Waterspots


Sjbiss
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Hi

My vehicle was coated with Gloss Coat less than a year ago, I wash the car every week or two with distilled water and ONR using HyperSeal as a drying aid.  I live in the Northeast and am getting severe waterspots.  I think the road salt is the culprit because it only became an issue in the winter.  MDR didn’t work.  Is there anything else I can do or am I stuck with polishing coming spring?

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Removing Persistent Water Spots / Mineral Deposits Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is a common ingredient in car wash cleaning solutions mainly because it is highly effective and relatively inexpensive. Particulate matter from brake pads and discs, tire wear, and abrasion of road surface accumulated on the exterior of automobiles are aggressively removed with the use of car wash cleaning solutions containing HF. The unique properties of HF to dissolve silica, concrete, most metals, and metallic oxides cause effective breakdown of rust, road dust, and grime on automobiles. However, HF is a very corrosive and a highly toxic substance. Due to hazards associated with the storage, use, and exposure of HF to humans and the environment, there is a need to find safe, yet equally effective alternatives to HF as a cleaning agent. Improvements in cleaning processes, development of available technologies, and utilization of cleaning products containing natural and various benign polymers and surfactants are healthy and environmentally sound alternatives to HF for car wash applications. However, these alternatives may not be as effective as HF.  -2012 The Korean Society of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.  http://komfg.com/files/2012/02/ABF_HF1.pdf
If MDR does not remove the water spots, this is the next course of action. Always try the least invasive technique first. Directions for use for water spot removal on Opti Coat Pro and Pro Plus: 1. Wash surface to remove non-bonded surface contamination / dirt. 2. Inspect the water spots (with a magnifier if possible). 3. Wearing gloves, goggles, and respiratory mask, spray the wheel acid directly onto a sponge. 4. Generously wipe onto water spot affected areas, agitate a little, keeping the surface wet. (The spots may fizz a little at first. You will see them going away as they dissolve.) 5. Wait 30-60 seconds. Rinse very well with fresh water.   6. Dry and inspect. The water spots and anything else that was on the surface should be eliminated. In very extreme instances, another application may be necessary. 7. If the spots are still a little visible after a second attempt with acid, you can use a blue waffle finishing pad and Optimum Car Wax on a low speed to polish the last bit. (Note: This can only be done with a finishing pad and Car Wax.) There are no abrasives, to remove coating, or abrade the surface, which could negatively affect the hydrophobic properties of the coating. 8. Finish with Car Wax, Opti-Seal, or Instant Detailer.  The coatings are not affected by this acid, nor should the paint be affected on a non-coated car. The wheels that these products are commonly used for are clear coated as well. • PRO C-33 Wheel Brightener  Back Magic Wheel Cleaner • ALU BRITE    Detail King Wheel Brightener
• Meguiars Wheel Brightener  Ardex Wheel Brightener
Caution: Unlike most acids, HF does not cause a burning sensation, however

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If you've got water spots that aren't coming off with acid (I'm not sure HF is really the acid of choice for water spots but don't go by me), then either the spots have etched into the surface, or something else is going on.  I don't see how you can be getting water spots on your car in the winter if you wash with distilled water (and I presume because it's winter, you're not washing, anyway).

There's two other prime ways to get water spots; lawn sprinklers (which shouldn't be a problem in the winter), and runoff from bridges/parking structures.  Do you park in a parking garage?  You can get some ungodly spotting from water/salt that runs through the structure and picks up minerals from the concrete, rebar, etc.  I'm always concerned when I drive under a concrete bridge that's dripping that the same thing will happen, and I think I HAVE had that happen on a few occasions in years past.

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Thanks Setec.  No issues with sprinklers because it is winter.   I don’t park or really drive under bridges or overpasses.  The only thing I can think of as a cause would be the road salt they put down.   I do wash every week or two in my garage with ONR. 
 

What do you recommend in lieu of HF?  

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My main objection to HF is the safety issues associated with it, I personally don't think it should be used outside a controlled industrial setting.

My comment was more along the lines of that is not the acid that comes to mind for water spots, I guess because water spots are frequently a problem on windows, and HF etches glass.

Since water spots can etch into the paint, it's possible the acid has removed the mineral deposit, but left the damage to the paint, which would then have to be mechanically removed (polishing).  It's possible you got something else on your vehicle, somehow...crazy things happen.

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