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Making a Case for a Water Spot Remover


I recently used a mineral deposit remover for the very first time.  I purchased the Gyeon WaterSpot, after a healthy discussion with many great detailers on its comparative value to detailing clay.  The backstory; there are two common schools of thoughts on the effect detailing clay has on your paint.  One group would say, expect detailing clay to scratch your car requiring machine polishing to remove damage.  The other side says with appropriate use it will never leave any marring.  My views leaned towards the latter, feeling comfortable using a mild clay bar with plenty of lubrication and folding the clay consistently to a clean side upon inspection.  My views have evolved somewhat in accepting there can be some marring regardless of your level of care in the use of detailing clay.  This left me open to exploring a type of product that could lead me to, not eliminating, but reducing the number of times needed to clay my car.

At the time I received this product, I just happened to discover the top panels of my vehicle have been air mailed with water thanks to the work of a pressure washing company.  This left me with water spots that had sat for a couple of days.

I used the Gyeon WaterSpot on the front horizontal panel of my car. A week later I washed my car and applied Blackfire Crystal Seal. As I spread the product on the top of my car, the one horizontal panel that I did not use a mineral deposit remover, I could feel a roughness to that entire area. The other areas of my car were smooth, including the front panel. It was another glaring sign the product did its job and what had officially sold me on this kind of product.

Now I do believe whatever marring that takes place with a medium to mild clay bar should be minimal with proper use and constant lubrication.  If I only had to choose between the two, the clay bar is more of a necessity to adequately remove all of the above surface contamination.  With appropriate use of detailing clay removing all of the above surface contamination is still worth minimal marring that I still believe for the average car enthusiast can be masked with micro fillers of your favorite paint cleaner like Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish or P21S Paintwork Cleanser.

But I am not making the case for one or the other, I am suggesting there is a place for both products in your detailing bag. With the mineral deposit remover, you now have something to address what regular washing did not remove with something a little quicker and more gentler than detailing clay.

I also would like to remind users to be careful to make certain this type of product is removed completely (rinsed off) from the paint surface.  Just like you do not want to leave something alkaline like an APC on your paint, mineral deposit removers are very acidic.

my paint afterwards

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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7 comments on Making a Case for a Water Spot Remover

  1. Ray Scott says:

    I have used lots of water spot removing products. I have not found one which is effective for removing water spots which have been neglected over time due to rain, irrigation, improper drying etc. I used clay bars, polish, compound etc and the spots were not removed. Any suggestions?

    • Rodney Tatum says:

      Hi Scott. Waterspots will become more difficult to remove over time unfortunately. What you described would fall under the category of Type 2 or very possibly 3. Type 1 waterspots are topical. They may be more difficult to remove than dirt, but would fall under the category of bonded contaminate. Those are the ones that haven’t etched into the paint. A clay bar ofcourse would pull all the mineral deposits out. If it etches the mineral deposit can be removed but the etching requires a leveling of paint via polish, compound, sand paper. Waterspot removers deposit removers work because the minerals respond the acidicity of the mineral spot remover hence releasing the bond to your paint. This is why vinegar is considered a popular remedy
      Though I caution the use of products not spefically designed for paint, because that is where a lot of people will scratch the finish using something without sufficient lubricity.

      A variety of factors will affects how quickly the conditions worsen: heat/sun effects, kind of hard water (Florida is brutal, sprinklers are the worst, paint protection that curbs it and kind of/quality. All of these factors can affect the rate of etching. Type 3 is that danger zone where it may not be removed without severe paint correction steps if at all.

    • Rodney Tatum says:

      Also Scott I feel like I didn’t fully address your question in regards to future steps. If the above methods have not yielded the results, further polishing or compounding and polishing will be necessary if they can be removed.

      But I do caution to be careful, especially if you do not have a Paint Thickness Guage, how much you compound/polish as to not go through your clear.

  2. james weinstein says:

    Thanks for the review.

    once one uses a waterspot remover, does it also remove your sealer and/or wax requiring re-waxing?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Rodney Tatum says:

      No problem.

      My strong opinion on the matter is that it will moderately to completely remove your wax or sealant. I am going to assume (though) can’t guarantee that Waterspot cleaners are PH Acidic. For me, lets just say for example I have applied Black Wet Diamond Paint Sealant to my car and later sprayed this kind of product on a panel. I would most likely follow up with Blackfire Crystal Seal (spray sealant) to get the protection back up. It also good to keep in mind if there are a ton of mineral deposits, bugs, etc the sacrificial barrier is already taking a hit.

      I think a good mindset is if what you are spraying is not PH neutral carnauba or polymer protection is going to be compromised. But in some cases it is very worth it.

  3. Ray Scott says:

    Thank you Rodney, good advice.

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