There aren’t a lot of things in life more satisfying than taking your pride and joy for a bath. If you’re anything like me (and don’t be alarmed if you aren’t, it’s probably a good thing), there’s nothing more frustrating than taking the time to wash your car only to find water spots all over your car as soon as it dries.
Fortunately, like just about everything else around, there are a few relatively easy solutions to ensure that the water spots mind their manners and leave your car alone.
If You Have Plenty of Time…
If you have plenty of time to wash your car then you can ensure that absolutely no water spots appear after the car dries. In reality, the solution here is simple: dry the car off after you wash it. As simple as that sounds, there are some caveats that keep it from being a no-brainer
First, some towels will actually scratch your clear coat if run over your car. For this reason alone it’s important that you ensure you are using a non-abrasive towel. Microfiber towels work well (but are expensive), as do leather-backed towels (these can be found in nearly every automotive store).
Second, the key to ensure that water spots don’t show up is removing the water from your car as quickly as possible. Using a squeegee that is designed for use on your body panels (made from rubber, hand held, usually quite light) is a great way to get the bulk of the water off of the car. Following up with a non-abrasive towel will get rid of what’s left.
As you’ll quickly find out, drying off the car often takes twice as long as washing it!
If You Don’t Have Time…
If time is a factor (and it usually is), you’re really only left with one solution: wax/rinse after you rinse off the soap. Once you’ve rinsed off the soap, switch to the “wax” setting of the wand-wash and apply a coat all over your car. You’ll know that an area has been sprayed with it when the water starts to bead (form little droplets).
Next, switch to the “spot free rinse” setting if the particular car wash you’re using has it. If not, switch back to the regular “rinse” setting. With the spot free rinse, spray your entire car liberally. This will remove the excess wax residue as well as prevent most water spots from forming. If you are using the regular rinse, spray the windows, mirrors, and the lights.
While some water spots will have formed, it will be dramatically less than if you had simply soaped up and rinsed off.