Water spots, they may appear to be harmless but they pose an immediate threat to the body of the car. When rain water dries off , it will leave an ugly smudge on the body of your car interfering with the paint’s gloss. Rainwater may contain chemical elements and impurity that when they come into contact with paint, it will initiate a chemical reaction that will create spots. If left for long in this state, rust may form. The quickest way to deal with this is to get a detailing spray to remove the stain and restore the damage.

This article aims to take you on a step by step method on how to remove water spots from your car using two other simple methods that if you follow correctly will remove the stain in the shortest time possible.​


Types Of Water Spots​

For you to know what you are dealing with, it is important that you know the nature of spots that you are likely to see on your car.

Type 1 Water Spots​

This is the ones you just see on the surface, i.e it has gone beyond the paintwork. This kind of spot is visible because of the impurities that were left behind after water has dried out.

Type 2 Water Spots​

These ones have gone beyond the paintwork leaving watermarks on the vehicle's bodywork. It looks more like a scratch on the surface of the car. This happens when the water spot has been left there for a long time.​

Regardless of the spots you have here is what you will need​

  • Polisher
  • Clean rags
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Car wax
  • Soap
  • Vinegar
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Water basin
  • Spray bottle
  • A soft towel
  • Hydrofluoric acid
  • Gas mask

NOTE: Hydrofluoric Acid is corrosive, causes severe burns to the eyes, skin and respiratory track. It is classified as toxic. Avoid direct exposure, it may cause bone damage.

How To Remove Water Spots From Car? Step By Step Procedure

I will present to you two methods, one is the use of a mixture of hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid and the other method is removing water spots using vinegar.​

Method 1: Using Hydrofluoric Acid​

Step #1: Put on Your Protective Gear​

Make sure you are well protected by putting on the gas mask, safety goggles, gloves and an overall. No part of your body especially the hands and legs are to be exposed.

Step #1: Put on Your Protective Gear​

Step #2: Mix the Acids and Spray​

Pour the acidic mixture of Hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid into the spray bottle and spray aiming at the area with water spots. Alternatively, you can spray the mixture on a rag and wipe off the stained areas, this is to make sure that only the areas with spots are sprayed.​

Step #2: Mix the Acids and Spray​

Step #3: Wash The Car​

Having made sure that no water spot stain has been left out in step 2 above, wash the vehicle’s exterior. Use soap and water to get rid of any chemicals that may have been left by the spray.

Step #3: Wash The Car​

Step #4: Dry The Car​

Use the clean towel to dry the car. Dry every part of the car that you can see (remember that acid warning?) this is to make sure all chemical deposits are gone completely.

Step #4: Dry The Car​

Step #5: Polish and Apply Wax​

The spraying and the thorough cleaning may have wiped off the wax layer. Use your favourite car polisher and start waxing and polishing the car to restore the glorious shine your car once had.​

Step #5: Polish and Apply Wax​

Method 2: Using Vinegar​

Use of vinegar (Preferably white vinegar) which may not be as corrosive hydrofluoric acid can also be handy when it comes to getting rid of stains from your car. I will reiterate that in as much as this is also a good option to wash off water spots from your car, it will only work on those stains that have not been deeply ingrained into the paint. This method is the best for Type 1 water Spots.

Method 2: Using Vinegar​

Step #1: Wash the Car​

Use a soapy mixture to wash the car exterior, depending on how long the water spot has been on the car, you can let the vehicle soak for a few minutes in the soapy solution.

Step #2: Scrub The Spotty Areas With Soap​

Thoroughly clean the water spot area with soap making sure that you are able to remove some if not part of the markings.​

Step #3: Wash With Vinegar Solution​

Mix water and vinegar that you will use to wash the body of the car the same way you would on a normal car washing day. When done, rinse with water and by now your vehicle starts having its former glow.

Step #4: Waxing​

Reapply the car polish and wax. You may spot some areas that need buffing, you can use a buffer wheel or a clean rag.

Those are the two simple methods that you can use get rid of water spots from your car. If you ask me, I will say that these are quite straight forward ways of removing water spots stains. Anyone who wants to restore the lost car glow can do it. How about we look at some useful tips that will make this DIY activity simple.​

Tips When Washing The Water Spot Off

  • The obvious tip is to always make sure you remove water spots before they get a chance to build-up in the paint.
  • When washing the car, always start from the furthest side to the nearest end towards you, or start washing from the top downwards. This is simply because water will not remain stagnant but flow from up downwards.
  • Some dish detergents contain chemicals that can loosen up stain caused by water spots. They are an excellent choice when used to create a barrier to prevent future staining from water drops.
  • When spraying, close all windows to avoid spraying the vehicle’s interior, windows, and mirrors.
  • Always make sure that the polish and wax are in good condition because wax prevents water from settling on the surface by sliding off.
  • To get the best and a long lasting wax for your car, I would advise you to consult your trusted mechanic to give you the best option.


Smudges and stains caused by water spots is an everyday occurrence especially on a rainy season and is the reality that you may have to deal with if your car polish or wax is wearing out. I hope that by reading this how-to article you have been able to know the types of stains that are likely to rob your car of its shine. We have discussed the easy way to deal with type 1 and type 2 water spots and as earlier said removing them is as easy as doing as exactly as the article instructs us to do.

I have to admit that there are other procedures that are available on how to Remove Water Spots from Car. One of these methods is using a special filler for detailing. This method may need the hand of an expert. Today I wanted to communicate with the DIY enthusiasts so that you and others can save a lot of money by doing this at home.

Please share widely so that others too can get wiser and if you have something to add, do not hesitate to add your comment!

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Chief editor at Paul's Gigantic Garage. I came up with this blog to help you to sort out some basic problems your car may be facing and in turn, save lots of cash by some of my DIY tips that I hope will get your car out of its current situation. I also had in mind motor enthusiasts who for the love of cars who are constantly looking for information about cars on the latest trends, questions, fixes, driving, tricks, and accessories.


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