Water spots are common in areas where there is hard water and acid rain. So, how does one remove water spots from a car? What are some of the procedures you can use to remove water spots from your vehicle? What are the different types of water spots? How does one prevent the likelihood of getting water spots on their vehicle?
Table of Contents
- How do you get rid of water spots from your car?
- Types of Water Spots
- Methods of Removing Water Spots on a Car
- Methods to Prevent Water Spots
- Wrapping it Up
How do you get rid of water spots from your car?
There are various methods one can use to remove different types of water spots on their vehicle. These methods include washing the car, using a suitable water spot remover, using a solution of vinegar and clean water, the clay method, hydrofluoric acid, and the use of a wheel acid.
This article will explore the methods one can use to remove water spots on their cars and the causes of the different types of water spots. It will also look at some of the methods to implement to prevent your vehicle from getting water spots.
So, if your car has water spots, but you are wondering how to remove them, then this article will guide you on this.
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Typically, most car owners have dealt with water spots on their vehicles, especially those living in areas with hard water and acid rain. These blemishes may make the vehicle appear unclean even after washing. Over time, these blemishes may end up causing significant damage, thus leading to a high maintenance cost.
When the water spots are left on the vehicle for an extended period, it begins to react to the car’s paint coat. Additionally, when washing a car with hard water, the calcium carbonate present may build up and attach to the vehicle’s body, causing deterioration over time.
Once the corrosion begins, the degree of damage increases from being a thin coat contaminant at the top of the coat to the other deeper coat layer that needs to be removed using an advanced method. In some cases, the water spots can corrode the coat deeply, leading to the replacement of the body or body painting.
Types of Water Spots
There are two primary forms of water stains where both have a varying degree of damage to the coat and paint of the vehicle. It depends on the composition of the water present in the area. They include:
Water Spots from Hard Water
Water is hard when the pH value is higher than 7. The hard water sources can be in taps, lakes, rivers, and rain, naturally containing elements such as magnesium and calcium.
Additionally, if the area has rocks and soil rich in these elements, they may end up leaching into the water bodies when it rains. When hard water comes into contact with the vehicle’s surface during cleaning or rain, it leaves behind mineral deposits.
When the water on the vehicle’s body evaporates, it leaves minerals such as magnesium and calcium carbonate behind, which build up on the surface.
They firmly embed themselves on the smooth coat of the car, forming a white powder that has an abrasive texture when touching. Even though these minerals are not poisonous, they reduce the service life of every car equipment that comes into contact with, including the coating of the vehicle.
Therefore, before washing the car with water, ensure it is not rich in magnesium and calcium. Ensure to park your vehicle in a shade when it rains to avoid corrosion.
Water Spots from Acid Rain
Due to industrialization, the atmosphere contains different types of acid gases such as carbon dioxide and Sulphur dioxide.
When it rains, the rainwater combines with these acid gases to form weak acids with a ph range of around 5. If the vehicle is kept in an area with no shade for an extended period, the acid rain corrodes the paint.
Typically, the regular washing of the car can wash out the acids since they have a low concentration in the rainwater. For individuals residing in areas with many industries, the levels of acid rain can be high due to the emissions of acid gases.
Additionally, staying close to active volcanic mountains can also stain and corrode vehicles due to the emission of Sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.
Methods of Removing Water Spots on a Car
One can use the following methods to remove water spots from their vehicle. They include:
Washing the Car
The First step of removing water stains is foaming the vehicle and using a pressure machine to wash it. Ensure that the water is clean and has no hard properties.
Washing the vehicle makes the other subsequent processes quickly clear out all the grime and dust. If the vehicle has been exposed to the rain for a long period, it needs a thorough wash to get rid of any acid residues or salts that may be present.
If the mineral deposits do not corrode for a long period, washing and scrubbing can remove them. However, when the residues corrode firmly, one should use other advanced methods.
Use of the Clay Bar
Typically, when a vehicle is parked outside without shade, it is viable to elements such as toxins and other contaminants. The clay bar helps remove various contaminants such as acid rain mineral deposits, industrial debris, and brake dust.
The oxidation of these contaminants can lead to the discoloration of the vehicle’s coat. The clay bar helps to clean artificial and organic impurities.
Most of these contaminants involve metal particles that can discolor the base of the vehicle by penetrating through the different layers of the coat. If the contaminants are not removed for long, they may oxidize and create rusts that spread underneath the coat protection.
The process of using a clay bar involves cutting the required piece of the clay bar and then using it for a flat oval, spreading it on the vehicle’s surface to maintain a damp surface with water.
Begin to clay the top of the vehicle, the hood, and then work on the lower and side areas of the car. On the damp areas of the car, move the clay onto the sides and in an up-down direction. When the area is clean, use a cloth to wipe it dry, then start the process again until a clean surface is achieved.
Distilled Water and Vinegar Solution
White vinegar provides the best remedy when it comes to removing mineral residues and stains. The acetic acid in vinegar reacts with the calcium or magnesium carbonate by dissolving it.
Since white vinegar has a high acidic ph of about 2.5, it can be abrasive to the vehicle’s surface, and therefore, one should dilute it with an equal amount of distilled water. The process involves spraying the solution on the body surface and then letting it stay for a few minutes to let the solution dissolve the residues present.
Remove the solution using a clean cloth made from microfiber. Repeat the process to achieve effective cleaning.
Polishing and Compounding
Using diluted vinegar and wheel acid removes most mineral residues because they are strong and effective. However, if the vehicle stays in the acid rain for a long period, the smooth coat surface has tiny corrosions and etchings that can become cavities. The cavities can continue to enlarge if the vehicle gets wet, escalating the issue over time.
Once the vehicle’s surface has cavities, the only solution is polishing or wet cutting the coating layer. One should try to limit the number of times when using a cutting. It is because every time one uses it, it consumes the thin layer of the smooth coat where it can ultimately come off.
Methods to Prevent Water Spots
Prevention of water stains in the earlier stages can help one save on maintenance costs because, once the coated surface of the vehicle is damaged, it needs to be repainted or even replaced. Here are some of the methods to use to prevent water spots in the future:
Washing and Drying the Car after it Rains
When it rains, ensure to wash the car by rinsing off the rainwater with a pressure washing machine. Doing this controls the degree to which the contaminants and pollutants dissolve on the vehicle’s coat surface to have a vehicle that has practical hydrophobic qualities.
Additionally, when the automobile is rained on or washed, the most critical thing to avoid water spots is to dry the surface using a clean microfiber cloth. Washing will remove mineral residues and other pollutants from the vehicle as they continue to dissolve in water, avoiding the formation of residues.
Add a Coating
The best coating to use is ceramic because it offers a surface with less friction and adheres firmly to the paint. The use of ceramic coatings and sprays is strong and can offer high resistance against abrasive substances such as acid rain.
Additionally, there are coatings such as waxes and paint sealants that can help to prevent corrosion. However, when it comes to acid rain, they are not effective as ceramic coatings because they deteriorate under a chemical attack.
Wrapping it Up
Typically, removing mineral residues from the vehicle’s coat is primary, and the options to remove them are limitless. There is the use of various acidic reagents where one can use the moderate ones such as vinegar and move up depending on the damage.
Additionally, acid rain can corrode and discolor the smooth coat, harming its structure. In this case, wash the car thoroughly and then polish and recoat it using a suitable product.