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Old 08-06-2017, 06:03 PM   #1
Brock31
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enginuity is cool

Default How do you remove water spots etched into paint?

Bought this car a few months ago. Black 08 Sti hatchback.

It looks like the previous owner was careless with drying the car or allowed the car to have a sprinkler run on it regularly or something.

Top and hood have some pretty bad war spots etched into the paint or more likely the clear coat.

I'm not super into detailing and have never attempted to get rid of something like this.

Have tried, vinegar and a light polishing compound and rubbing compound.

No dice.

Would like to use something that I can do "manually" without the use of a tool and take care of it a little at a time.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
ZacT
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CarPro Spotless is pretty good stuff. I would certainly give that a shot, though I have never used it on anything that has really been left to bake in.

I'm sure you could compound it out, sounds like you are too, but saving the clear coat is always good... Give Spotless a shot, I was happy to see it is one of CarPro's more reasonably priced items.

~Zac
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:34 AM   #3
Brock31
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I've tried compounding with no luck.

I REALLY don't want to have to resort to wetsanding or something that drastic.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:44 PM   #4
ZacT
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Do you have a picture? That would help.

~Zac
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:25 PM   #5
whiplash willy
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My car got attacked by a sprinkler at work, and was left to sit and dry all day in 80+*F temps. I had also tried Clay, Vinegar, Optimum Mineral Deposit Remover, with no luck. There was still a "Ghosting" effect left behind.

Carpro Water Spot Remover completely and easily removed the spots from my entire car!

Here is what it looked like before:



One difference is my car is coated with Optimum Gloss Coat (Ceramic type coating), so it is better protected then straight clear, but the Carpro Spotless should be just as effective on clear. Because I have a coating, I didn't want to try and polish them out, because that would remove the coating. Being able to completely remove them chemically, I was able to not have to remove my coating, and it completely retained its properties after using the water spot remover. You can always get a small sample bottle for around $5 to try. Let me know if you have any questions. To be safe, I would do a complete wash after using the water spot remover, just to ensure that nothing is left behind.

https://www.carpro-us.com/paint-deco...r-500ml-16-oz/
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:53 PM   #6
schuylerreed
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Sounds like the spots have been sealed into the paint. Usually water spots aren't that serious. Did the previous owner clear coat it before the sale?
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:46 PM   #7
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Brock, you've got a paint that is close to 10 years old, it's traditionally a soft clear coat, and the water spots are from an unknown origin. One of your decisions is how bad do you want a perfect (or close to perfect) finish? Which if I read into your additional comments correctly, it's not the #1 goal. And that's a good thing with a 10 year old.

A few points to consider. 1. Wet sanding a 10 year old paint, in which you really don't know much about the first 9 years, is risky business. With a soft clear coat Subaru, it's even more risky. I wouldn't go there unless my wallet would allow a repaint when something goes wrong.

2. Machine polishing and compounding with the right products will lend results far superior to anything you'll do by hand. Where you've been unsuccessful by hand, you may be surprised to remedy the problem by machine. If you really want to tackle the job yourself, to save money, buy yourself an orbital polisher for under $200. It's a great investment if you will be tending to your, and your families, car for the foreseeable future.

3. You have to be ready for the result that those spots may not be completely removable. If they have etched into the clear coat deeply enough, just like a nasty bird bomb, you'll remove all of your clear before you get to the bottom of the water spot damage. I personally have some of these on my car and it's not worth the risk to try and wet sand them out.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:22 AM   #8
Brock31
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Thanks for all the responses. I have accepted the fact that this paint will not be perfect and have begun the process of wondering how much effort am I willing to put into this.

The hood and top are the main areas with some spotting/etching/pitting on the front fenders.

I need to get pictures to help...if photobucket hadn't done what they did...

My spots are not like the ones pictured above. They are really only visible at certain angles and in certain light. They are more like rings.

Anyway...the imperfections are not detectable to the touch as the surface feels smooth with makes me thing these things have been there for a while and likely deeper than most which is why my amateur attempts to remove them have been 100% ineffective.

I'd like to try one more hand rubbing before I venture into purchasing an orbital polisher.

Are there any polishes/compounds I should try?
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:37 PM   #9
terrainasaurus
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I'm going to chime in and say that the harbor freight DA get's the job done, but it's a heavy machine to work with and will most likely take longer to achieve the finish you want because of it's rugged performance. This is just my opinion based on my own experience.

Figure out how you want to go about it and get the paint looking great!
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:23 PM   #10
carenthusiast77
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I've been wondering about this myself...
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:42 PM   #11
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It sounds like your water stains are more serious than the spots I get from hard water. I have heard spraying the car with detail spray and a microfiber while still wet will prevent hard water spots
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:58 PM   #12
terrainasaurus
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Try using imgur to upload your pictures.

Upload, then use the 'Direct Link' and copy and paste it in the nasioc 'Insert Image' loader.

Pictures will really help! Try and get good and close up to the paint, too. From the top lookind down on the spots and from the side would be good.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:05 AM   #13
simpreza92
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https://majesticsolutions.com/product/water-spot-remover
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Old 09-01-2018, 04:54 PM   #14
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:21 PM   #15
Scooby921
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock31 View Post
Thanks for all the responses. I have accepted the fact that this paint will not be perfect and have begun the process of wondering how much effort am I willing to put into this.

The hood and top are the main areas with some spotting/etching/pitting on the front fenders.

I need to get pictures to help...if photobucket hadn't done what they did...

My spots are not like the ones pictured above. They are really only visible at certain angles and in certain light. They are more like rings.

Anyway...the imperfections are not detectable to the touch as the surface feels smooth with makes me thing these things have been there for a while and likely deeper than most which is why my amateur attempts to remove them have been 100% ineffective.

I'd like to try one more hand rubbing before I venture into purchasing an orbital polisher.

Are there any polishes/compounds I should try?
Not sure where you are on your attempts to correct, but I'm in a similar place with my Porsche. I visited my sister and didn't realize that her well-water based lawn sprinklers were going to catch my car in the driveway. It sat out in the 100F temps and cloudless days for an entire weekend. Water spots are horrific. I didn't notice the issue until I packed up the car to head home.

I spent a good 7 hours getting progressively more aggressive. Wash (not enough). Clay (not enough). Polish (not enough). Correct (not enough). I went as aggressive as a heavy cut compound on a finishing pad (Rupes Zephir on a Lake Country microfiber finishing pad). This is on top of a ceramic coating. It got a lot of the spots off, but at the right angle you can still see the outlines all over the car. I didn't want to go as far as using the heavy compound on a cut pad, but the heavy compound on a finishing pad did better than a medium compound on a cut pad.

I bought the CarPro water spot remover, but haven't tried it yet. I expect it to work as most of the specific water spot removers are mild acids that react with the iron which leads to the water spots. Be sure to do more than just wipe off the water spot remover when done. It needs to be washed off to make sure it doesn't further attack the paint / clear coat. If / when I get to it I'll try and remember to report back.
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Old 09-15-2018, 02:53 AM   #16
Scooby921
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So I finally got around to using the CarPro Spotless water spot remover. It didn't work. I applied half a dozen times to one section of the hood and while it seemed like it got a little better it didn't remove the water spots. Perhaps it works when you catch them early, but I've let this thing bake too long in the sun apparently.

I did get the spots removed, but it required a medium cutting compound on a cutting pad. In my case it was Rupes medium compound on a LC microfiber cutting pad.


This is how it started:



This is after applying CarPro Spotless half a dozen times:



And this is after compounding with the Rupes medium and LC microfiber cut pad:
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:49 PM   #17
jasonwrx86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby921 View Post
So I finally got around to using the CarPro Spotless water spot remover. It didn't work. I applied half a dozen times to one section of the hood and while it seemed like it got a little better it didn't remove the water spots. Perhaps it works when you catch them early, but I've let this thing bake too long in the sun apparently.

I did get the spots removed, but it required a medium cutting compound on a cutting pad. In my case it was Rupes medium compound on a LC microfiber cutting pad.


This is how it started:



This is after applying CarPro Spotless half a dozen times:



And this is after compounding with the Rupes medium and LC microfiber cut pad:
I had good luck with the remover I mentioned above. It's acid so the reaction is chemically not physically. Hard water spots are pretty hard because they are salt deposits so if you try to polish, it becomes hard to remove. Acid will react with deposits not the paint itself. Much effective and safe.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:47 AM   #18
jcf_dori
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LC microfiber cut pad: was this done by hand or machine?
looks like you were able to remove most of the waterspots but some are still present in the last photo, however it's better than what it was at the start !
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:25 PM   #19
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I know this is an old thread but The Rag Company just made this video that may be of use to some people dealing with water spots.

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Old 10-19-2018, 12:28 PM   #20
Lightguy
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Have you tried McGuire's cleaner & wax with a store bought buffer? I've had water spots removed from cars I have owned that way.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:59 PM   #21
oichan
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Yeah, wheel acid is a little too extreme for most people.

I kind of laughed when the guy just sprayed vinegar and wiped off saying it didn't work. You have to lay down a towel on the paint and pour vinegar onto the towel and keep it drenched/soaked for at least 15min-20min..probably more like 30min.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:28 PM   #22
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I wish the vinegar was more effective. Even the specific mineral deposit remover I bought didn't seem to help much in my case. The issue with the vinegar for me was that my main problem areas were on the lower half of the doors so I couldn't just soak a towel and lay it on the problem area.

Even though I would not really recommend it because of how hazardous it is the diluted wheel acid worked wonders when I tried it over the weekend.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:10 PM   #23
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Vinegar works when it's heated up. I use vinegar to clean my electric kettle all the time.
At normal temp, it will not do anything.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwrx86 View Post
Vinegar works when it's heated up. I use vinegar to clean my electric kettle all the time.
At normal temp, it will not do anything.
Good to know. Roughly how warm do you think? Thanks
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGM_WRX View Post
Good to know. Roughly how warm do you think? Thanks
It seems the deposit only slowly go away when boiling.
I don't think pouring boiling water onto your paint is a good idea.
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