I just read the best article yet about water spots—how they form and what they can do to your car’s paint and finish when it’s not ceramic coated. Thank you, Avalon King, for breaking this down for us. I’m going to paraphrase some of this article just to hit the high points….
You may or may not know this, but water from rain or from your hose is “hard” water—it’s got mineral deposits, like salt and limestone. Only distilled water does not have these minerals, and most of us don’t wash our cars with distilled water. At Pro Auto Spas we use RO (reverse osmosis) water, which is not quite distilled but has minerals and contaminants removed. When the water evaporates, the minerals get left behind and they etch into your clearcoat and cause damage—corrosion, scratches, UV exposure.
The only way to stop water spots is to dry your car the RIGHT AWAY. Never leave a car to air dry, especially in the sun. Most of us cannot be there with a towel or blow dryer every time it rains, and drying a clearcoat properly is not as easy as it looks. On the microscopic level, clearcoats often have a jagged, porous surface, so minerals can be easily embedded. Drying with the wrong towels can actually cause more damage than it prevents. And to be honest, if they get bad enough, water spots won’t come off. They etch your surface. It’s awful. But don’t lose hope!
This is where a good ceramic coating can save your car. Ceramic protects from everything, and it fills those jagged surfaces in the clearcoat, creating a “sacrificial” layer that prevents minerals from sticking to the surface of your paint. The surface of a ceramic coating is perfectly smooth, and components in the coating make it hydrophobic—it literally repels water, dirt, and more. The non-stick element to the coating makes water spots easy to remove with the proper tools—usually a microfiber cloth and detailing spray.
Once your car is coated, the beading and sheeting actions will be unbelievable. Now keep in mind, that coatings alone can’t stop water spotting. They repel water, but you can’t fight gravity, so you still need a good microfiber dry-off or a blow dryer. Water spots are not easy to remove, but at Pro Auto Spas we have the proper chemicals and equipment to take your paint job back to new. Give us a call!