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How To Remove Water Spots From Car Windows: Complete Guide

Water has minerals, especially hard water, and these mineral deposits are left behind on surfaces when the water dries out. Anytime you splash water on your car windows and even when it rains, you will notice spots after the water is dry. These spots are ugly, making it hard for you to see outside when you are driving.

Although water stains do not sound as nasty as bird poo, splattered eggs, or other stains, they are also irritating. The little spots left after the water from your mirrors can compromise your visibility, especially at night. You need to know how to remove water spots from car windows so that you can get the stains out as quickly as possible.

Formulas And Cleaning Solutions To Help Remove Water Spots From Car Windows

Water spots may look innocent, but they will make it difficult for you to see. Sometimes even the wipers might not do much to remove water stains, and you may need special care to get rid of the stains. There are different types of spots, and you need to know them to identify the best method to remove them.

  • Regular spots: The regular water spots come from the buildup of magnesium and calcium from the evaporated water. They come from water splashes from car washes, sprinklers, rainwater, and other showers. After the water evaporates, a whitish substance is left on the car window or the body, and you need to remove it right away to ensure your window remains clean.
  • Etched water spots: These have become engraved on the car surface because they have been on the surface for a long while. The water spots can become engraved because they are exposed to direct intense sunlight. They are tougher to remove, and if they are on the car paint, they get even more etched, and it might take a while to get them out.
  • Bonded mineral spots: ln any cases, when there is acid rain, the water is filled with chemicals that can stain your car windows. If you do not wipe off the water droplets, they will evaporate and leave deposits on the surface of your car. The bonded minerals from smoke exhaust and emissions will leave several spots on your vehicle, and it would be best for you to get the marks out so that they do not become permanent on your car.
Remove Water Spots From Car Windows

The following are some ways to remove water spots from your car windows:

1. Vinegar

Mineral deposits from hard water need to be neutralized so that you can remove them from the car windows easily. The vinegar’s acidity can help neutralize and soften the hard deposits, and then you can clean them out. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the areas with the spots. Once the spots loosen up, you can use a soft cloth to wipe off the windows, and you can repeat the process until the glass is clear. You can use a microfiber cloth to clean the window because it will not damage your window or any other part of the car you want to clean.

2. Fresh Lemon Juice

Like vinegar, fresh lemon juice has an acid that will also help neutralize the minerals from the water. Squeeze fresh lemons to have the liquid and add an equal amount of water to the lemon juice. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and use it on the water spots while using a clean towel to clean it out. If the stain is bonded to the window, you can spray and leave it for a few minutes to make it softer. Once the spot has become soft, it will be easy to rub it off your windows.

Do not use materials that might scratch your windows and cause permanent damage. If you have severe stains, you can cut the lemon in half and rub it directly on the stain before rinsing it off or wipe it with a damp cloth. Keep this mixture handy in your car because it will help you clean our different part of the car whenever you need to remove stains. You should also avoid bottled, store-bought lemon water because the natural lemon juice works better and does not have any additives.

3. Essential Oils

A few drops of orange or lemon essential oils in water will quickly remove water spots from your car windows. When you have the mixture ready, you can soak up the stain for a while to become soft and easy to remove. After soaking the stain for up to 10 minutes, you can use a glass cleaner to clean the windows and wipe them off with a clean, soft cloth. If you use this mixture on your windows at least once a week, you will be able to keep the stains out and prevent any buildup from the minerals in the future. This is an ideal remedy for people using hard water because they will splash on your car and cause spots every time they come in contact with your vehicle.

4. Toothpaste

If you have non-gel fluoride toothpaste in your bathroom, you can use it to remove water spots from your car windows. Squeeze a little bit of the toothpaste on the spits and let it rest for a few 5 to 10 minutes so that the toothpaste will neutralize the minerals. You can spread the toothpaste all over the window so that the toothpaste will get to all the stains. Wipe off the toothpaste with a damp soft cloth or sponge, and it will remove the stains from your window.

If the toothpaste is too hard to apply, you can mix it with a bit of water to be easy to use on the water spots.

5. Hard Water Glass Cleaner

If you have hard water stains on your car windows, you can find hard water glass cleaners for the spots. These cleaners are sold in hardware stores, and you can also find some in the store at your nearest gas station. To clean using the glass cleaner, you should first clean the window and remove any dust, dirt, and debris from the surface. You should then spray on the class cleaners and use a clean cloth to remove all the spots from the car window. Rub with a damp cloth or sponge in a circular motion until all the stains come off. Use a dry cloth to dry and wipe the surface clean, and the window will remain clean.

6. Fine Steel Wool

If you have tried to use cleaner and other methods to clean out the spots, but they are not coming out, you need to have a more intense way of cleaning the spots. This is mainly the case when you have etched spots because they are stubborn and challenging. Fine steel wool can help you remove the stains, and the spots etched on your car windows. You can use some rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or distilled water to soften the water spots and then start rubbing gently using the fine steel wool on the spots.

When rubbing the water spots, you should use circular motions and be gentle with the glass. You do not want to leave scratches on the window after you are done cleaning out the stains. It will also help if you add rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle, and you can also add a tablespoon of vinegar to the solution. This homemade glass cleaner will help you remove stains and keep your car windows clean all the time.

7. Baking Soda

You can also use baking soda to remove water spots because it has an alkali that can neutralize acidity. Mix a few spoons of baking soda and water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spritz the solution on the water spots and leave them on it for a few minutes. You can then use a clean, soft cloth to clean the solution and rub gently to remove the water spots. The solution works well for rain and hard water spots on the mirror and other car body parts.

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How To Prevent Water Spots?

Cleaning water spots from a car window can seem easy, but it is also time-consuming, especially if you need to go somewhere in a hurry. After the minerals from the water sit on your car for a long time, you will have a hard time removing them, which will take a lot of energy. Water stains can also etch on your car windows, and if any of them get to your car body, they can cause damages to your paint.

Keeping your car from getting water spots is much easier than knowing how to remove water spots from car windows. You can do a few things to prevent water stains from your car windows, windshield, and mirrors.

1. Treat The Car Glass

You can get water repellant products in the hardware stores that you can use on the car glass. They will act as a buffer and prevent water stains from ruining the look of your car windows. Ensure that the products are specially made for car windows because they are more effective than those used for home windows and other glass materials. Once you are done cleaning your car windows, you can wipe them with this product. It will prevent the mineral deposits from sticking to your windows, and they will remain clean even after water evaporates. Remember that you might need to use the product to treat your glass every week to work effectively.

2. Wash The Car Regularly

Every time you wash your car, you will remove any stain from it, preventing any buildup of minerals on the windows. If you leave your vehicle neglected for a long time, you are giving minerals from splashes and rain time to form spots on your windows and other parts of your car. Even if you are not driving your car regularly, you still need to keep it clean to prevent stains that might also damage your car in the long run. This is especially important if you are packing outside.

3. Park Under A Shed

Always mind where you pack because you do not want your car exposed to water and rain. When you go anywhere, check if there might be sprinklers that can turn on and splash water on your vehicle so that you can park away from them. If you suspect that it might rain, ensure you park under a shed so that rainwater does not get on your car. You can make a shed in your driveway if you do not have an enclosed garage to always protect your vehicle from weather elements.

4. Do Not Air-Dry The Car

After a wash, you can be tempted to let your car air dry because it saves time and energy. When you do this, you are leaving your car vulnerable to watermarks and spots as it dries. You might come back to find marks all over your windows which will take time to clean. If the sun is too hot, the water spots will become etched after a while. The best way to dry your car windows is using a soft cloth, especially microfiber cloth or paper towels.


Now that you know how to remove water spots from car windows, you can choose the easiest or the most appropriate one for you. Ensure that you use safe solutions when you are cleaning your car windows. Contact a professional if you are unsure about any other method before experimenting with it on your car.

When cleaning water spots, you should first check the type of stain you have to make it easy for you to choose the proper method. Be gentle with your mirrors because you do not want to damage them as you try to remove stains and keep your cleaning solutions and cloth in your car so that you do not have to wait for a long time to clean a simple spot or stain.

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