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How can I remove hard water stains from my car windshield?

Help! I’ve tried everything, but the water spots on my windows just won’t come off. I even paid to go through the car wash! Is there any way to remove hard water stains from a car windshield?

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Heather Bernhard · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
I know exactly what you’re talking about—those spots can be so stubborn! It’s super frustrating when you feel like you’ve tried every way possible to fix something, to no avail. But no worries: there are some pretty easy ways to remove hard water stains from car windshields.
  • Vinegar: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then soak the glass. Let it sit for at least five minutes, so it has time to break up the mineral deposits, then wipe it off with a clean towel. If the stains are stubborn, increase the amount of vinegar a little at a time until it works.
  • Lemon oil: Mix a few drops of lemon essential oil in a spray bottle full of water, then apply the solution to the windshield. Allow it to sit for ten minutes, then follow up with an automotive glass cleaner. Lemon oil can also stop hard water spots from forming in the first place, so try repeating the process once a week as a preventative measure.
  • Water spot remover: You can buy commercial water spot removers at any auto parts store. Though less natural, they are incredibly effective. Give them a try if you don’t have any luck with the above options.
Hard water spots can come from anywhere, including the rain. If you want to avoid getting marks on your car windows in the first place, try parking in a carport or garage, or apply a water repellent such as Rain-X.
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