Herman asks the DI team how to remove water spots from his wife’s vehicle.
I polished and waxed my wife’s 2003 Highlander. Now it has water spots on the flat surfaces and I can’t seem to get them off. Any help will be appreciated.
Have a great day;
If I’m understanding your question correctly, you polished your wife’s vehicle and then you immediately noticed the spots? If that is the case then they were obviously already there and were simply hidden by all the scratches and swirls that may have been in the paint. Over the years I have detailed many cars where the spots were not visible until after I started polishing so it’s really not that uncommon.
When dealing with water spots you need to know that there are two basic types. The first type is basically just mineral deposits left behind on the surface of the paint after the water has evaporated. This type of spot can usually be removed easily with the use of a clay bar and/or a light cleaner polish. See Illustration below
The second type of water spot (which it sounds like you have) is the kind that has etched below the surface of the vehicle’s paint. In the Illustration below you can get a better idea of what these spots look like. When we polish our vehicle’s finish we are basically removing small amounts of paint or clear coat. Since this type of water spot has etched its way into your vehicles finish, you will have to remove enough paint to get to the lowest point of the spot. This usually requires some form of machine polishing and an aggressive pad/polish combination. Keeping in mind of course that we always want to use the least aggressive method needed to achieve our goal. In some cases the spots may have actually etched so deep that wet sanding is required, or they may even be too deep to be safely and fully removed.
If you tell me what you used to polish the vehicle with I could better suggest a product combo that may help. (Style of polisher, pad type, product used) Otherwise Meguiar’s M105 and some form of cutting pad would likely be your best option.
Hope this helps! If you or anybody else has additional comments or questions on this subject, please submit your reply in the comment box below.