Water spots....ugh - TundraTalk.net - Toyota Tundra Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Water spots....ugh

I down here in Florida and washed my truck today. I used turtle wax wash and wax, when it dries I get a
Water spots all over it. I thought it was the soap, but after I chamois it the water spots were in spots I missed or where water dripped and dried. Is there anything I can do to help this or just wash a section and chamois?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 06:07 PM
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Are you washing it at home? Do you have hard water there?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:14 PM
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If you're anywhere near me (St. Petersburg), the water is hard. I washed and waxed today and noticed some water spots after the wax. Not a big deal on a white truck. I'm thinking next time I'll try a manual car wash, and a nice shady spot to wax.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:18 PM
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If you have the luxury of softened water, a final thorough rinse with softened water will eliminate most of your water spots.

If you have the luxury of drying the car off in shade, that will slow the drying of the water, hard or soft, that remains on the vehicle.

To expedite hand drying of the vehicle surface, I have found that a spread chamois (natural or synthetic) can be used to "drag" almost all of the beaded water off a painted panel quickly. Wring the chamois, and pick up any remainders. Then, perform finish drying or detailing the panel using high quality micro-fiber towels. Move to the next panel.

Start with the vehicle top, then the large hood surface and bed cover, then the side panels (fenders, doors, bed sides, tail gate) Hint: Prioritize the glass...water spots look really bad on glass when you can see through them, and they will become permanent if not removed.

CAUTION: Painted surfaces MUST BE PERFECTLY CLEAN before hand drying. Even a tiny, tiny sand particle dragged across the painted surface by chamois or micro-fiber towel will leave a visible scratch, and set you up for a polishing session.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the input. Yes the water here is hard and have no way to soften it.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 11:12 AM
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Yeah the water here in Tampa Bay sucks. Try washing a metallic black 4Runner in the shade with this crap. It looked better before I washed it.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 12:02 PM
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I have very hard water here in TN.

My Tundra is Black and I wash one side then dry it before going to the other side and doing the same. I then wash and dry the rear before heading up to the front. I always finish with the front because of the curvature of the hood and water running back down on the fenders.

Wash in early mornings or late afternoons for the best results because it's cooler and the surface of the truck is cooler as well. The water tends to not dry as fast of course.

For any spots remaining, I use Eagle one, wipe and shine detailer. I've tried many others but for me, it works the best.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 11:29 PM
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For about $200-250, I assembled together a "wash cart" using an electric pressure washer, foam cannon, and MOST importantly: a deionizing, resin bed, filter cartridge.

The output of the 10-inch deionizer cartridge reduces total dissolved solids (TDS) in tap water, to between 5 to 30 parts-per-million (PPM) ... pretty much distilled water.

Using the deionized water for the last, final rinse results in literally ZERO water spots -- it's amazing ... many users will let their car air dry, but I prefer to use an electric leaf blower to blow off most of the water, and it's not necessary to do any further towel drying.

Of course, it's always best to work in shade or early/late in the day ... a water drop acts as an intense heat source on the paint ... if you ever "exploded ants" as a kid, you'll know what I mean :-|

The deionizing cartridge lasts 4-6 uses, if used only for the final rinse. It can be refilled and costs about $1.50 - 2.00 per wash ... IMO well worth it for the superior results and time savings.

if I ever get around to it, I'll post some pics, model #s , and sources for the "wash cart" I assembled.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 10:50 AM
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I do most of the drying with a leaf blower, then quickly go over the truck with spray detailer. This has pretty much eliminated water spot issues for me. I used to do wash a panel/dry a panel or wash a section/dry a section. It was effective in letting me dry what I washed fast enough to fight off water spots but took too damn long. It was also hard to avoid wetting panels I wasn't ready to scrub yet, which could cause water spots on areas of the truck I hadn't yet washed. You haven't scrubbed the neighboring panels down yet, which means if you try to dry any water that got on them real quick while wiping down the panels you've actually washed and rinsed, you're moving dirt around on the paint. With the leaf blower and spray detailer I can have the exterior washed and dried in about an hour as opposed to an hour and a half to two hours, and hand washed and waxed in about an hour and a half with no streaks or water spots.

I start with hood, grill, roof, front and rear bumper, and tail gate. Rinse, scrub, re-rinse, air dry. I can dry the areas I actually washed and also run it over areas I didn't scrub yet without moving dirt around and causing swirl marks. Then repeat for each side, then do the whole thing with spray detailer. Not only do I finish faster without spots but it's less rubbing of the finish that's needed, which lessens paint marring. After I air dry I work with detail spray which lubricates the finish to do a final shine and get the last drops up.

Just washing and waxing my truck used to be an all-day thing because I had to be so methodical to try to avoid streaks and spots. Doing it this way, not only do I finish faster but I'm not as tired because there's less hand drying and sprinting around the truck chasing down every last drop of water. So I can wash and wax the truck's exterior and still fit in another vehicle in the same afternoon.

The cost of fuel to operate a 6000 pound 400 horsepower half ton that does 0-60 in under 7 seconds is kind of like the price of oil changes for a Porche 911. If you have to ask you probably can't afford it.

Last edited by eharri3; 08-24-2018 at 11:19 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 11:43 AM
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My in-laws bought a water system, it was supposed to help with hard water and calcium. This is a in-line piece of pipe that you install on the incoming/inlet side of your water source so you can treat all the incoming water. Mt dad's friend had bought the same thing. So far both of those people are very pleased with the results. I do believe it was about $1200 or so, not cheap. But it is a one time cost, no bags of water softener to buy or anything else. My dads friend said he had glass shower doors, kept a squeegee in the shower and had to immediately use it after every shower and thoroughly clean the glass down a couple times a month. When he first got the device he thought he had been scammed! But he installed it and claims that the water spots/deposits went away almost immediately. I can try to source more information if anyone is interested??
But as others have stated wash and wax in a shaded area, a good chamois is worth it's weight in gold or more and a good, real chamois will last for decades if properly maintained!

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 11:02 AM
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Get a spray bottle and do a mix of 50/50 cleaning vinegar. This has a higher alk so its a bit more acid. Spray on and then use a soft terry cloth to buff out the scratch. This is mild enough to remove the water stain and won't hurt the paint or clear coat just don't let it linger. Try a small spot first and adjust the mixture if needed. Down side is it will take off the wax but gives you a good surface to start on.
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