Best Water Spot Removers For Cars: Defend Against Water Damage

Safely clean your car and make it shine with these water spot removers

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Did you know that you can damage your car by cleaning it? It can be just as harmful as dirt and grease. Those annoying and stubborn water spots usually appear after you've had your vehicle washed. They also follow rain, snow, and other weather threats. Water can come into contact with harmful chemicals or sediments and contain various pollutants. If you want to protect your vehicle and keep it clean, you'll need a quality water spot remover. We created this buying guide to help you get the proper one for your car.  

  • Best Overall
    Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit
    Summary
    Summary
    This product is a waterless car wash. The formula is alcohol and ammonia-free, which makes it perfectly safe. It cleanses dirt and water spots in a breeze. The surface stays clean for longer and gets a super shiny look. 
    Pros
    Pros
    This remover is suitable for different vehicle types. It works on both wet and dry surfaces and is easy to apply. Its eco-friendly formula is safe for the environment and leaves a UV protective coating. The microfiber towels are included in the set.
    Cons
    Cons
    It might be difficult to clean off gritty particles. It’s pricey, and it’s not a polish, which repairs finishes.
  • Best Value
    Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover
    Summary
    Summary
    This product is a scratch and swirl remover. It also cleans dirt and water spots and makes the car shine again. The formula is effective and safe for use. It can be used on any paint and different types of surfaces.
    Pros
    Pros
    The remover dissolves the most persistent water spots. It even makes big scratches less visible. Most drivers use it as a polisher to restore gloss to the car's paint. The box includes a buffer pad for easy use.
    Cons
    Cons
    It takes quite some time and effort to clean stubborn stains with it. Reapplication might be required over big scratches.
  • Honorable Mention
    Bugs N All Interior and Exterior Vehicle Cleaner
    Summary
    Summary
    This is an all-purpose product. It cleans dirt, bugs, water spots, bird droppings, grease, and more. The biodegradable formula is gentle and won’t damage the paint. It's suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces. Works quickly and applies to different material types.
    Pros
    Pros
    The powerful formula resolves spots in a matter of seconds. It's environmentally safe. It’s easy to use and doesn't require extra rubbing. A little of this product goes a long way. Regular use makes it even more effective.
    Cons
    Cons
    It doesn't work as wax or polish. You'll have to do this separately. Might leave behind a sticky residue after washing.

Tips

  • Before you tackle stubborn water spots, it's important to recognize the type you're dealing with. Hard water stains appear when the water dries on the surface while exposed to direct sunlight. Bonded mineral water spots soak into the clear coat due to the presence of excessive contaminants. Lastly, etched-in water spots contain a corrosive substance that dissolves the paint.
  • Choose quality products that have been tested by other car owners. Inferior removers will be a hassle during the cleaning process without producing any results. You may also need to include paint correction and clay bar treatment, depending on the stain type. 
  • Removing water spots from your car can be exasperating. It takes a lot of work to remove all the stains and make the surface sparkling clean. Take your time and be patient and gentle. Sometimes you can cause more damage by excessively rubbing out the water spots. 
  • Once you get rid of all spots and stains, you can prevent new ones from forming on your car. The key is not to let the water dry on your vehicle. You can use towels and a chamois to dry the surface before the water gets the chance to settle down and damage the paint. Applying wax on the vehicle also prevents spots from forming. 

FAQs

Q: How do I use a water spot remover? 

A: The process is rather simple. Apply the product on the targeted area and use microfiber towels to rub the spots off. If the remover comes in a set, you'll probably get all the necessary pieces in the package. In some cases, you'll need a clay bar to remove the most stubborn stains. Depending on the remover type, you might need to wait longer for the product to work. Always read the product's description to make sure you're using it correctly. 

Q: Will a water spot remover protect the surface from new stains? 

A: Yes, but only if you use wax as well. Most removers only get rid of existing stains, and they don't offer full-time protection once applied. If you want to prevent new water spots and stains, you'll need to dry the surface after every washing or apply wax on the surface. 

Q: Is there any alternative way to get rid of water spots?

A: You can let your inner DIYer have some fun and make your own water spot remover. All you need to do is mix distilled water with white vinegar in equal ratios. Bathe your car using this mixture, and the stains will disappear. However, keep in mind that this trick won't work on hard or etched-in water spots. 

Final Thoughts

Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit made it to the top of our list. It’s a versatile product that cleans and protects at the same time. 

If you prefer a budget version, you can stick with the Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover. It works like a charm on most water spots and stains.