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Product Review: Chemical Guys Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover


Ah, Hawaii. “Enjoy paradise” was probably the most constant refrain we heard once we found out we were moving to Hawaii, but it isn’t all sunshine and surf. Being a detailer here, there are three absolutely awful enemies – water spots, red clay, and sand. For whatever reason (all the saltwater?), pretty much every single vehicle in Hawaii is just slammed with water spots. I prefer to avoid polishing as much as possible – anytime you can avoid removing clearcoat, you want to.

Darker paint and mirrors typically show water spots the most, and this 2021 Kia Telluride was already covered in them.

I started with concentrated 30% vinegar from a big box hardware store, and it didn’t even touch them. Next up was Gyeon WaterSpot, which unfortunately had as much effect as the vinegar.

Finally, a fellow detailer recommended Chemical Guys Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover – AND HOLY CRAP THIS STUFF IS AWESOME:

The CG Water Spot Remover is a thicker gel than any other water spot remover I’ve tried, and far more effective. Usage is simple – wash, dry, and then use a microfiber applicator (towel works too) to apply, work it in, and then remove. Wash afterward and you’re done! I also tried applying it with a Griot’s Garage Micro Fiber Fast Cutting Pad, and that sped things up even more.

Even a compound (Griot’s Garage BOSS Correcting Cream) and cutting pad (Lake Country Force Orange Cutting Pad) wasn’t enough to completely remove these water spots, whereas CG’s Water Spot Remover took care of them in two passes by hand, or one pass by buffer. It’s easy to use, the price is great, and it’s effective – 5 of 5 stars.

Nicholas Chopp
Revitalize Auto Spa
Honolulu, HI

7 comments on Product Review: Chemical Guys Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover

  1. Charles says:

    Hello from Orlando, FL

    I have a 2004 BMW (E46) M3 Convertible, Carbon Metallic Black, looks blue, with Cinnamon colored Nappa Leather interior. — If I may say, it looks great. — A few years ago, I had my car detailed at a professional detail shop in Sanford, FL. The detailing included a ceramic coating. That’s the good news…

    There is a bit of personal ignorance and responsibility that helps define the bad news. — The day before giving the car to the detailing shop, I had a mechanical / electrical problem that required the car to be towed to a highly regarded BMW shop, not a dealer. — Well, this is Florida and it rained on the car (left outside overnight, uncovered) before I picked-up the car to take to the detail shop. My car is garage kept and covered. — I didn’t notice the rain spots that were on the car and gave it no thought. — Certainly my oversight. — I dropped the car off at the detailer that morning and got it back the next day. It looked fabulous and still does.

    When I got the car home for a closer inspection, I found rain spots all over the car. I was pissed and I still am… Notwithstanding the go-around with the detailer, I still have water spots on my car. — Any recommendations to remove the rain spots (under) on a ceramic coated car? — Thank you for your indulgence.

    Note: I leave the editing to you w/o objection. You see where I have gone with this.

    • Reece @ DI says:

      Charles – Thank you for the message and I am sorry to hear about the water marks. A detailer will remove dirt and grime from the surface, but it will not remove water marks. Unfortunately many water marks actually lightly etch in to the surface, which in this case happened before the coating was applied. Since these marks etched into the clearcoat, you will have to remove the coating and use a water spot remover or if that does now work, polish away the imperfections with a traditional polishing process. After removal of the marks, you can reapply any form of protection desired.

  2. Charles Rossi says:

    Hello. I don’t understand that rain water leaves water spots. I have never heard of that. Can you clear that up

    Thanks Charly

    • Reece @ DI says:

      Water marks come from the minerals within water, which etch into the surface creating imperfections in the paint. The mineral content in water can vary by region and source (i.e. rain, sprinkler, hose, etc.) and removing it without allowing it to dry on the surface is the only way to avoid these marks in your protective layer or paintwork.

  3. Dean Levett says:

    I had a dark grey Volvo truck. And very hard water, I use koch chemie. Water spot remover, excellent results every time.

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