Hard water spots are a nuisance. They are extremely hard to remove when the car has not been maintained with a regular hand car wash and periodic wax treatment.
Here in Missouri City TX we have very hard water. That means there is an excess of minerals which over time can cause damage to the clear coat and paint of your car. Knowing this, it is very important to make sure water can’t be allowed to dry on your car’s paint. If it does, it needs to be washed off so the microscopic minerals can’t do damage.
One way to prevent having hard water dry on your car is to never park next to an island in a grocery store parking lot.
There are sprinkler systems that can go on while you are shopping and cover your car in hard water. It’s happened to the best of us.
A great breakdown on water spots is given here in an article from detailpro.com blog:
What are hard water spots? it’s simple, really simple. Hard water spots are simply the remaining solids of evaporated hard water droplets. This could be from failing to dry your car properly after washing, parking near a sprinkler, rain, kids with squirt guns, driving through a puddle, I could keep going, but they could be from basically anytime water comes into contact with your car. It’s also safe to assume that there are dissolved particles of something in the water. From that air it will pickup carbon dioxide, smoke, dirt, any aerosolized chemicals, from puddles it will be dirt, oil, brake dust, fecal matter, any gross stuff you would rather not have in your water or on your car. And unless you’re running a whole house reverse osmosis system your water will have whatever minerals and chemicals your well or municipal water supply adds. Your hard water spots can come from anywhere.
Once the water evaporates, you’re left with crusty little spots of salts, minerals, grimes, etc. Even worse, if there were any caustic chemicals mixed in the water, from say acidic rain water, as it concentrates in the quickly evaporating water, it slowly eats away at the paint, leaving craters, pitting your surface and encouraging future water to pool in the shallow pits you now have all over your car.
The question now is how to remove them once you get them. Fortunately, I have the answer for you here. There are many hard water spot removers on the market, but what I like to do is wash the car thoroughly, then use a clay bar to remove surface contaminants. Depending on the severity, or depth of the water mark, clay bar treatment may do the trick.
If it doesn’t, I go to compound as if I were taking out swirl marks. Sometimes the damage is too far into the paint to take out with surface treatments so a little bit of cutting is required. Once done with the compound, I go in with the Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax to add the protective layer.
I hope this helps and if you are a DIY guy, and you run into this issue with one of the family cars, a great tool is the Meguair’s DA Power System. Its only $49 in most retailers like Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone. It attaches to any corded drill you may have. It saves from investing in a professional buffer and it does a great job!
If you live in Missouri City, TX or nearby, don’t forget to sign up for my birthday special