How To Remove Water Spots From Your Car
Even after washing your car, water spots may surprisingly still be found on the body of the finish. This is because the spots are caused by elements in hard water. (Such element may be magnesium or calcium).
How Do Spots Form On A Car?
When water is deposited on the body of a car, it gets wet and dissolves the impurities around it. After a while, this water dries and leaves behind it a mixture of the hard water minerals and dirt that form unpleasant spots around the car body. As long as it is hard water, it may be from a sprinkler, or a shower or rainfall, spots are bound to form once the deposited water evaporates. The best time to remove water spots is immediately you notice them form. If left on the paintwork, the water minerals will waste no time in etching onto the paintwork and will leave less temporary stains.
See more: Car scratch remove
Type of Spots That Form on Cars
The type of water spots you may encounter should be any of the two:
Water spots that magnesium and calcium deposits above the surface
This is the more common and easily removed of the two. It occurs when mineral elements have been left as direct deposits on the body of the car. The deposit bonds carefully with the paintwork leaving a circular or ring pattern.
Water spots that magnesium and calcium deposits below the surface
It is difficult or mostly impossible to remove and can form over a long period of time (about a week) if a car is parked in a spot. This type of water spots start from above the surface and etch deep into the paintwork to become almost permanent markings.
How to Remove
By chemical science, we can understand that water spots on cars are evaporated solutions of magnesium or calcium hydroxides. Such are alkalis (bases). Bases may well be neutralized by acids and such is the basis of our cleaning methods. A lot of methods are available for easy removal of water spots from your car, and most depend on the availability of the cleaning solutions used. For the second type of spots mentioned in this guide, paint and wax might be an easy fix. To get started, you will need the following:
What you will need
Method 1: Use of Vinegar Solution
This method best works for the first type of water spots.
Get a bottle or spray container and fill it halfway (50%) with vinegar and then to the brim with water. You may want to increase or decrease the vinegar with respect to the persistence of the spots. Higher concentrations are more effective against difficult spots.
Locate the water spots and spray carefully on it with the vinegar solution. Wait for a moment or two for the vinegar to fully dissolve the minerals. Spray repeatedly again for particularly stubborn spots. Use a towel to soak up the vinegar and scrub the surface gently. You should notice that the spots disappearing gradually.
Wait for a short while for the vinegar to finish its job. Then give the car a good washing, especially if this something you have not done in a long time. Washing is necessary to remove the left over vinegar solution from the car body. It would also help you clean out all dust and oil that may have accumulated on the car body.
Precaution: Do avoid the use of vinegar on your paintwork in hot or sunny weather.
Method 2: Use of Muriatic Acid
Muriatic acid is a mixture of hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids. These acids are classified as strong and should be handled with extreme care, hence the need for hand gloves.
Safety of body and health is of utmost importance. Ensure you put on your hand gloves first and your nose mask. Get a mixture of muriatic acid in a spray keg. The mixture may be done manually, or a premixed solution may be bought from the store.
Dampen a towel with the acid mixture. Do not spray directly on the car body as hydrofluoric acid is highly corrosive and may attack paintwork if in excess concentration. Gently scrub the spots with the dampened towel.
After scrubbing, wash the car body with warm water and soap. This is to neutralize any leftover acid that is dissolved with the minerals. Dry the car thoroughly with a clean towel. Then move to METHOD 3.
Precaution: Hydrofluoric acid in particular is toxic if inhaled and should be used with care.
Method 3: Car Waxing and Polish
An utmost solution for water spots that are found below the surface of the paint. After going over the car with acid or vinegar solution, applying car wax gives your car the perfect finish. For how to apply car wax, see (link to how to apply car wax articles). An advantage of having your car waxed is that it gives your paint more protection from water spots and surface chemicals.
How To Prevent Water Spots From Your Car
Since water spots are undesirable and damage the paintwork continuously, it is best for maintenance if prevented. To prevent them from forming in the body of your car, always ensure to clean out thoroughly all water deposited on the car body after washing before it can get to dry and form water spots. This can be done with a soft and consistent towel. If you are going to park your vehicle close to a sprinkler, or leave it parked for a long time, be sure to use a tarpaulin coat to cover the body surface.
Finally, prevention is better than cure. It's best to attack and remove water spots the moment you notice them. Some of the minerals have the ability to etch quickly onto the paintwork and go on to form under-the-surface spots. Also, avoid the use of industrial abrasives or toothpaste. They contain chemicals that may be harsh to the metal coating of the car.