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Cosmetic Maintenance: Washing, Waxing, Detailing, Bodywork, Protection Anything related to keeping your Camaro clean and in good cosmetic condition.

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Old 06-27-2011, 10:14 PM   #1
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Water spots...

I can't get rid of 'em...
Before starting on suggestions, keep in mind that repair work from being sideswiped, including paint, is still less than 90 days old, so no buffing, clay bar, or waxing allowed yet... Any ideas????
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
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Although you should be fine with a clay and a polish I don't think it will be necessary.

Try a 2:1 solution of Distilled Water and Vinegar, or a 2:1 solution of Distilled Water and Isopropyl Alcohol or do equal part of all three.

If these don't work you will need a paint cleanser

Hopefully those will work for you as next step up is clay, polish, etc..,
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:40 PM   #3
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Well there are some steps you need to take to ensure you don't get water spots.

1. Washing and drying out of direct sunsunlight.
2. Washing the entire car before rinsing it.
3. Sheeting the car to help remove water beads off the car to reduce the chance of water spots.

If you're doing all that and you have Adams products they recommend to spritz the car with detail spray before you dry the car to help fight water spots

Hope this helps
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Teccboxx View Post
Although you should be fine with a clay and a polish I don't think it will be necessary.

Try a 2:1 solution of Distilled Water and Vinegar, or a 2:1 solution of Distilled Water and Isopropyl Alcohol or do equal part of all three.

If these don't work you will need a paint cleanser

Hopefully those will work for you as next step up is clay, polish, etc..,
Thanks - I'll try the alcohol trick... You can still smell the paint if you lean in close, so I know it's not cured yet - no polish, clay or wax yet...
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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paint should be cured in 30 days, you need to talk to the body shop b/c they didn't mix something right. Only way to remove waterspots is with polish, be it hand or machine
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:25 PM   #6
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All three times I've had paint done they've told me 90 days - 3 different shops....
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:54 PM   #7
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Ladysbugmom, I am sure the alchol mix will work for you.

For other that want a more in depth on water spots here is a copy/paste of a explanation and how to fix water spots that have floated around the detailing forums for years.

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The misnomer ‘water spots’ are likely to contain the atmospheric pollutants nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx) once water and heat (reactivity) both of which can cause paint discoloration, surface etching (a concave circular mark and pitting) leaving microscopic surface imperfections and micro pores in the paint film surface that are vulnerable to deterioration, which need to be removed and naturalized as soon as possible.

There are two categories of water spot-

a) Stage I Corrosion [: defined as a surface with light to moderate corrosion damage to the paint surface]

b)Stage II Corrosion [: definition when the dirt/corrosion deposits are no longer on the surface but have started to break down the molecular structure, leaving an etched or white haze on the surface after the stain has been removed, with moderate to serious paint damage]

Using the least abrasive product first-

1. Use a paint surface chemical cleaner (Z-PC Fusion Dual Action Paint Cleaner)
2. Try to dissolve the alkaline-based, surface/etched mineral water deposits by trying one or more of the following;
a) Use a 2:1 or stronger solution of distilled water/distilled white vinegar (Acetic acid)
b) Try a 2:1 solution of distilled water/Isopropyl Alcohol (adjust ratio as required)
c) Or equal parts distilled water/distilled white vinegar/Isopropyl alcohol.
3. .Clean the effected surface with Klasse All-In-One or Zaino Z-PC Fusion Dual Action Paint Cleaner
4. Use detailing clay to remove any `hard' surface granules
5. Use a machine polish (Optimum Polish, Optimum Compound) and a cutting (LC White, Orange or Yellow) foam pad (speed # 4- 5.0) to level the surface
6. For PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat or other hard clear coats substitute Menzerna for machine polish; PO 203 S - Power Finish
7. Use the least aggressive polish/foam pad first, if this doesn’t remove the problem step-up to a more aggressive polish / foam pad set-up
8. Wet-sand with 2000, 2500 or 3000 grit finishing paper

a) Surface water spots- (Stage I Corrosion) alkaline watermarks consist of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) both of which are basic (alkaline pH 10) that alight on the surface; ultra violet (heat) radiation (UVR) will leave a white ‘water mark’, the minute crystals bond to the surface, they will not wash off as they are insoluble and if left for any length of time they will etch the paint film surface leaving a concave circular mark, remove surface deposits with detailer’s clay and an acetic acid pH 2.0 (vinegar) to naturalise the alkaline

b) Below surface (etched) acidic spots- (Stage II Corrosion ) are caused by an aggressive alkaline or an acidic solution (acid rain, bird excrement or industrial fallout) causing a chemical reaction, if left for any length of time they will etch the paint film surface leaving a concave circular mark. Etched acid rain spots are one of the most difficult paint defects to remove so be patient as it will probably take more than one attempt to remove them. Acid spots require an abrasive polish to level the surface (some stubborn marks may require wet sanding) and an alkaline solution to neutralize them, simply rinsing a vehicle with deionised water or tap water activates / reactivates the acid concentrates. (A B C Decontamination / Neutralization system) (See also Industrial fall out (IFO) Acid rain and Reactivity)

If the paint can be rectified by chemical means then this is the answer; not abrasive polishing. Using the correct chemical cleaners will dissolve the contaminants rather than abrading the paint. With all cleaning products (especially solvents) always test a small inconspicuous area first to ensure it won't discolour, stain or etch the surface, and ensure that the pH of the product is suitable for the material After the paint surface has been subjected to a chemical cleaning its protective layer (s) have been removed and the paint surface left without protection, so it is very important that a polymer and / or Carnauba wax protection be applied immediately

1a) Removing Surface- (Stage I Corrosion)

• Use detailing clay to remove any `hard' surface granules
• Use a paint surface cleaner (Zaino Z-PC Fusion Dual Action Paint Cleaner or / Zaino All-In-One (Z-AIO)
• Dissolve the alkaline-based, surface/etched mineral water deposits try one or more of the following;
a) Use a 2:1 solution of distilled water/distilled white vinegar (Acetic acid)
b) Try 2:1 solution of distilled water/Isopropyl Alcohol (adjust ratio as required)
c) Or equal parts distilled water/distilled white vinegar/Isopropyl alcohol.
Allow chemical solution sufficient react time (5-10 minutes)
• Use a clean spray bottle and 100% cotton Micro fibre cloth to apply the solution to the surface
• Or soak a first aid gauze pad with the vinegar/ water solution, this will help it stay in place during the necessary react time, 5-10 minutes) wipe off any residue from surface and dry with a damp waffle weave towel
• Use a clean spray bottle and 100% cotton micro fibre cloth to apply the solution to the paint surface
• Wipe off any residue from the surface and dry with a damp waffle weave towel
• If any `water marks' remain apply distilled white vinegar or Isopropyl alcohol un-diluted to a 100% cotton micro fibre towel, using a medium/heavy pressure on surface, for stubborn spots use an abrasive polish as in 1b)

1b) Removing etched (sub- surface) - (Stage II Corrosion)-

• These can be removed by using detailer's clay to remove any hardened surface deposits
• Then using a machine polish ( Optimum Polish, Optimum Compound, Z-PC Fusion Dual Action Paint Cleaner or Klasse All-In-One (AIO) and a cutting (LC Orange or Yellow) foam pad (speed # 4-5.0 ) to level the surface (use the least aggressive polish/foam pad first, if this doesn’t remove the problem step-up to a more aggressive set-up)
• Work on a very small area at a time (2-foot x 2-foot) until the polish has run out
• Repeat this process two or three times, as necessary
• Reapply surface protection once spots have been removed.
• If none of the above methods remove the etched water spots consider wet-sanding the paint finish

1c) Using a polish or compound will remove the etching and the indentations, the surface should then be neutralised

Neutralization – after washing the paint surface use a chemical paint cleaner (Klasse all in one (AIO) or ValuGuard "N" New Car Prep; follow with ValuGuard Acid Neutralizer (Step I) - neutralizes acids deposited on the paint surface and in the pores of the paint. If the affected paintwork is not neutralized any remaining acidic residue will be reactivated by heat and moisture. If the paint or glass surface has been etched the surface can be levelled with a suitable polish and then apply a paint protection.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:08 AM   #8
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That's a LOT of great info - Thank you! One more question.... we have well water, pretty high in mineral content. Once I'm at a point where it's safe to wax, how often do you think is necessary to wax to prevent the spots, given the kind of water I have?? Once a month??
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:16 AM   #9
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YUK, the worst of the worst, well water suxorz. You have some options here

Option 1

First although foam lance and gilmore foam guns are ideal I would suggest for you to get the Mr. Clean AutoDry Car Wash Gun, you can pick it up on amazon for $11. Also don't worry about getting the soap you can use whatever car wash soap you prefer, (I would suggest Duragloss 901 as it is real good with hard water). Some other things to keep in mind when washing.

Only wash in a cool shady area, and make sure the body is cool.

Dry the car quickly, ie leaf blower and good quality waffle weave microfiber

Clay Bar your car more often

Once it is dry use a good paint cleaner/oxidation remover. Klasse AIO is awesome and it will also remove stage1 waterspots.

Then finish off with your normal polishing and waxing steps.

Option 2

Optimum No Rinse and gallons of distilled water

Option 3

Inline Water Filter kit, you can pick them up at detailedimage or autogeek

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Old 06-28-2011, 02:03 AM   #10
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All three times I've had paint done they've told me 90 days - 3 different shops....
You can buff & wax it. I have been a painter for years. Hell we cut and buff paint jobs the day after we paint them.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:30 AM   #11
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I'm a little confused why any paint shop would tell you that you can't clay or polish the paint... waxing I understand. If its not fully cured then you don't want to coat the paint with anything that will 'seal' the finish, but clay leaves nothing behind, neither does polish, so to say you can't do either of these is just wrong... I respect the fact that the painter told you this, but it might just be a case of a paint shop not fully understanding what process AFTER their work entail (God knows why so many painters rarely know how to properly care for paint for some reason)
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:54 AM   #12
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I'm a little confused why any paint shop would tell you that you can't clay or polish the paint... waxing I understand. If its not fully cured then you don't want to coat the paint with anything that will 'seal' the finish, but clay leaves nothing behind, neither does polish, so to say you can't do either of these is just wrong... I respect the fact that the painter told you this, but it might just be a case of a paint shop not fully understanding what process AFTER their work entail (God knows why so many painters rarely know how to properly care for paint for some reason)
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:22 AM   #13
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I think they were just playing it safe then - saying do NOTHING except wash for 90 days. Thanks for all the info guys! I'll be so happy to get these spots off!!
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:25 PM   #14
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Lady Bug,
If you have very hard water you can get a filter for your hose, relatively cheap that will take out the impurities kinda like a MR. Clean spray nozzle from Walmart, same principal, if it is a REAL BIG problem it may be doing more damage than you think to your entire residence pipes, appliances ( washers, dishwasher, refrigerator, icemaker etc... ) so anothe option maybe to have a licensened plumber install a water filter system on your home to help eliminate the problem. It will save you money in the long run, Just a thought.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:16 AM   #15
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My best friend's husband is a plumber, and he installed a filtration system for us. It's not a really good one, though - the one that would have really done the job was over $5k - just couldn't justify it at the time. Now, though, when I see what it could be doing to my paint.... well, I might have to reconsider.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:27 AM   #16
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Thanks for the alcohol tip! Tried it this evening, and even though it's not perfect (yet) I can see a HUGE improvement! I'll do it again when I have more time for the alcohol to sit...
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #17
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Thanks for the alcohol tip! Tried it this evening, and even though it's not perfect (yet) I can see a HUGE improvement! I'll do it again when I have more time for the alcohol to sit...
Nice to hear success, feel free to up the dilution of alcohol or a compo with vinigar.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #18
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Use a solution of diluted WHITE vinegar. Don't use apple cider vinegar. Alcohol will work but not nearly as well.
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