10 Fast Ways To Remove Water Spots From Your Car

Water spots are ugly and could make your car look old and neglected.

No wonder everyone is looking for quick and easy ways how to remove water spots on a car thoroughly..

Quick Answer

Generally, water spots can be removed by washing the affected parts with distilled water, commercial water spot removers, or homemade compounds such as diluted vinegar. These techniques do not work for etched water spots. These need to be polished out of the paint.

Water spots and stains are remnants of water, which, if left to dry, will destroy the car’s beautiful appearance.

They form unsightly and annoying white-edged ovals and circles that may be difficult to remove using plain water.

You may need to use polish and other compounds to remove such water spots.

Continue reading to see how you can get rid of these water spots.  

How Do I Get Rid of Water Spots

There are several ways of removing water spots from a vehicle.

They range washing and drying the car to using compounds such as diluted vinegar and baking powder.

Here are the ways to remove the water spots.

Rewash And Dry Well

If the first washing left water spots on the car, you might have to rewash it to remove the water spots.

But, this method works if the water spots have not overstayed.

Thus, the first thing you will need to do is assemble the necessary tools for the job.

You need a bucket, a microfiber mitt, car shampoo, and a drying towel for proper car care.

Using a microfiber towel to dry your car after washing produces better results than when you use rugs. 

If the water spots result from the previous washing, you may need to wash it again using normal water and rinsing it with distilled water.

Use the microfiber towel to dry your car to ensure no water is left behind to form spots.

Unfortunately, this method can only remove fresh water spots. It may not remove the stubborn water spots on the car’s paint. 

Using Cleaning Tools 

If the water spots cannot be removed by washing and drying, you may need to use more aggressive methods.

For instance, if you notice whitish or hazy surfaces after washing and drying, then it is a sign of hard water spots which cannot be removed by washing and drying.

This may happen whenever you wash the car with alkaline water. The alkaline build-up leaves behind spots that are difficult to remove.

In this case, you may use cleaning tools to remove the spots.

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Using White Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the solutions that have been used to remove water spots for many years.

But to get the best results, you’ll need to follow the following procedures. 

  • Mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts distilled water in a bowl. 
  • Let the solution mix for 10 minutes and pour it into a spray bottle. 
  • Shake the mixture well and spray it on the hard stain surface. To get good results, focus on a few areas at a time. It allows you to dry the area properly after you finish. 
  • If you will be using a water stain remover, ensure to rub it gently on a clean cloth and add it to vinegar solution before using it to work on the surface. It should be able to lift new spots with ease. 
  • Use a hose pipe to rinse off the car. If the water spots are not extensive, rinse using a clean piece of cloth soaked in water. 
  • Use the microfiber towel to dry the car.

If the stain remains on some parts, repeat the process once again.

Use Baking Soda

You may also use baking soda to help remove hard spots.

For this, you will need baking soda, a towel, distilled water, and a bowl.

Next, mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part distilled water and let them mix in a bowl for 10 minutes.

You may add some drops of vinegar to make the solution stronger. Mix the paste well and apply it to a clean piece of cloth.

Rub it gently on the surface with hard spots and let it soak for 15 minutes .

Remove the paste using a piece of cloth soaked in distilled or clean water, and dry the area using a microfiber towel. 

Use Commercial Water Spots Removers

You can also remove hard spots using commercial water spots removers.

There are plenty of commercial water spot removers to choose from.

They include Boat Bling’s Hot Sauce water spot, GlasWeld ProClean, and Chemical Guys among others.

But ensure to check the ingredients before grabbing one. 

To use the commercial water spots remover:

  • Ensure to rewash the car and dry thoroughly using a microfiber towel.
  • Apply the water spot remover to the targeted area. You may do this by rubbing the remover on the affected part.
  • Use a dry cloth to remove the residue and the hard water spots.

Chemical Guys Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover

Get this commercial water spot remover kit which includes a water spot remover and three microfiber cloths by clicking the link below.

Your car will thank you!

Use A Lemon

If the water spots are formed due to washing the car with alkali water, you may remove them by cleaning the area with clean water and rubbing it with lemon to remove the spots. 

Clean the affected area using clean water.

Cut the lemon into two halves and use one half to rub the affected area.

Repeat the process using the other half if the spots are still visible.

Ensure to rinse it well using distilled water and dry it using a towel.   

Use Detailing Clay

You may also use detailing clay to remove stubborn water spots from parts of the car.

The detailing clay serves as a lubricant and will quickly remove stubborn water stains by shearing the minerals off.

Rinse off the area with distilled water and use a microfiber towel to dry it. 

Polish The Water Spot

If the water spots have turned into etching, it may not be possible for you to remove them using any of the above methods.

Therefore, you’ll have to polish the car to remove the stains.

Start by cleaning the vehicle using clean water and drying it using a microfiber towel.

Apply the polish to the affected area.

Chemical Guys Polishing Kit

This kit will make all water spots disappear quickly. It comes with an orbital polishing machine, polishing pads, and different polishing compounts.

Click the link below to get it. Your car will thank you!

The polish should be applied in swirls but clean the area to remove the swirls.

Use the least aggressive polish for better results. Also, don’t polish a large area of the car.

Work on small areas to get better results. 

Use Wheel Cleaning Acid

If you have tried removing water spots using other methods but you don’t get the desired results, the wheel acid cleaning method could be helpful.

The method uses the hydrofluoric acid solution, which is highly corrosive to break down dust deposits.

The acid reacts and neutralizes mineral deposits faster. 

Unfortunately, the method is dangerous and should only be used in well-ventilated spaces since it releases toxic gasses into the atmosphere.

These gasses can harm your eyes and your respiratory system. 

Do not use pure hydrofluoric acid since it is too strong and can eat through the car coat and attack the metal.

So ensure to dilute it by adding one hydrofluoric acid to 4 distilled water. Spot test to ensure that it is diluted. 

Once you have the right solution, spray it on a microfiber towel and use it to work on the mineral deposits.

Spraying it can corrode plastics, rubber, and even glass.

Also, leave it on the surface for some time after rubbing to neutralize the minerals before rinsing it with clean water. 

Repaint And Wax The Car

If you try the above methods but still don’t get the desired results, the only option left is to paint the car and wax it to prevent further spotting.

You may apply a coat of sealant on the stubborn spots and some wax to prevent future spotting. 

How Do You Remove Hard Water Spots Or Etched Water Spots On Car Paint?

Etched water sports are annoying, because they are essentially water spot damage.

Thus, they must be removed as soon as possible.

But the approach used to remove the spots on your paint varies depending on the range of severity.

Also, the method or approach to use depends on the severity level. 

Quick Answer

Removing etchings is complex and may require that you apply physical abrasion to the affected surfaces. Ensure to remove all the swirls and polish the surface to completely remove etching marks that may be left during the abrasion. Wipe the area with a wooly towel soaked in distilled water.

Etching will always form if the remaining water is baked in intense sunlight to make it evaporate and leave behind corrosive minerals.

It can also be caused by acid rain or washing your car with water full of chlorine. When the water evaporates, it eats into the coat and lowers the level of the surrounding surface.

You may deploy different methods such as the use of vinegar and claying to remove the etches.

However, if the etches are extreme and severe, you can only remove them using the polishing and painting methods. 

Can Car Wash Remove Water Spots On Your Car?

You can use a variety of methods to remove water spots. You may choose to wash the car, rub it with compounds or polish it.

But if the water spots are severe, it may necessitate that you apply more advanced methods such as abrasion. 

Quick Answer

Washing the car can remove freshwater spots. For instance, if the car has been sitting in the rain, you may remove the acid and salt traces by simply washing it with distilled water and drying it using a microfiber towel. However, if the water spots have been present for a while, washing may not remove them. 

But if the water spots have remained on your car for a long time, they harden or etch the surface. Such spots can only be removed using polish.

Why Can’t I Remove Water Spots From Car Paint?

There are two major reasons why water spots won’t come off your car.

The problem is either that the water spot is etched into the clear coat or that it is a hard water spot.

The minerals in hard water or tap water cause hard water spots.

Etched water spots are even worse, because the minerals are etched into the clear coat.

The reason behind this is most often prolonged exposure to UV light from the sun.

In most cases, polishing is be able to get rid of water spots on your car’s paint.

But in really severe cases, polishing is not enough and the water spots are etched into the paint so deep that it is necessary to repaint parts of the vehicle.

In order to give your car the best care, make sure you are able to remove water spots quickly or avoid water spots alltogether.

Can’t Get Get Of Water Spots From Car Windows – Do This

Removing hard water spots from car windows can be a tricky task.

The best way to get rid of them is to use special glass polish.

Apply the polish with a polishing machine, or by hand with a microfiber cloth or pad.

No matter what type of water spot you have on your glass, glass polish usually makes it easy to remove even hard to remove water spots without too much effort.

Make sure to avoid highly abrasive polishes or sandpaper as they can cause scratches on the car glass.

For extra protection, you can apply a ceramic coating or glass sealant on the glass and windshield after the water spots are removed.

Car wax also works great as a sealant on car glass.

This will help prevent future water spots from forming on your car windows.

To finish up, use a microfiber cloth to buff out any remaining residue and make sure all surfaces are clean and streak-free.

You car glass will be looking brand-new again!

The best tip though is still to prevent water spots on car glass in the first place.


  • Water spots will always form if you wash your car and you don’t dry it properly. Cleaning such a car using rugs will still leave water spots on the car. Also, if the car gets rained on, it may end up with water spots. 
  • The method you use to remove the water spots depends on the severity. For new and light water spots, wash the car with distilled water and dry it using a microfiber towel.
  • You may clean the car using vinegar or any other cleaning compounds for tough water spots.
  • If the stains are tough and stubborn, washing or using simple compounds may not remove the spots. As such, you may need to use more sophisticated methods like claying and polishing. 
  • For spots that are etched and which make the car look old and unattractive, paint and wax the affected area. 







Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge