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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Hard Water



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      04-13-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
jopa489
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Unhappy Hard Water

Now that New England weather is finally beginning to cooperate (and I finally had a day off), I figured it would be a good day to clean the car. This was my first time using the methods and products the pros have used and recommended here. But I've read threads, watched videos and have done my homework, so I felt prepared.

I ran into a pretty big problem with water spots and hard water. Even using the "sheeting" method for rinsing (remove nossel from the hose), I still had water spots everywhere. Used Poorboys Super Slick & Suds to wash, and planned on using Natty's Blue to wax but didn't do this because of the water spots (wasn't going to clay or polish since the car is brand new). My guess is that I was just too slow washing, and some water dried on there before I had a chance to dry properly.

How can I get the spots off my car now? And how can I prevent this from happening in the future?

Also, any thoughts for removing the water stains from rain (on the lowest side panels, near the middle)?

Any tips would be appreciated.
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      04-13-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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i've used a vinegar water solution by hand.

i've also removed them by porter cable and compound buffing.

I also wash using Optimum No Rinse wash, as there are never any water markings associated with this wonderful product.
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      04-13-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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First, wash in the shade if you can, never in direct sun.


If you get some spotting you can use, QD, vinegar wash, or a light polish.

You need to polish the stains out!
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      04-13-2009, 09:08 PM   #4
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Cool, thanks for the advice guys!
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      04-13-2009, 09:43 PM   #5
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aside from washing in the shade, you can also mist the car a little every now and then so the water doesn't dry while you wash the car. it'll keep the water from drying up that way. also might wanna spray w/ qd or glaze before you dry (while the car is still a lil wet but not drenched). i do it to help keep from getting spots and helps bring out the color while i dry. (2 steps in one. woot!!). follow w/ wax and the car should look intense
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      04-13-2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lul77 View Post
aside from washing in the shade, you can also mist the car a little every now and then so the water doesn't dry while you wash the car. it'll keep the water from drying up that way. also might wanna spray w/ qd or glaze before you dry (while the car is still a lil wet but not drenched). i do it to help keep from getting spots and helps bring out the color while i dry. (2 steps in one. woot!!). follow w/ wax and the car should look intense
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      04-13-2009, 11:36 PM   #7
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I actually was trying to mist the entire car after rinsing each section. The car was in the sun though, but since it was cold out this morning (about 45 degrees and very windy), I wasn't thinking about the water drying so quickly (my hands were freezing).

Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely be more aware of it next wash. And I'll try your method with the QD too.
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      04-14-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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+1 for both misting the car often and washing in the shade. I have really hard water but if I follow those two rules I don't get the water spots.
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      04-14-2009, 09:36 PM   #9
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u can try to wash and rinse in sections, and keep the car watered throughout the rinse process
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      04-14-2009, 10:24 PM   #10
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I have an Infrared Laser Thermometer. My car color is Montego Blue. I had my car outside in the sun and it was 43 degrees out. The car paint was 81 degrees. I never will wash a car in the sun no matter how cold it is outside.

One thing I did to help in my detail business I do at my house was to have a faucet installed in my garage that is hooked to my soft water system in my house.
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      04-14-2009, 10:30 PM   #11
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It's ALWAYS best to wash a vehicle either in the morning BEFORE the sun gets to it or in the evening.

Once the sun hits the paint (no matter how cold it is) the paint will absorb the heat of the sun and will hold on to it until out of direct sunlight.
Kind of like a heating stone ......
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      04-14-2009, 10:40 PM   #12
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We have really hard water, too. So far, my solution has been to just use a ton of water (spraying often so nothing dries) and to dry quickly when I'm done. I can avoid water spots, but it's a huge PITA and very difficult on low humidity days.

This year, I think I'll be getting the CR Spotless de-ionizing system. This should make things easier. You might want to look into it yourself.
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      04-29-2009, 12:11 AM   #13
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just ordered my CR Spotless DIC-20 from Costco - a very good deal there: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...rodid=11201522

I can't wait for it to arrive!
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      04-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #14
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I did a more thorough detailing this past weekend and didn't have nearly as much trouble with water spots. I think my town may have been flushing their system or something a couple of weeks ago when I first posted this. Our water has always been a little on the hard side, but never as bad as what I saw then.

If it becomes a problem again, I'll get one of those CR Spotless systems. Seems like a good solution. May have to drop by Costco to check it out. We have a sink and hose faucet in our garage, so maybe a water softening system for the whole house would be good too.
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      04-29-2009, 05:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopa489 View Post
I did a more thorough detailing this past weekend and didn't have nearly as much trouble with water spots. I think my town may have been flushing their system or something a couple of weeks ago when I first posted this. Our water has always been a little on the hard side, but never as bad as what I saw then.

If it becomes a problem again, I'll get one of those CR Spotless systems. Seems like a good solution. May have to drop by Costco to check it out. We have a sink and hose faucet in our garage, so maybe a water softening system for the whole house would be good too.
Water softener for the house would be an efficient and cost effective route to go. Especially for the reasons mentioned within this thread. So .... uh ...... where are the pics of the detail job?? You realize you can't just post a comment like that and not offer up some pics, right?!
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      04-29-2009, 05:54 PM   #16
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Water softener for the house would be an efficient and cost effective route to go. Especially for the reasons mentioned within this thread. So .... uh ...... where are the pics of the detail job?? You realize you can't just post a comment like that and not offer up some pics, right?!
Haha, and here I was hoping nobody would call me out on that! Should have known better..

By the time I finished, it was just about sunset Sunday night. Monday evening I planned on taking some pictures when I got home from work, but the pollen had already attacked from being parked outside all day.

Next time it's ready for a good cleaning, I'll be sure to post some pictures. The pollen is usually gone by mid-late May. Can't wait, it's an absolute nuisance around here this time of year.
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      04-29-2009, 05:58 PM   #17
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Haha, and here I was hoping nobody would call me out on that! Should have known better..

By the time I finished, it was just about sunset Sunday night. Monday evening I planned on taking some pictures when I got home from work, but the pollen had already attacked from being parked outside all day.

Next time it's ready for a good cleaning, I'll be sure to post some pictures. The pollen is usually gone by mid-late May. Can't wait, it's an absolute nuisance around here.
I know all about the pollen ....... we have a pollen "index count??" of 513 here and it shows.
Ok, you have the one opportunity to redeem yourself. Looking forward to "next time".
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      04-29-2009, 10:46 PM   #18
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I use the sheeting method myself and it works great. I usually wash in the evening on weekend after being home for the entire afternoon.

I use the Mr. Clean Automotive Car Wash Kit to wash my car but mostly for the spray nozzle. However, if I have to wash in the afternoon or before a wax, I'll use the water filter feature in the kit. It runs the water through a filter like a Brita filter getting rid of the mineral deposits. So you're really spraying down your car with filtered water. I'll dry afterwards anyway but this way if I miss a spot, it won't turn into a hard water spot.



I bought mine from Canadian Tire and I think it was around $30? I still prefer to use a bucket for the soap since it gets the dirt of easier than filling the spray nozzle with the soap and trying to spray the soap on.
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      04-29-2009, 11:34 PM   #19
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I actually have one of those, bought it years ago when they first came out. Totally forgot about it, thanks for reminding me. If I remember right, I got tired of buying replacement filters for some crazy expensive price and shelved the thing. Maybe it's time to give it a try once again, even if it's just for the filtering aspect.
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      04-30-2009, 12:10 AM   #20
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Hard water is a fact of life in Arizona... I'm still adjusting, but spraying each panel off as I wash helps, plus the occassional re-wetting as mentioned.

I have started using the sheeting method and it helps with the water spots I found. You still have to be fast about it though. As soon as I'm done sheeting I start drying with a waffle-weave microfiber and I barely have any waterspots.

The other thing you can do, as also mentioned, is to use some quick detailer when you're done. They usually have some glossing agents in them anyway so it helps it shine
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      04-30-2009, 09:07 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Speed_Addict View Post
just ordered my CR Spotless DIC-20 from Costco - a very good deal there: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...rodid=11201522

I can't wait for it to arrive!
I just did the same. If you look on old threads, there have been times that Costco had this on sale for $299 or even $199 but I didn't feel like waiting for a sale. The price is still great, as it normally retails for >$400.
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      04-30-2009, 12:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I actually have one of those, bought it years ago when they first came out. Totally forgot about it, thanks for reminding me. If I remember right, I got tired of buying replacement filters for some crazy expensive price and shelved the thing. Maybe it's time to give it a try once again, even if it's just for the filtering aspect.

Well any type of water filtration or demineralization system will require you to get cartridges (which is usually how they make their money - make the initial purchase cheap and the refills expensive. Very known business practice for things like printers and Brita water filters).

I got sick and tired of having to get a new filter everytime too so I just use it before details when I plan on sealing the paint with some wax. And a good wax should last you for a while.

You could also take water from your Brita filter put it in a spray bottle and use it like Quick Detailer. I've done that quite a bit and I keep a bottle of distilled or filtered water in the trunk. (one of my friends who used to have a detailing shop for BMW's used to carry Quick Detailer in his M3 for bird poop). I found with the sheeting method though is that places around the bumper and license plate don't sheet very well so you have to go in by hand to do it anyway. Sheeting probably covers 85% of the car. You'll have to go in by hand to do the rest.

For me I use the Mr. Clean filter for the entire car after a wash before I wax, even after using the sheeting method. Spray bottle of quick detailer or filtered water just to touch up.
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