How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

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Water stains! They don’t sound serious as squashed bugs, splattered eggs on the windshield, tar, overspray or other types of nasty-looking dirt. But don’t be fooled, those little white spots can build up in your side mirrors, windshield and rear glass making it difficult for you to see at night.

It can get even worse when it starts raining and the wipers won’t do much to solve the problem. So how To remove water stains from car glass?

Just take a magic wand, say ‘evanesco’ and the water stains disappear? Well, you’re not a wizard and it’s not that easy. There is a due process to be followed and you have to know what you’re doing. First, let’s have a look at the types of water stains that can infiltrate your vehicle.

Types of Water Stains

Regular Water Spots

This is the most common type of water spots, usually formed when hard water leaves mineral residue especially calcium and magnesium on your car surface. The source could be any water that hits your car- from the sprinkler, showers, car washes to rainwater as the culprit. Eventually, the chalk-like deposits or limescale start to form and before you know it, your car glass and body are filled with those regular water spots.

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Etched Water Stains

When water spots are exposed to direct sunlight or intense heat for a long period, they can engrave into the car’s paint. That’s why it’s recommended to remove water stains as soon as possible before it becomes a bigger problem. Mind you, severe etching can be very difficult and expensive to remove since you may be required to use abrasive techniques such as wet sanding or consult a qualified professional to help you out.

Bonded Mineral

Picture it like this: There is a forest fire somewhere and the smoke emission rises into the nimbostratus clouds and mixes with water droplets up there. Whatever, it could be regular smoke from vehicle exhaust pipes or emission from industrial plants that mix with the dark clouds.

Afterward, it rains and the acidic rainwater finds its way onto your car glass and body. Here is the thing; that acidic water is full of contaminants and bonded minerals that leave water spots on your vehicle.

If you don’t take care of it pronto, don’t be surprised when the water spots erode your vehicle’s paint and turn your windows into something ugly. You’ve been warned! Now that you know the types of water spots that you will likely encounter in your vehicle, let’s jump right in and explore the techniques you can use to remove water stains from your car glass.

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The Vinegar Solution Method

Since water spots deposits are alkali in nature, you will need an acidic solution such as vinegar to do the magic. However, this method is more effective when removing freshwater spots.

What You Will Need

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • Spray bottle
  • Squeegee, paper towel or dry towel
  • Rough towel

The Process

Step 1. Fill the spray bottle with equal parts of distilled water and distilled vinegar on a 50/50 ratio. Shake the spray bottle for a few seconds after filling it to blend the solution and achieve the desired results.

How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

Step 2. Spray the vinegar and water solution onto your car glass. The objective is to saturate the water spots and leave it for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the vinegar to soak. If you notice any dirty areas on the glass with concentrated water spots buildup, you can reapply the solution.

Step 3. Immerse the rough towel in vinegar and water solution until it is wet and stretch it out over the sprayed parts of your car glass. It is okay to place the wet rough towel over the glass for a minute or two to treat the water spots efficaciously.

Step 4. Scrub the car windows and mirrors gently. Do not scrub aggressively since that may leave scratches on your windshield, side mirrors, windows, and rear glass. The abrasive bumps on the rough towel are enough to remove the water stains off the car glass with a light touch.

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Step 5. If the water stains are not coming off easily, let the solution stay on the glass for a longer period. You can re-apply it if dries out. Don’t allow the solution to dry on the surface.

Step 6. Use a squeegee, paper towel or dry towel to clean off the vinegar and water solution on the car glass. However, make sure the car glass is wet with the solution before you bring in the squeegee, dry towel or paper towel to do the finishing touches.

Use Natural Homemade Remedies

There are other alternatives you can use besides vinegar that are equally effective. Furthermore, such natural products could save you some money.

What You Will Need

  • Fresh lemons
  • Essential oils with citrus formula
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • Sponge or towel
  • Brush

The Process I (Lemon Juice or essential oils)

Step 1. Press the lemons on a hard surface before slicing it open. Rolling down the lemons will make it easier to remove the juice. If you don’t have lemons at your disposal, you can substitute with essential oils that are made from citrus formulas specifically lemon and orange.

How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

Step 2. Extract the juice out of the lemons using your hands or a lemon squeezer. Afterward, put the lemon juice in a spray bottle and mix it with water. Another option would be to mix the citrus formulated essential oil with water and store the solution in a spray bottle. If you can’t find a spray bottle, you can soak a towel in the citrus juice or essential oil.

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Step 3. Spray the solution directly onto the car glass or use a towel or sponge to apply it. Similarly, you can squeeze a half-cut lemon on top of the car glass to extract the juice.

Step 4. Allow the lemon juice or essential oil a few minutes to soak into the glass. Before the solution dries up, scrub the mirrors and windows gently using a towel or sponge.

Step 5. Splash some distilled water onto the glass and clean it using a squeegee or paper towel.

Note: Avoid using bottled lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is more effective.

The Process II (Toothpaste or baking soda and vinegar paste)

How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

Step 1. Blend the toothpaste with some water to make it easier to apply. Also, you don’t want to waste toothpaste, do you?

Step 2. Apply the toothpaste on the glass and scrub it gently using a towel, brush or a sponge. Let the toothpaste sit for a few minutes.

Step 3. Remove the toothpaste on the glass using water and a squeegee. Remember to dry the car glass completely.

Note: Instead of using toothpaste, you can substitute it with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

Fine Steel Wool Technique

If you’ve tried to remove water stains using lemon, vinegar, essential oils, toothpaste and a mixture of baking soda and vinegar but nothing has worked to your satisfaction, how about you do it differently. This technique could be effective for etched water stains that are difficult to remove.

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What You Will Need

  • Fine steel wool (grade 0000)
  • Glass cleaner (rubbing alcohol, distilled water, and vinegar)

The Process

Step 1. Prepare a homemade glass cleaner solution by mixing distilled water and rubbing alcohol in equal measure. For every one cup of rubbing alcohol and water, you should add a tablespoon of vinegar. Transfer the homemade glass cleaner solution to a spray bottle.

Step 2. Apply the glass cleaner to the windshield, side mirrors and rear window. Let the glass cleaner soak into the glass for a few minutes.

Step 3. While the glass is wet, gently wipe off the water stains using fine steel wool. Make sure the fine steel wool is grade 0000, or else you will scratch your car glass.

Step 4. Use a squeegee, sponge or a paper towel to clean the windows.

Note: If you’re worried about the fine steel wool leaving scratch marks on your window, you can test it before you apply.

The Clay Bar Treatment

Ever heard of the clay method? Apparently, you can use clay bar treatment to remove regular water spots. However, claying is not the best option if you want to remove bonded mineral deposits.

What You Will Need

  • Detailing clay bar
  • Clay lubricant
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber towel
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The Process

Step 1. Apply the clay lubricant over the stained car glass using a spray bottle. Lubricating the car glass is done to prevent scratches when you make use of a clay bar.

Step 2. Move the detailing clay bar over the stained glass without putting too much pressure. Rub the clay bar softly over the car glass until it moves effortlessly without sticking at the surface. Make sure you cover the corners and hidden spots of the car windshield and windows.

How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

Step 3. Finish it off by rubbing the car glass with a clean and dry microfiber towel.

Note: If the clay bar becomes dirty after rubbing it, you can fold it and utilize the clean side. Likewise, you can unpack and use a different and clean detailing clay bar.

Use Special Cleaning Products

Numerous products are specially formulated to remove water stains from your car glass. Most likely, after applying the special cleaning products, you will need a sponge, towel or a squeegee. However, it is recommended to follow the application instructions on the label. Some of the best special cleaning products to help you remove hard water stains include:

Duragloss Automotive Glass Water Spot Remover

How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

Duragloss is a reputable brand that manufactures and distributes automotive cleaning and polishing products. A good example of its expertise is this product that is specially designed to remove water stains, bugs, tree sap and other types of dirt off your car glass.  Also, the formula contains a lubricant to prevent abrasion scratches.

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Boat Bling Hot Sauce Premium Hard Water Spot Remover

How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

This is a biodegradable product that is formulated to remove water stains, exhaust residue and scum line from your vehicle’s exterior. Its most impressive feature is the additional wax sealants to keep your car’s finish squeaky clean and glossy.

Meguiar’s Water Spot Remover

How to Remove Water Stains from Car Glass

Meguiar’s is a popular brand trusted by most automobile enthusiasts. Apart from removing all types of water stains on your car glass, this product is safe to use on hard plastic, paint, chrome, and all metal surfaces.

Prevent Water Stains

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Here are a few things you can do to prevent water stains from engulfing your car windows, windshield and mirrors:

  • Treat your car glass with a water repellant. There are some water repellant products you could use on your car glass to act as a buffer and prevent water stains formation. However, make sure the water repellants are specifically formulated for car windows and they won’t interfere with visibility.
  • Mind where you park. Whenever you’re parking, find a spot where your vehicle won’t be exposed to hard water. For instance, if you want to avoid acidic rain filled with bonded mineral residue, the best place to park your vehicle is in an enclosed garage.
  • Wash Your Car Regularly. Sometimes, water stains overwhelm the car windows after the car has been neglected and abandoned. Fact is, if you wash your car regularly and spray the windows with a vinegar solution at least once per week, you will unlikely have a water stain problem.
  • Don’t air dry. After washing your vehicle, don’t air dry it. If you leave your car to air dry, don’t be surprised to come back and find watermarks on the windows. Instead, use a microfiber cloth, paper towel, squeegee or a soft towel to wipe and dry the windows.
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Now that you’ve learned how to remove water stains from your car glass, choose the appropriate method depending on the severity of the water stains. If you want to remove regular water spots, try out the vinegar solution method, clay bar treatment or use homemade remedies. Otherwise, if you’re dealing with etched water stains or bonded mineral water spots, then go for the fine stool wool technique or utilize special cleaning products.

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