Preventing Water Spots
After a rain, you may see water spots on the sides and windows of your boat/car/RV. Or worse, you may get stuck with water spots after you give it a good washing! Those spots can be really frustrating when you work hard to take care of your possessions and you want that hard work to show.
What Causes Water Spots?
Water spots occur when water left sitting evaporates, leaving behind any mineral deposits or pollutants to create a slight outline of the spot. Water spots can occur from water from a hose as well as rain. If acid rain is a problem in your area, you may see a different kind of spot, more like a black streak. Hard water also tends to leave more water spots behind than soft water.
Why is it Important to Prevent Water Spots?
Those water spots not only detract from the appearance, but they can damage porous gelcoat/clear coat – leading to a whole lot of work to fix. Consider that after a rain, those mineral deposits may be baked into the gelcoat/clear coat by the sun. You’ll need to buff and wax to remove them if you haven’t taken appropriate preventive measures.
In extreme cases where washing or waxing are not regular tasks, the water spots can build up and soak into the gelcoat/clear coat, requiring a heavy duty rubbing compound or worse, wet sanding to remove them. Water spots on your windows can be even harder to remove than those on the sides.
How to Prevent Water Spots
Water spots can’t be entirely eliminated, but you can take some easy steps to minimize them:
• Use a filtered hose to reduce pollutants and mineral deposits in the water you use. If you have really hard water in your area, you’ll have an easier time with water spots if you use an inline water softener, too.
• Using a quality soap can help prevent water spots, as they often contain an additive that softens the water.
• Don’t use too much soap and rinse well when washing.
• Dry quickly while washing in smaller areas (don’t let it sun dry).
• Squeegee dry and wipe any still-damp areas with a microfiber cloth or PVA towel to ensure it’s completely dry.
• Wax regularly (frequency is based on many factors). The wax will prevent the deposits from sinking into the surface and make them much easier to remove with regular washing.
How to Remove Water Spots
• The sooner you get to them, the easier they will be to clean. Don’t procrastinate!
• Start Gentle and work your way up to more aggressive cleaners as needed:
- Cleaner Wax
- Buffing Compound
• For Black Streaks:
- Spot clean with a quick waterless cleaner that won’t strip your wax (like Serious Shine)
- Heaver stains use a cleaner wax (like Pro Polish)