2 December 2013

Griot’s Car Care Tip: Winning the water-spot battle

Water spots form when water dries on the surface of your car and leaves behind solid residue from minerals or environmental contaminants. More malicious water spots might even contain corrosive elements that can etch paint or glass if not dealt with properly. If this etching process is permitted to progress, water can produce a crater, which will allow it to pool, further compounding the damage. Summer is prime time for spots because water evaporates so quickly on warm surfaces.

Proper drying is a must. A simple cleaning will remove most basic water spots caused by dirt or minerals sitting on the surface. If the spots persist follow-up steps include cleaning clay and polishing. A good paint wax or sealant can also help make spot removal easier.

Sometimes hard water coming from your hose can be the harbinger of corrosive contaminants. Average tap water ranges anywhere from 140-400ppm total dissolved solids (TDS). Water is considered “hard” anywhere above 170ppm, so there’s a good chance you’re rinsing your car with hard water. You can measure this with a good TDS meter. Filtering solids out of your water with an inline softener/deionizer will prevent harmful particulates from sitting on your paint and glass. We highly suggest that you save your filter and only use it for the final rinse before drying.

Bringing the right products to bear will ensure that you are victorious in the ongoing struggle against nasty, damaging water spots!

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5 Reader Comments

  • 1
    cpt nic Denver CO December 4, 2013 at 15:41
    This article is very useful now in December when the temperatures outside is 0 degrees here in Denver ... thanks Griot ... any suggestions on how keep the water flowing through the inline softener/deionizer mounted on the outside hose bib at this temperature?
  • 2
    Fred Emig Midlothian, VA December 4, 2013 at 19:17
    You know, it would be a big help if you told us where we could go to get a good TDS meter and an inline softener/deionizer.
  • 3
    David Chambers Fonthill, Ontario, Canada December 5, 2013 at 16:33
    The best trick to preventing water spots is to splash your cleaned car with distilled water. I save the water from the dehumidifier and just splash it onto the wet car.....it in turn causes the rinse water to run off and there are no particulates in the splashed water to leave water spots. Even if you do not dry your vehicle.....there are no water spots!
  • 4
    kurt graber Wylie, Texas December 9, 2013 at 16:16
    I had my 66 T-Bird's paint sealed and it looks like glass, now. Very happy with it. Where can one purchase paint sealant without having to go to a detail shop?
  • 5
    Ron LaVergne Onalaska,Washington December 9, 2013 at 18:44
    Whats the best way to get rid of water spots on your car and your windows?

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