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Those take a lot of time and effort.... When was the last time you waxed the car??

I wash... use a paint cleaner (hard to find, but it's like mildly abrasive car wash... it won't hurt anything since you're using the sponge and not buffing it)... clay bar... polish.... wax....

Usually, the lightly abrasive polishes that are typical of seasonal work are sufficient for that.
 

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I have used vinegar to remove mineral deposits on my paint caused by water dripping on my car in a parking garage. The minerals on the concrete are leached out by the water and then deposited on the car. You can search the net and see if this works for your hard water spots, too.
 

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I wasn't aware of that little trick.... :)

A little research suggests that a wax coat is essential after it... But I'm gonna try that next time I do the full detailing, too.. :D
 

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So you say you didn't have this problem in the past op?
Like mentioned above. Do be aware of where you are parking the car. Maybe you've changed your normal parking spot routine?.

I am almost sure it's the calcium and mineral deposits in the water that causes this issue.

Depending on how bad it is. I'd first try a good wash, clay bar , and try something like over the counter McGuires compound and polish, applied by hand. See if that works. Always start with the least abrasive option first. No since in knocking off layers of paint unnecessarily. If it's something that has really stuck on , you may wanna try C.L.R. I myself haven't tried this yet but hear it works on hard water spots. This is a route I'd recommend for a car that's BAAAD. With heavy calcium build up

So you know, the clay isn't to remove the water spots but to help remove any wax that has been left over from previous applications. This is to allow the polish or compound to work better.

Not familiar with what "paint cleaner" is. Maybe goes by a different term? But he's right about making sure the paint is as clean as possible.

Good luck!
 

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Check this out. I believe he's using a product similar to CLR. this car was pretty bad.
 

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... So you know, the clay isn't to remove the water spots but to help remove any wax that has been left over from previous applications.
Clay can be used to remove hard water spots. It's one of the first things that I would use.

This is to allow the polish or compound to work better.
Polishing or compounding will remove any wax on the paint. It is better to remove it first with a good washing with Dawn first but the wax isn't going to stop the compound or polish from doing what it does.
 

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Clay can be used to remove hard water spots. It's one of the first things that I would use.



Polishing or compounding will remove any wax on the paint. It is better to remove it first with a good washing with Dawn first but the wax isn't going to stop the compound or polish from doing what it does.
Any tips or products to prevent water spots in the first place?
 

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Look in the boat or rv section at bass pro or cabelas maybe even Walmart . They sell water spot remover. Might be safer than clr. I think chemical guys also sell a product.
 

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Any tips or products to prevent water spots in the first place?
Keep the detail work to a regular schedule, and it will keep them at bay. No real way to get rid of them altogether.
 

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Clay does not remove hard water spots unless maybe they are fresh or its something else. In 20 years as a professional detailer I have had very little luck with just clay bar. He can try and I'd do the step anyway to remove any other contaminants and wax .

As for removing wax before you compound or polish. When you wax a car it creates a slick coating over said surface . When you buff over that kind of a surface it doesn't allow the compound to attach to the paint and wont be as effective. Will it never work.?No. But it helps.

Dawn helps remove your old wax because of the high ph levels. Any car wash soap with high ph levels will strip wax or at least shorten its life span.
 

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This video is more about buffing then water spots but in it they mention what I do. About being sure to remove old waxes or contaminants.

O.p. This all may not be necessary and you might luck out with just the clay . However it's a good idea to watch. Larry from ammo NYC produces (in my opinion) some of the best how to detailing videos out there. Very knowledgeable guy.

Will have to keep my eye open for the stuff in Wal-Mart or bass pro. See what it's about.
 

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What are your thoughts on vinegar? If the philosophy is starting with the least abrasive option first I think vinegar is a great first step. It is a chemical process rather than an abrasive process. I don't know if the minerals are the same in hard water as they were in my concrete water deposits or how much time is a factor but I would definitely try to spot clean an area with vinegar- maybe diluted 50/50 in a spray bottle with water.

In 20 years as a professional detailer..
 

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Haven't tried it before. There are a lot of "tricks of the trade" and some work and some will cause damage. If someone here has done it more than once without having any issues id say go for It. But I haven't and won't recommend something I haven't tried. The only reason I am pretty confident in the CLR is because a well known local auto detail business called delta sonic uses or used it. Not sure if they still do. They are big on safety there, so I'd assume it's ok. Don't ask me why I have been reluctant to try it. Lazy? Lol

Also. Anyone can email Larry from ammo NYC any questions you have. He always gives his email address in the end of his videos
 

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Any tips or products to prevent water spots in the first place?
Yes. If you keep a solid layer of sealant, wax or both on your car, water spots can't attach themselves to the clear coat and etch into your finish. I show that in this video that I did where hard water spots have been sitting on my paint for months. The video is actually about water restricted washing but I show and talk about the hard water spots. Watch how easy they are removed.


Clay does not remove hard water spots unless maybe they are fresh or its something else. In 20 years as a professional detailer I have had very little luck with just clay bar. He can try and I'd do the step anyway to remove any other contaminants and wax
I've been fooling with automotive finishes since the late 70's. My father painted cars for 40 years and a lot of what I know came from him and experience. I have used clay on plenty occasions to not only remove hard water spots from paint, but also glass. Clay comes in more than just consumer grade but consumer grade clay can work wonders.

As for removing wax before you compound or polish. When you wax a car it creates a slick coating over said surface . When you buff over that kind of a surface it doesn't allow the compound to attach to the paint and wont be as effective. Will it never work.?No. But it helps.
Incorrect. Do you think that any wax or sealant on the market today is HARDER than clear coat? Compounds and polishes SHAVE layers of clear coat off the car. If you put a polisher with a compound or polish on some freshly waxed or one month old waxed car, that compound or polish is going to IMMEDIATELY remove that wax. There is no wax invented that will stand up to ONE BUFFING CYCLE of compound or wax.
 

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Yes , you are correct. There are other grades of clay bar other than the over the counter stuff. I assume the op and most others will be using over the counter grade clay and with that said. It most likely will not work. Like i said, I have had luck but not always. If it's as heavy as the car in the first video I posted. I'd say you are definitely not getting it off with just clay.

As for the preparation process before you buff a car. Again. I've had luck in the past just washing, claying if necessary, and just giving it a go by hand with a hand applicator and some mild compound or machine. And that's for minor scratches or bird or hard water marks. It just depends on how long it's been on the paint.

In the past I was not aware of how important it is to remove all the wax on a vehicle but after watching the second video I posted , it seems to make sense. I'm sorry if you disagree with them but given thier level of expertise in detailing, I'm gonna listen to what they say. No matter how long i do this. I always try to keep an open mind. Listen to others. I try to listen to the best in the industry. The detail game has and is changing. So that's one of my reasons for it. Plus i don't like to think I know everything and try to learn. Again, to typically the best. If i wanna learn how to play basketball, i go see Michael Jordan. I wanna learn golf. I go see tiger woods. Wanna learn about the latest in the auto detail game. I Go too Larry Korsilla from auto ammo. Again. I believe they mention it too help maximize the efficiency of the buffing process and help achieve results faster without taking off a lot of paint, cause even I know that compounding a car can be as aggressive as wet sanding. Which you are correct, in that it does remove layers of paint. So I believe it's a tad over kill but will help with not having to use more aggressive products to possibly achieve the same results and save some of the paint. As you know. The goal during the buffing process is to leave as much paint on the car as possible. After 3.5 or so millimeters, you don't want to remove any more paint or it can cause the paint system to fail. So leaving as much on as you can is important.
 

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Please post up where we might find some non-consumer grade clay. What is its nomenclature? How are the different grades referred to?
 

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My experience has been that even the excellent grade of clay you get from Adams and Zaino does not remove the water spots that are deposited by our very hard water. It has required a fine Adam's polish to finish their removal both times I have corrected my finish. I'd like to try some of this commercial-grade clay so I won't have to use the Porter Cable as much, to conserve my clear coat depth. If the commercial clay gets it done, so much the better. We have very hard water around here, high calcium, so much so that I use a double canister-type water softening/filtering system to soften the water. You guys with soft water are so lucky. My spots come from rain drying, not faucet washing water.
 

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I fortunately have had local commercial suppliers to get any products from over the years. So honestly I'm not sure who to recommend. Was gonna say Adams but I see Tonykarter hasn't had any luck. I hear Adams offers a new type of clay bar called visco clay. Never used it. Has anyone tried this yet?
There's also chemical guys. They offer several grades of clay . Not sure who's best for prices.

That's crazy about the hard water issue you deal with Tony. I have a water softening system in my house. It makes a difference. But its not as bad as your situation. As junkman said. A good paint sealant followed by an old school carnuba wax will help.
 

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Yes , you are correct. There are other grades of clay bar other than the over the counter stuff. I assume the op and most others will be using over the counter grade clay and with that said. It most likely will not work. Like i said, I have had luck but not always.
The problem with you statement is that not everyone has the same experience as you. I have had a lot of luck with clay. It is ALWAYS the first step I take because it is the LEAST aggressive. So just because YOU haven't had much luck with it doesn't mean that others haven't. A lot of the luck that you have with water spots and clay depends on how quickly you address the issue.

In the past I was not aware of how important it is to remove all the wax on a vehicle but after watching the second video I posted , it seems to make sense. I'm sorry if you disagree with them but given thier level of expertise in detailing, I'm gonna listen to what they say.
Uhhhh.... I never said anything about that video or how anything was done in it. I didn't even watch it.

Please post up where we might find some non-consumer grade clay. What is its nomenclature? How are the different grades referred to?
The more aggressive grades of clay can only be found at body shop supply stores. I usually get mine at either my local Mirror Glaze distributor or my local PPG paint shop. Problem is, you are going to need to either do some paint correction after using it or if you get TOO aggressive, you are going to need to do some wet sanding. Wet sanding is somewhat of an art and I would never suggest you try it without being experienced at it. But once you know what you are doing, you can make it look real easy.

 
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