How to Remove Water Spots from Car – The Best Practices Every Car Owner Should Know

Have you tried removing those hard water spots off your paint but still see no results? Most car owners often think that water spots can be easily removed with a simple wash. The truth is that these stains can be difficult to remove especially if they have been allowed to sit on your auto’s paint for a longer time.


Your car is your investment and you want to keep it in top shape for the incoming years to come. Or if for some reason you just want to sell your car, you want to make it shiny and look good as new to easily attract buyers. The good news is that you can do these without spending a lot of money.

Today, I will show you how to remove water spots from the car and instantly get amazing results!

What Causes Water Spots on Your Car’s Paint?

Hard water spots can be tough to remove especially if it has been allowed to dry out in the sun for hours or days. Cleaning these stains with ordinary water and car shampoo may not always work. Although unavoidable, the best way you can care for your auto’s paint is to wipe it dry immediately before the water spots can be formed.

These are the common causes of hard water spots on your auto’s paint:

  • Residues from dried water, leaving behind minerals such as calcium and magnesium
  • Allowing your car to air dry or sit in the sun after it has been washed will result to water spots you hate to see on your auto’s paint.
  • Acid rain is another reason why your car gets those white stains.

Removing Water Spots from Car – Why It’s Worth Your Time

I have always stressed it out that maintaining our car is very important to avoid costly damage and keep it in excellent condition for years. One way is to make sure it is always clean and shiny to protect the paint.

You don’t want scratches, stains (read more details on how to remover tar from car), and water spots to hurt your car’s outer skin, right? Besides, I believe that how you care for your car will truly reflect on you as its owner.

Below are the points you need to know why removing water spots on your auto’s paint is worth your time and energy:

  • To protect your car’s paint finish from stains.
  • To keep your vehicle shiny and clean.
  • To avoid discolorations and fading of the paint.
  • To prevent expensive detailing services in removing tough stains and spots.

What Are the Steps to Effectively Remove Water Spots?

Water spots are one of the common problems most car owners experience. The good news is that you can easily get your car’s shine back with the right products and steps which are shown below.

Materials You Will Need:

  • Pressure Washer
  • Car Wash Soap
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Water Spot Remover
  • Clay Bar
  • Clay Lubricant
  • Buffer
  • Polishing Pad
#1. Pressure Washer


The pressure washer is the recommended tool needed to wash the car’s surface since it is easier to remove the road grime and dust with adjustable pressure settings.

#2. Car Wash Soap

You will need the car wash soap when bathing your auto to further remove contaminants on any surface.

#3. Microfiber Towel

An ideal cloth to use in wiping the car’s surface is a microfiber towel. It is designed to be soft and gentle on the paint to prevent scratches and marks.

#4. Water Spot Remover

The water spot remover is a compound or formula used to remove hard water spots off the paint.

A lot of polishing products for cars also work as water spot removers.


#5. Clay Bar

A clay bar has a smooth texture that does not only remove stains and dirt but also stubborn water spots. It is recommended to use a clay if you want the best results for your auto’s paint without the swirl marks and scratches.

#6. Clay Lubricant


The clay lubricant is a formula used together with the clay bar to loosen debris and be able to wipe the clay bar smoothly onto the car’s paint.

#7. Buffer


A buffer is a cleaning tool that creates a power wipe on your auto’s paint. With adjustable settings, you can effectively give your car a nice polish without the hassle.

#8. Polishing Pad

The polishing pad is an accessory used together with a buffer. You can directly apply the wax or cleaning gel onto the polishing pad, and turn the buffer on instead of wiping by hand.

Here are the steps you can follow to remove water spots from your car’s paint:

Step by Step Instruction!


Step 1: Wash Your Car


  • Park your car in a safe place away from direct sunlight.
  • Set your pressure washer with the right settings (around 500 to 800 dpi).
  • Turn the washer on and direct the water on the car surface, focusing on areas with grime and dust.
  • Apply your regular car wash soap or clean.
  • Rinse your car thoroughly.
  • Wipe the surface dry with a microfiber towel.
  • Warning!

Make sure that your car’s surface is not hot when cleaning, otherwise, it will dry out the water and cleaning agents on the surface. This can lead to more stains and water spots. 


Step 2: Clay the Areas with Water Spots


  • Get your clay lubricant and spray a generous amount on affected areas.
  • Grab a small clay bar and flatten it. It should be about the size of your palm.
  • Wipe the areas with water spots using the clay. You may use a horizontal direction when wiping on the surface.
  • Double check for any other areas with water spots. Make sure that all the stains have been removed.
  • Wipe the surface dry using a clean microfiber towel.
  • Warning!

Use only a clean clay bar when claying. Do not reuse the clay if it has dirt or contaminants on it. This can cause scratches and marks on your vehicle’s paint.


Step 3: Apply the Water Spot Remover


  • Attach your polishing pad on the buffer.
  • Apply a small amount of the water spot remover compound on the polishing pad.
  • Gently rub the formula onto the car surface with the water spots using a circular motion.
  • Set the buffer device between 1400 – 2000 rpm and turn it on.
  • Using moderate pressure, direct the polishing pad on the car’s paint. Be careful not to press the device too hard on the surface to avoid damage to the paint.



Step 4: Remove the Compound with A Microfiber Towel


  • If you are using a polishing compound, you don’t need to wash again your car. Simply get a microfiber towel and gently wipe off the surface.
  • Continue wiping until the chemical is thoroughly removed.
  • Inspect your auto’s paint for any water spots you missed. If further work is needed, simply repeat steps 3 and 4.

I have included a video below on how to remove water spots from the car. Take note, however, that the water spot remover product used in the video is different from the one I have recommended above.

Personally, I would prefer the polishing compound because it is not only good at removing stains and marks but as well as hard water spots that have been troubling you all these times! If you use a compound, you don’t need to wash your car to remove the product after application.

The polishing compound serves as your final touch to polish your car’s paint and protects it from marks, stains, and sunlight. To complete your routine, don’t forget clean your windows.


We all want to drive our nice and shiny car on a bright sunny day. But the presence of water spots can be sore to the eye! In this article, I have shown you the steps on how to remove water spots from car effectively.

Have you found the steps helpful? Let me know if the methods suggested above worked out for you in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this with your friends who have encountered the same issues with their cars.

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