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Old 07-09-2011, 11:39 PM   #1
foolycooly
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Default Water spots

I took a road trip a week ago and came home to a bumper full of bugs. I went ahead and hosed them off while they were "fresh", but didn't wash or dry the car. I figured it would be better to rinse off most of the bugs than to leave them and let them bake in.

A week later (today) I finally got around to washing...I finished up and everything looked good--However, when I was leaving dinner tonight I noticed that the outline of the water spots left over from my previous rinse off were still showing under the same lighting that would show minor swirls.

Will these spots come off with a couple more washes? Or will I need to look into polishing/compounding? I had no idea that water spots would actually last through a wash.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:03 AM   #2
The Duke
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Water spots are deposits left from impurities in the water. It's dirt/minerals that's been suspended in the water and is left behind when the water phase changes to a vapor. Harder water will leave more minerals/deposits.

To remove them, you can get a filter for your water-source, but it's easier to dry the car off before the water has time to evaporate. I use an absorber (carefully not to cause scratches). To remove swirls/marring you need a polish. Search around here and you'll find how to do that.
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:03 AM   #3
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once washed, micro fiber towel(s) to dry it off. no water marks and turns out great. i wash mine every weekend, did it today. turned out great. cheap towels too. i use them for my window cleaning as well.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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Thanks--I do understand the water spots concept and the importance of drying. During my normal wash routine, I use WW MF towels to dry the car thoroughly. I just didn't know that leaving them to "bake in" for a couple of days could make them so permanent.

My question was more centered on how difficult they are to actually remove once left to dwell for a couple of days.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Distilled white vinegar can sometimes help with mineral deposits but if the spots have etched the clear coat, you will likely need an abrasive approach (ie. compound/polish).

Personally, I like to take a non-abrasive approach to such things and then get more aggressive if needed. If the spots don't wash off I will try a vinegar solution or a dedicated water spot remover. ....I've had good luck with Chemical Guys WSR. An AIO (all in one) or paint cleaner can also sometimes help in place of other chemical solutions.

I would choose a small section of an affected panel and try the vinegar first and then move on to other products from there. If you need a good compound/polish that you can source locally, Meguiars Ultimate Compound and Swirl-X work decently by hand or machine.

.....sorry for the short response but Im sending this from my phone.
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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Thanks kean--for the distilled white vinegar approach, what sort of dilution ratio would you suggest? Or pure 100%?

Will the vinegar solution strip sealant?
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:10 PM   #7
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Vinegar is a mild acid that will neutralize any alkalines left from the mineral/wate spot. It clean the surface and should not strip the paint of a sealant depending how much sealant is actually still on the paint. Regardless, you would want to reapply a wax/sealant after removing bugs/contaminents/paint defects anyway, so that shouldnt be a concern at this point. Like stated in prev post, start low on the aggression level to remove any defeSwct as not to remove more clear coat than is necessary or causing more damage to the paint. For instances like this while roading it keep a quick detailer/spray-on car wash, and/or spray wax/sealant, and a few mf cloths/towels to take care of contaminants that will etch the paint if left on it.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolycooly View Post
Thanks kean--for the distilled white vinegar approach, what sort of dilution ratio would you suggest? Or pure 100%?

Will the vinegar solution strip sealant?
Sorry about that.

....yes, the vinegar is acidic and will likely remove what you have on the finish. You will need to re-apply your chosen wax/sealant afterward.

As far as a mix, some will typically do 50/50 in a spray bottle (50% DW vinegar and 50% distilled water) but straight should also be ok. The obvious issue is the smell.

Personally, I would test an area by moistening a folded, paint-safe towel (straight from the bottle) and gently pressing against one of the spots. Let it dwell for a few moments and check your progress as you go. Make sure any rubbing you do is light, gentle and short. The surface you're doing this on should also be otherwise clean. You can use a spray detailer afterward to wipe down the treated section. If successful, try doing some other areas with the 50/50 mix in a spray bottle. You will need (probably want) to re-wash the car after you're done.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:19 PM   #9
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Meguiars ultimate compound has been able to get nearly all water spots off my car.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxfinally View Post
once washed, micro fiber towel(s) to dry it off. no water marks and turns out great. i wash mine every weekend, did it today. turned out great. cheap towels too. i use them for my window cleaning as well.
this or a chamois.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:34 AM   #11
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I had water spots that I couldnt remove with anything..
I had no compound to remove it. so I went the cheap and noob way...
tooth paste.. LOL. it did remove them hahaha, but I would never do it again..

try to use something like the meguiars ultimate compound


btw I didnt understand that thing of the vinegar, I have to clean all the water spots with it? then apply the sealant right?
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:51 AM   #12
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Wow, some of you guys are quick with the compound. I would do a wash, claybar and polish. Then look over the car carefully for any persistent spots. If there are any, do a gentle spot compound on them. Finally finish with a paint sealant.

I'm with SubieDugie. Try the least aggressive methods first. I don't even own any compound. I've never had a problem polish or scratch remover couldn't fix.

Last edited by dmk0210; 07-11-2011 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:09 AM   #13
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Added some DG water spot remover to my latest resupply order. I'll see if that gives me any results before I move to clay and polish.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #14
Kean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolycooly View Post
Added some DG water spot remover to my latest resupply order. I'll see if that gives me any results before I move to clay and polish.
....I don't have experience with DG WSR (#505) but from the description of the product it says it won't remove durable products from the finish, so I have a feeling it may be a bit more mild than something like Chemical Guys WSR. Please keep us posted on the result though.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darksurfing View Post
btw I didnt understand that thing of the vinegar, I have to clean all the water spots with it? then apply the sealant right?
.you would need to wash the car, apply the vinegar to the affected area(s) as mentioned, re-wash and then apply your wax/sealant of choice. Again, I would advise doing a test area first and check your work as you go. Use appropriate lighting and/or pull the vehicle into the sunlight to assess.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:52 AM   #16
foolycooly
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Tried using the #505 yesterday with limited results. I washed the car, then sprayed it onto the affected areas and wiped away with a MF. It helped with some of the lighter water spots, but the bigger ones were unaffected. It looks like they are pretty etched.

I polished some of the major spots away with meg's ultimate polish by hand. The others will have to stay until I get a full correction.

I assume I'm not in danger of further etching on the remaining spots?


Also, I tried out DG aquawax for the first time--initial results look good, but I'll have to wait and see what I think.
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