How To Remove Water Spots From a Car's Paint

No matter how the water spots got on your paint, they're there and if you don't get rid of them they will leave a lasting impression in your paint called an etching. 

What are water spots? 

Water spots are mineral deposits left behind from unfiltered water. Tap water, well water, and rainwater all contain varying levels of minerals. Hard water is water that contains a lot of minerals and soft water contains less. How hard or soft your water depends on your geographical location. 

How to remove water spots

Method 1:

Wash your car with a low pH cleaner such as a degreaser, APC, or Vinegar. Hard water typically has a high pH so counteracting that with a low pH cleaner will help remove them. To learn how to wash your car like a pro check out our guide to washing your vehicle. A low pH cleaner will remove any waxes or sealants so after washing your car you need to re-apply any coatings.

Method 2:

Claying your paint will remove any embedded contaminants like mineral deposits, tar, tree sap, iron, and other contaminants. However, claying the paint may not remove water spots that have been etched into the paint or have been on your paint for an extended period of time. 

Wash your car as normal, but before drying use a clay bar and clay lubricant to remove contaminants. Check out this guide to claying your paint

Method 3: 

Water spot removal products can be a quick and easy way to remove water spots. You can find these products at local auto stores or online. Below is one of the said products. To use this just follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Meguiar's A3714 Compound Water Spot Remover - 16 oz.

Method 4:

Polishing your paint is the most effective method to remove water spots. This will remove all water spots and etchings as well as removing light scratches from your car's paint. Unfortunately, this is also the most advanced method and if not executed properly it may do more harm than good. I recommend that you hire a professional to do this for you. But if you're a DIY type of person, here is a guide to polishing your paint.

How to prevent water spots

To prevent water spots never allow water to dry on your car's paint. Use a mineral filter when washing your car and regularly apply water to your car's paint. Lastly, avoid parking outside in the rain or near water sprinklers.


Armed with this knowledge you will easily be able to fight tuff water spots on your car's paint. Best of luck with your future detailing endeavors. If you have any more questions feel free to reach out to us and ask.

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