How To Eliminate Those Unsightly Rain Spots

It’s difficult to prevent water spotting from happening to your paint job during the winter. But not impossible.

All you need is the right cleaners and the right accessories for drying water off quickly.

“Water spots are caused by water drying on the car,” said Adam Pitale, founder and chief detailer of Adam’s Polishes.

Check the pH level when buying a shampoo, said Nate Bloom of Adam’s Polishes.

“In general for basic washes, it’s a good idea to have a neutral pH soap,” he said.

Shampoos with a neutral pH will be labeled as such.

Targeted gusts of air can also help prevent water spotting, he said.

“It’s a really good idea to invest in an air blower. This way there is no abrasion when you dry a car with air initially instead of a towel,” he said. “The towel will be necessary to get the remaining water off the car but the bulk can get removed with air.”

Bloom likes to use a truck brush, to apply suds to the exterior. Made of fine nylon, keeps my fingers warm when I’m washing and helps me get across the roof.

Just remember to thoroughly dry the paint to prevent water spots.

“Having water sit still and dry on the car is what is going to cause the spots, so removing spots safely before they dry is the best insurance policy,” Bloom said.

Pitale and Bloom of Adam’s Polishes offer the following advice for brightening up your ride and avoiding water spots this winter.

  • Start with a powerful rinse. A pre-wash rinse is necessary to start getting road grime, crud and water spots from the paint. Don’t forget to rinse the wheel wells and undercarriage as well.
  • Prevent accidental scratches by keeping the hose behind you. Keeping the hose behind you prevents it from bashing against the vehicle, causing scratches.
  • Consider applying a ceramic coating or paint sealant. These high-end car care products essentially put a translucent shell around your vehicle that’s resistant to scuffs, scratches and water damage.
  • Wear gloves if you’re working in cold weather. Keep your hands warm and stay comfortable with a pair of heavy gloves.
  • Use a long-handled brush designed for washing the exterior. It provides better leverage and reduces the risk of injury. Additionally, a brush with soft bristles creates no more swirls or scratches than a towel. Do not use the same brush for the paint and wheels.
  • Use a wash pad for places a brush misses. A brush covers most of the surface area, but a wash pad gets into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Keep your brushes separate. Don’t use the same brush for washing the paint to clean the wheels.
  • Use car shampoo to maximize suds. There should always be a layer of soap between the paint and whatever washing tool you’re using. Only use wash products formulated for vehicles. Do not use dish soap or household cleaners or detergents.
  • Rinse your brush and wash pad after use. Make sure all the suds have been washed out of the brush and pad before drying.
  • Get rid of that gritty feeling on the paint. Use a detailing spray and a clay mitt to get rid of any grit or bumps along the exterior.