the paint and makes the surface look dull even after removal.

Also, acid rain, which contains high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids, generates this form of water spots.

3. Etching

The most difficult automotive water spots to remove are etching watermarks. They occur when the hot sun dries water residues on your car’s paint.

However, you must exercise caution when removing the spots because doing so incorrectly can cause lasting damage to your car’s paint.

How to Remove Water Spots on the car

To remove water spots from the car is not a rigorous process, but a simple one. Follow this guide to achieve the desired results.

1. Wash your car thoroughly

Washing your automobile is the simplest and fundamental approach for removing watermarks from your car. Instead of air-drying, remember to dry the water right away.

Hand Washing Car

Increase the amount of whichever cleaning solution you regularly use to wash your automobile to achieve the best results.

Also, you can take your automobile to a car wash and seek professional help. They will ‌ identify the type of water spots and the best washing method to remove them altogether.

2. Apply white vinegar

The application of white vinegar works well for tough and mineral-based car water spots. To achieve this, soak a piece of microfiber towel in vinegar for a few minutes.

Use the soaked part to clean the affected places of your car, but make sure you have cleaned the areas affected to eliminate dust and grime before doing so.

Furthermore, do not carry out this activity in the sunlight. Also, ensure you apply your choice of wax to the parts affected, since the white vinegar may have caused the components to degrade.

3. Use water spots remover.

Water spots remover is another option you should try. This solution contains a slightly stronger solvent than other everyday cleaning products.

Pour a small amount of the spot remover into a microfiber towel and gently wipe it on the afflicted area for about 60 seconds or fewer until you can no longer see the stains.

The next step is to clean the area with water thoroughly.

4. The Clay method

Claying is also an excellent approach to getting rid of water spots on automotive paint. First, apply water and soap to the affected region, then rub the clay all over the wet sections until the marks are no longer visible.

However, this procedure may not work for highly stubborn spots lodged in pores. But then, it works perfectly if you have earlier applied nano-ceramic coating sealant ceramic sprat or waxed the car’s body.

If the preceding approach failed to remove the water spots, you might be dealing with etching. So in this situation, you will need a different approach to make this work. To keep the affected region looking the same as the other parts of the car, you will need a physical abrasion.

What you will do is follow the same polishing procedures to remove swirls. But, again, ensure you are using an aggressive polish

How to Prevent Water Spots on the Car

We know that hard water and acid rain are the primary sources of water spots on your car paint from the discussion above. But the truth is that avoiding touch with them is nearly impossible.

So the easiest way to avoid water spots is to use a protective ceramic, wax, or polymer to coat your car’s paint.

The Application of ceramic coating/premium wax/ paint sealant

Ceramic coating is a practical approach to prevent water spots because it creates a low friction surface that prevents build-up from adhering to your car’s paint.

In addition, ceramic coatings and sprays are long-lasting and resistant to acid rain and other corrosive factors that could harm your car’s finish.

Also, paint sealants and waxes protect your car paint against mineral deposits.

Do not park your car near sprinklers.

It is easy for your car to get in contact with hard water when your car is close to sprinklers. In addition, since untreated hard water from sprinklers will dry off under the sun, minerals can penetrate your car paint.

Avoid parking sprinklers, so your car doesn’t get in touch with mineral water.

Wash your car after every rainfall

Since acid from rainfall is one cause of water spots on your car, washing after rain will prevent acids and specks of dirt from eroding the clear coat.

Dry off the water after washing

Always use a microfiber towel to properly dry off your automobile after washing it, whether at home or the car wash.

Wrapping up

Water spots can damage the paint of your car. You may not ‌totally avoid the spots of water from getting to your car, but there are some preventive measures that could help in protecting your car, which we discussed above.

Your best bet would always be to take immediate action of removing the spots just as soon as you see them.

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