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How to remove hard water stains off car paint

Updated February 21, 2017

Hard water stains develop on your vehicle when your car is exposed to a rainy day or a dirty car wash. The mineral deposits that make contact with your car's paint leave behind unattractive, cloudy water marks that are not always easy to remove. The key is to use a cleaning solution that will remove the hard water stains without harming the auto paint and without leaving cleaning solution film behind.

Fill a spray bottle with equal parts warm water and white vinegar.

Fill a cleaning bucket with 1 gallon warm water and 2 tbsp car wash soap.

Spray the water-and-vinegar solution onto a 2-foot square section of your auto paint.

Wipe the area immediately after spraying with a cleaning rag soaked in the car wash soap.

Repeat until you have worked your way over the entire car, and also clean the remaining parts of your vehicle with the car wash soap routine as well to give an even cleaning to the entire car.

Rinse the car with your garden hose, and hand-dry with clean rags to prevent new hard water stains from forming.

Apply a fresh coat of car wax to restore shine to the auto paint, following the application instructions on the car wax container.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Cleaning bucket
  • Car wash soap
  • Cleaning rags
  • Garden hose
  • Car wax
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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.