How to Avoid Water Spots on Your Vehicle

How to Avoid Water Spots on Your Vehicle

Water spots on a vehicle are a nasty sight to see. Not only do they make your car look dirty, but they can wear away your car's paint over time.

Contrary to common belief, water isn't the factor in creating these water marks. Instead, the main culprits are the sediments, deposits, pollutants, minerals, and small debris contained inside it that causes these spots to form.

How to avoid water spots from forming on your car

Tip #1: Dry your car immediately

It's easy to avoid these marks from happening if you follow one simple rule: Dry your car immediately. Here's why: if you don't let water sit on the car's surface for a long period of time, then water will not evaporate and leave sediments behind.

Note that there are two kinds of sediments that are commonly found on vehicles. The first one are mineral deposits that settled once water has evaporated; the other one are harsher chemicals that were left over when the acidic rainwater has dried up. This type of water spot can etch the surface, cause small 'craters,' and even dissolve car paint.

Tip #2: Check out your water's hardness and TDS levels when cleaning your car

Generally, the higher the level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) (ppm), the higher the degree of hardness. Still, hardness refers more to the presence of mineral deposits like carbonates, bicarbonates, sulfates and chlorides of calcium and magnesium in water. On the other hand, TDS is broader, and includes total dissolve solids, comprise organic and inorganic substances.

So what do they have to do with water spots? The harder the water, the more presence of sediments are found in the water. And when it evaporates, then water spots appear more evident on the surface.

The best way to avoid them is to use pure water, use softer water, or those that has lower TDS levels. The way to do this is to ask your local water supplier for details. It's also important to thoroughly dry your vehicle after you clean it.

Tip #3: Watch for acid rain

Acid rain occurs when rainwater contains higher than normal amount of sulfuric and nitric acids. When rainwater evaporates, these chemicals can corrode paint and cause the metal to weaken over time. And if there are pollutants (like dirt, pollen, or dust) on the surface mixed with these chemicals, then they can leave a small 'crater' on the surface. These can worsen over time, since water will fill them whenever it rains, deepening the hole in the process.

Acid rain normally happens in locations near volcanoes, factories, and electric generator power plants. If you leave near any of them, then it's highly important to clean your car immediately after it rains.

Tip #4: Regularly wash and wax your vehicle

Cleaning your vehicle offers two main advantages: First, it cleans off dirt, dust, and other pollutants that can mix in with rain that can damage car paint and metal. Second, waxing your car helps water to slide off the surface of your car instead of settling there. This lessens chances of water spots from forming when water comes in contact with the surface.

How do you remove water spots?

What happens if water stains have already formed? You can start by using vinegar and wiping the stain off with a grout sponge. You can also remove them by using car products that are specifically designed to them, such as paint cleaners, clay bars, and polishers.


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