What in the world are hard water spots?
Hard water spots typically appear as circular imperfections in the clear coat or glass and vary in size and severity. While it may be possible to remove them with soap and water, others may require more aggressive actions such as compounding, or an acidic water spot remover. Essentially what you’re seeing are the minerals that have been left behind after the water has dried. These minerals are typically calcium and magnesium and if left on the surface long enough can do some serious damage. Leaving minerals on the paint combined with direct sunlight and high temperatures will expedite the etching process. The minerals will begin to eat into the surface leaving behind a spot which can be very difficult to remove. The cool looking gadget in the photo above is a TDS Meter, it will tell you how hard your water is. The higher the number the greater the mineral content in the water.

How can I prevent these spots?
I’m glad you asked! The easiest way to prevent water spotting is by following the guidelines below. Another option is to purchase a water filter. The most common types used for car washing are deionized water filtration systems. These will remove the mineral content from the water significantly reducing the possibility of creating water spots. It’s a good idea to keep your TDS meter handy so you can keep an eye on the total dissolved solids (minerals). However, if you don’t have a couple hundred to spend on a system (the cheap ones don’t work), then stick with the guidelines below to reduce the chances of creating water spots.

Wash your car in the shade

Make sure the surface is cool to the touch

Do not allow the water to dry on the surface

Never park next to a sprinkler system

Never spray your car down and allow it to air dry

Utilizing Optimum No Rinse and the proper technique can significantly cut down on water spotting as well

If you have any other questions, then feel free to give us a call (703) 978-7800.