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1995 Camry - Water Spots Wheels

Old 08-04-2013, 10:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Sacramento CA
Posts: 2
Default 1995 Camry - Water Spots Wheels

Hi All -

Newbie here - I know there are probably countless threads already about this issue, but A) I dont have the inclination to search for them, and B) I wanted to show off my ride.

I have a 95 LE with 225K on it and I am the original owner. The car is immaculate other than some minor cosmetic wear. I take care of all of my things because I appreciate the fact that I am able to have them, no matter how much they cost. It saddens me that so many people no longer put in the effort to take care of their belongings, but that's a whole other discussion and probably on a whole other website.

Anyhow, my family and I recently moved into a new home and come to find out we have hard-water here. Sprinklers and sun are not my best friend right now. I have(somewhat) successfully removed the water spots from the paint and glass. IE.. white vinegar, Nothins Better water spot remover, polish, claybar, wax, et cetera.

The issue I am having and need help with are my aftermarket aluminum wheels. I am using Eagle One - Never Dull, and I also use Mothers - Mag and Aluminum Polish, however, neither seem to work unless I spend hours scrubbing away at one area. I guess my main question is is there a faster way or do I just have to sack up and scrub away? You can see from the picture the area that I have already worked (2nd LH spoke from the top). That right there took me half an hour. I really dont want to spend 3 hours on each wheel unless I absolutely have to. I dont mind putting in the work, but if there is a smarter way, please let me know. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails 1995 Camry - Water Spots Wheels-camry_1.jpg   1995 Camry - Water Spots Wheels-camry_wheel.jpg  
Old 08-05-2013, 04:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,738

Nice looking car!

The hard water when evaporated leaves minerals deposits behind which you need to scrub off. You can investigate more methods to chemically dissolve the minerals (vinegar is one) rather the grind them off as you are doing with a clay bar etc. This means finding out from your water department what minerals are in the water (these minerals vary) then finding what products will safely dissolve them.

For washing your wheels, suggest buying distilled water or fill up jugs with low cost treated water from fill stations found at grocery stores (make sure this fill station water was treated by reverse osmosis).

Wash one wheel with hose water until clean then rinse quickly followed with the treated water perhaps from a low cost pump chemical garden sprayer available in the garden section at department and hardware stores.

The treated water having no minerals will wash off the hard water off leaving a spot free surface.

You can also use a shami to absorb the excess water on the wheel for faster drying times.

Not much you can do about the sprinkler water accept to dry the car quickly before the water has time to evaporate or move the car away from the water.

You can look into installed a water softener which may eliminate or reduce water spots or a reverse osmosis system which will eliminate the problem.

As stated not all hard water has the same minerals and you will need to found out what there are to pick the right type of soft water system. Reverse osmosis will eliminate all minerals.

Some types of car waxes will aid in removing water spots.

If your sprinklers are the kind that spray everwhere, there may be something else available the narrows down the spray pattern or blocks the water from getting on the driveway and thus car.

Or change the timer to only water when you are at work and the car is out of the driveway or in the garage.

In the old days people used to spray hair spray on aluminum dirt bike rims. This provided a thin shield against corrosion. Perhaps there is something that can be sprayed on the wheels to form a barrier against the minerals firmly attaching to the metal making them it easier to remove.

Last edited by toyomoho; 08-05-2013 at 04:11 PM.
Old 08-05-2013, 09:38 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Sacramento CA
Posts: 2

Joey P, you are the man! Thank you for the response and I will look into doing a combination of some of the ideas mentioned. I certainly appreciate the help. I tried the vinegar, however, was unsuccessful. I will see what minerals are in the water system here as the reverse osmosis systems had been brought up in the past by my father in-law who is a general contractor. The water spots are not only an external issue because all the shower doors have stains as well. Currently my main focus is to remove the stains that are on the rims and then have things in place that will mitigate further exposure. Your response certainly helped with that decision process and I thank you again for your time.
Old 08-06-2013, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,738

Talk to your father-in-law about the pros and cons of reverse osmosis and soft water systems using salt or other chemicals. Make sure the reverse osmosis has the water output needed to run the sprinklers which is where the car stain problem seems to be.

If going the soft water route install a system designed to take care of the minerals in your water. Since your neighbors and perhaps much of the area are on the same water supply might ask around if they are using any installed systems for hard water.
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