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Water Spot Residue

Dear Readers,

I have noted on my new car that the windows are covered with water spot residues that I can not remove. I washed the car by hand and the deposits remain. I prefer not to return to the dealership for this matter. Any suggestions?


Water spots are left over minerals from the water source, calcium and lime are common. Lots of products available at the auto section of Walmart or your local auto supply store. If you don’t want to clear them yourself go to an auto detailing shop.

Scrubbing with diluted vinegar will do the trick.

I’d also vote for vinegar. Lay some vinegar-soaked paper towels over the area for five or ten minutes and see what happens. I don’t know what vinegar does to paint, so I’d be careful not to get any on it.

Vinegar is acetic acid and it is not strong to begin with. One bottle of vinegar in my pantry claims there is 6% acid in it. It would be OK to dilute the vinegar to conserve it; maybe 50/50 with water. But the water is likely to be the same source that left the salt deposits. I might try wetting a paper towel and scrubbing an area to see if it works. Don’t use water to rinse the windows when you are done. When the water evaporates you will have spots again.

What products that would be available at WalMart or PepBoys to removed recalcitrant water spots? At night, the whole rear window is covered with them as the following car’s lights illuminates. They are evident at any field of focus.

The dealer told me to return the car for master detailing…150 miles arrival distance.


You can take the car to the dealer for “master detailing” if you wish. He will have someone scrub with vinegar.

Once the windows are spotless, you can treat them with Rain-X to keep them that way.

Undiluted white vinegar just like a coffee pot, or CLR should remove the lime and calcium deposits. Unless they have been etched into the glass, then nothing removes it.

I have no idea if the deposits are etched in or not into the glass. These dealers just wash their car en mass and leave them to the environment to dry.

I doubt BMWs get any special treatment. I like to think I’m wrong. Please tell me so dear readers!

I’m sure it depends on the dealer Al. Some probably hose 'em down, others hand wash and towel dry.