How To

Remove Water Spots

Water spots are a common problem that car owners face, especially if they live in areas with hard water. These unsightly spots are caused by mineral deposits left behind when water evaporates from your car’s paint or glass. Not only do they look bad, but they can also damage the finish of your car over time. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to remove water spots from your car’s paint and glass. The longer a water spot is left on a car’s surface, the harder it is to remove. In this blog, we’ll detail increasingly aggressive steps to eliminate difficult water spots.

Clay Bar

A Clay Bar is a special detailing tool that can remove water spots from your car’s paint or glass. Though it still has the potential to induce marks on your paint or glass if not used properly, claying is the least aggressive method in our series. Clay bars work by removing contaminants and mineral deposits from the surface of your car.

Step by Step

To Remove Water Spots with Clay Method

You first need to thoroughly wash and clean your car. Take piece of a clay bar and knead it into a workable form. Lubricate the surface and the Clay Bar with Clay Lube, then rub the clay bar gently over the affected areas. Be sure to keep the surface lubricated to prevent the clay from marring your car’s paint or glass. Rinse or wipe away remaining Clay Lube. (Make sure to thoroughly dry your car in a timely manner to not introduce more water spots.) After any type of claying it is recommended to apply a protective wax or sealant.

clay lube

Spraying MaxShine Clay Lube Spray
Detailing Clay Bar
    Suede Towel Cleaning Clay

    Water Spot Remover

    If claying isn’t able to remove water spots, next in line to try is a Water Spot Remover. It contains a mild acid that can break down the mineral deposits that cause water spots.

    Step by Step

    To Remove Water Spots with Water Spot Remover

    Make sure the affected surfaces have been thoroughly washed, and begin by applying the Water Spot Remover to an applicator or soft microfiber towel. Spread the chemical on the surface in small areas at a time. Leave for a maximum of 30 seconds and wipe away. Repeat on same area as necessary to continue to break down water spots. It may be best to do a test spot on a low, inconspicuous area, such as a rear bumper or fender. It is also recommended to apply a protective coating like a sealant or wax after completing the Water Spot Remover process.

    Before MaxShine Water Spot Remover
    MaxShine Water Spot Remover results
    MaxShine Water Spot Remover window applicator
    MaxShine Water Spot Remover in window

    clay lube


    The most aggressive, and the most effective, method to remove water spots is polishing your paint. Additionally, depending on how many corrective steps or types of compounds and polishes used, you could also remove other defects like swirling, and minor scratches and etchings. There are many variables and options to this method, however, all aspects involve a mechanical polisher.

    Step by Step

    To Remove Water Spots with Polisher

    Apply your chosen chemical to your chosen polishing pad and spread it around a 2x2’ area on your car’s paint. Moving in a cross-hatch pattern, work the chemical until it just clears. Then wipe away access chemical with a clean microfiber towel. Whether you’re skilled with a Rotary or DIYing with a Dual Action, MaxShine Polishers can help quickly eliminate hard water spots. Just like with the previous steps, to help protect your paint from further gathering water spots, apply a sealant, wax, or other coating.

    clay lube

    MaxShine AIO All In One Polish and Protect Sealant Apply - Car protection
    MaxShine AIO All In One Polish and Protect in action

    Remove Water Spots 


    Prevention is always easier than repairing. A few simple practices now can save you a lot of time and effort later.


    Always protect your paint. As iterated several times already in this blog, keep up to date with your waxes, sealants, and coating.


    If possible, use distilled or deionized water when washing your car. Water devoid of minerals can’t leave mineral residue.


    Using distilled water is not accessible for everyone, so be sure to dry your car as thoroughly as possible.


    Keep away from rain and sprinklers. Not everyone has access to covered parking, so rain and sprinklers are a frequent enemy. In that case…


    Always have an eye out for water spots, the sooner you remove them the better. Keep a Waterless Wash or a hydrophobic Detail Spray with some clean microfiber towels in your car so you can remove water spots as soon as they happen.

    MaxShine Water Spot Remover window applicator

    In Conclusion

    Water spots can be frustrating to deal with, but with the right tools and methods, you can remove them easily and effectively. Clay Bar, Water Spot Remover, and Polish are some of the most effective ways you can use to remove water spots from your car’s paint and glass.

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