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Can't remove water spots from paintwork


Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
Bath, UK
The issue is I recall reading other forum threads where going to one of the car hand washes resulted in swirls and scratches due to the amount of cars being washed with the same mitts etc so I thought I would do it myself at home… alas, I made it worse for myself 😖
If you are serious about cleaning your car then that DI vessel I linked before is the way to go. The resin inside doesn’t last forever but it’s very useful for just jet washing the car and then leaving it. It’s the contaminants in the water that leave the spots, or the hardness etc. Deionised water doesn’t have that problem.

Alternatively, in this weather you basically have to wash the car early in the morning, before the sun is out. It’s sunrise pretty damn early in the summer, no reason you can’t do it at like 8am or something.

I’m not totally convinced about doing it in the evening. It’s possible, but you’d have to do it pretty late - the sun is out until gone 8pm at the moment - and the paintwork will be hot from several hours baking in it. Not the best time to be putting stuff on it.


Nov 24, 2019
I used Gtechniq H9 Water Spot remover, only about £11-12.

You basically wash the car, without polar seal as it may add an extra layer, and wipe the car with some microfibre cloths with the remover on it In small sections, or if it’s just the bonnet, just that.

When you’ve finished, you need to also rinse it or wash it again as it’s slightly acidic so you don’t want to leave it on.

The paintwork needs to be cool as well. As others have said, it’s not a good idea to clean cars in the sun. You can get filters to take the hardness out of the water for the final rinse so you can let it dry naturally if you want to.

If you are anywhere near the NW, you are welcome to use some of mine, but not until next weekend as I’m self isolating.

I did the same as you with my last car and started to clean it myself, I had a few mishaps along the way but once you’ve found a routine that suits you, I’m sure it will be fine.

Thanks so much, really helpful. Thanks also for the kind offer, but I'll order a bottle and see how I get on. 👍


Nov 3, 2017
I found that 1 part white vinegar (150ml should be enough) to 5 parts warm water thoroughly mixed, then soak a microfiber cloth and ring our thoroughly. Wipe over the spots to remove them and then with a clean dry microfiber cloth (you will need two or three for the entire car) buff away any remaining dampness. Ensure the car is clear of dust and make sure to discard buffing cloth at any sign that it isn't buffing satisfactorily due to water residue absorption.


Aug 13, 2020
Vinegar will work probably as well as some fancy name stuff. Just bare in mind that this is simply limescale and there is no magic bullet.

Having said the above, after you use whatever, you will have to apply some more wax or whatever as these are acidic and as such will either strip or weaken whatever protection you have.

Im assuming you have some of this stuff already. Either polish it and wax/seal it or use a clay bar (or clay mitt (these are great, and much easier and faster than the bars) then polish and then wax/seal. You can just clay and wax/seal if you want to cut a corner (not the end of the world to be fair).

Edit: As others have said, dont wash the car under direct sunlight but if you must, get yourself some ONR and add a bit to your normal wash as to mitigate. You can also use it as clay lube amongst other uses. Personally recommend it.
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Jan 28, 2020
We have all been there so don't be too hard on yourself.

Sounds to me that you may have two problems. A combination of the Polar Seal and water spots.

The advice earlier of speaking to AutoGlym helpline is quite valid.

A lot of the other advice is or may also be valid however I would be concerned you may simply make matters worse if you start messing around with claybars. Also IME clay mitts can easily cause marring.

One thing for sure though, if you have any pride whatsoever in your paintwork then for the love of God do NOT take your car to either an automatic or attended car wash.

Detailing World is a good source of car cleaning info if you are interested.

Good luck with AutoGlym :)


Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
Surrey, UK
Thanks everyone… I really think this is down to the polar seal drying too quickly before I got back to properly dry the car… completely my fault on all fronts. :-(

I know if probably the water spots you are seeing but this sounds very much like you are not immediately rinsing the Polar Seal off the car - It is important to not let the Polar Seal linger on the car. Once I've applied the Polar Seal to the whole car but avoiding the windscreen, I immediately switch to rinsing it straight back off again and cleaning the windscreen with Fast Glass. I then move straight on to drying the whole car.


Jul 12, 2020
Like OP I was forced in washing mine on Sunday too- I had someone stick one of those stupid sticky stickers on my windscreen while it was on my drive (i don't understand how some people inconveniencing others is humourous). I didn't want to leave it on in the heat and wait for the evening and it was too late in the day to do it early morning. I tried oil initially which did nada (I didn't wait for it to soak too long tbh). I was about to go at it with a razor blade but then I thought it's been a few weeks since I cleaned her might as well power wash it off. Boy do I regret it! It was so damn hot the prewash dried which felt almost instantly. Usually, I'd have enough time to refill the bottle with the shampoo and have a "fresh air" break while being amazed at how much dirt actually comes off. After refilling the bottle I noticed the b/h starting to dry! I had a few water spots starting to develop which unlike OP I was able to get out during the shampooing process, but I did this twice - shampooed, agitated with the mit and then sprayed the shampoo over it again and once again used the mit, rinsed and polar sealed and dried. I have quite a few large towels but a bit of elbow grease took care of the water spots but my energy was zapped. I wasn't able to do the inside as I normally would.

Great tips in this thread on how to get rid of the spots btw, I wish I had read this yesterday! In hindsight, I probably wasted product in doing it twice. The good news however the sticker was easily removed by the P/W possibly with the aid of bilt and hamber/ oil and I didn't need to go at it with a razor blade!
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