The best water spot removers for a flawless finish

Hard water already ruins kettles, don't let it ruin your freshly cleaned car.

Water spots on a black car

by Ryan Gilmore |

You've just spent the best part of an afternoon tending to your car with some lathering snow foam, shampoo and wax treatment, the absolute worst thing to see once you're done is a series of small water spots all over your car. It's enough to make an adult fall to their knees and cry (maybe).

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Water spots are an unfortunate side effect of car cleaning but can be mostly avoided with good techniques or a novel car dryer. Still, they're not unavoidable and several companies offer handy products that'll remove them and leave you with spotless paintwork.

What causes water spots?

It isn't the water itself that causes water spots, it's the tiny minerals and additives that find their way into normal tap water that leave those deposits all over the paintwork. Just like with showerheads and kettles, if you live in a hard water area you'll get more of these deposits.

The best water spot removers

Gtechniq W9 Water Spot Remover

The best water spot remover

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This advanced water product will clean more than just water spots and target other surface contamination left by tap water. While most water spot removers will use a single cleaner to shift water spots, Gtechniq uses three to help remove silica scale, trap iron metal ions and dissolve salt.

It's perfectly safe to apply on all paint surfaces and even glass, a hot spot for water spots and streaks. Gtechniq Water Spot Remover is also really easy to apply requiring nothing more than a quick bottle shake and microfibre towel to buff away excess product.

MOTHERS Water Spot Remover for Glass

The best water spot remover for glass
MOTHERS Water Spot Remover for Glass

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Glass is fairly hard to clean without leaving a couple of streaks, and that's before you add the possibility of water spots. Glass is a magnet for grime and it's pretty hard to ignore it once it's on there which makes this specialised glass cleaner from MOTHERS a sensible purchase.

As well as water spots, this cleaner will shift any salt spray, tree sap, road grime, bug leftovers, road film and stains with ease. It's not designed for paintwork but it remains a top choice.

Chemical Guys Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover

The best gel-based water spot remover
Chemical Guys Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover

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A gel-based water spot remover may require an applicator pad to apply it to your car, but in the flip side, this makes applying it more accurate for less wasted product. Chemical Guys Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover will neutralise the alkalic minerals that make up the majority of water spots, giving sparkling paintwork.

Like other water spot removers it is slightly acidic so it's a good idea to wear gloves and you can't use it in direct sunlight. Still, it's a solid choice for removing water spots.

CarPro Spotless


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CarPro is a specialist high-end detailing company that manufacture some very impressive cleaning products, even if the brand is relatively small in the UK. Its water spot remover is an effective way of removing the alkalic minerals that make up water spots. It makes use of gentle acids so make sure to wear a decent set of gloves.

How to prevent water spots from forming:

  1. Never wash a car in direct sunlight and make sure the panel is cool to the touch before washing it.
  1. If it's particularly warm out, wash one panel at a time to stop the water and shampoo from drying out on the paintwork.
  1. Invest in a good drying towel or embrace technology with an electronic car dryer.
  1. If you're feeling particularly fancy (or have the cash to burn) a powerful water de-ionizer plumbed into a pressure washer will provide mineral-free water but is rather expensive.


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