Keeping your vehicle’s windows clean has many benefits. Visibility is greatly reduced when windows are dirty and it increases the risk of glare. Your defroster works better with a clean window, allowing it to quickly clear off condensation or ‘fog’ that sticks more easily to a dirty windshield surface.

The proper items will make the process of window cleaning much easier especially when cleaning them yourself. The only essential items for DIY window cleaning are:

  • Automotive glass cleaner. Make sure to check the label before use, because some cleaners contain ammonia which can damage tint and seals.
  • A microfiber cloth that hasn’t been used with other cleaning solvents. The residue from other cleaners should not come into contact with your window glass. Even if you’ve washed the cloth, you could end up with a greasy, oily windshield from wax or other detailing compounds that don’t wash out.

Exterior Window Care

As you drive on busy roads a variety of residual oils can build up on the outside of your windows. The exterior is especially vulnerable to substances that can look unsightly and inhibit vision. Bugs easily stick to exterior surfaces and are especially unsightly and hazardous when they stick to mirrors and windshields.

If you notice any substance on the exterior window glass it’s important to try and remove it as soon as possible with a low pile soft clean cloth and a safe cleaning solution. The longer grime sits, the more chance it can lead to further buildup. Bird droppings are especially unsightly and the longer they are left on the glass the more difficult it will be to clean. Washing your car every time the windshield gets dirty may seem expensive and cumbersome, but the RVA Wash Club membership we offer at Flagstop Car Wash will save you time and money with unlimited exterior washes for a low monthly fee. This membership service allows you to use any location as often as you like, so you can keep contaminants like bird droppings from lingering on your windows.

When cleaning any portion of your vehicle, it’s important to remember that parking out of the direct sun will help cleaning go smoother. If a vehicle is being heated up by the strong rays of the sun it will cause cleaning fluids to dissipate before they have a chance to work. If you’re washing the entire vehicle you should wash your windshield last, as dirt from the roof will trickle down onto the exterior of the windows.

Interior Window Care

You might be surprised by how dirty the interior of a vehicle’s windows can get. Dust and dirt particles are constantly moving throughout the air in your vents and therefore can easily build up on the inside of the vehicle glass. As we carry passengers, especially children and pets, the interior of windows can really get filthy.

To thoroughly and more easily clean your interior front windshield, sit in the passenger seat. This position allows easier access to the window without your steering wheel becoming an obstacle. Spray the cleaner liberally on the windshield and wipe from top to bottom as you move across the entirety of the glass.

Keeping the exterior of your car clean also helps keep your windows clean since most dirt on the upper exterior of your vehicle will eventually find its way to your windows. Our self-service bays are a great way to keep your vehicle shiny and clean. You can also drive on through for an express wash. Flagstop offers 20 self-service car wash bays throughout the metro-Richmond area. We also proudly offer unlimited car washes with the RVA Wash Club so please stop on by or visit us online for details on this exciting option as well as our other services. Here at Flagstop Car Wash, we provide all the materials you’ll need to keep those windows smudge-free and clean all day long.

Most of our convenient locations offer vending machines with top-notch, do-it-yourself detailing products. From towels to window cleaner, we have it all and look forward to helping your car look it’s absolute best. We look forward to seeing you and your car very soon.

Keeping your car clean isn’t just a matter of aesthetics – getting your car washed intermittently will help keep it running smoothly, keep the exterior from rusting, and reduce your exposure to harmful bacteria. Many individuals aren’t sure what makes a car wash “good,” so we’ve outlined a few factors that will help you know if you’re getting a quality car wash.

Good Customer Service

First and foremost, you should always take your car to a wash that has friendly and helpful staff. They should be able to answer your questions about their car washing methods and tell you what kind of cleaners they use. They may have different packages and car washing options, and the staff should be able to explain the benefits of each one. Knowledgeable staff will treat you and your car right.

Clean and Well-Kept

One of the best ways to tell if a car wash is any good is to pull in and look at it. If it’s clean inside and out, chances are that they truly care about the quality of the service they are providing. A well-maintained car wash likely also uses good products and keeps their equipment clean. Some car washes may cheap out on service – they may reuse towels, thereby spreading dirt around, or resort to cheap cleaning solutions that damage your car’s exterior in the long run.

Uses Good Products

Not only should the staff be able to name the products and understand (at least mostly) what’s in them, but the car wash itself should employ good practices by using top-shelf products. One of the reasons many people are skeptical of car washes is that some use chemicals that will actually strip away the paint after a time. A good establishment, like Flagstop Car Wash, uses only the best to ensure their clients can upkeep their cars without worrying.

Lots of Options

Having plenty of options means that you can ensure you get the service you want. Look for car washes that have all the add-ons, but don’t pressure to get them more often than necessary. You may wish to wash your car yourself, so you’ll want to look for a place with a self-service station. Or perhaps you’re looking for a service you don’t use that often – like interior cleaning or car wax. An exemplary establishment will have all of those options available for you to choose from.

Benefits of Quality Car Washes

You can take the time to wash your car at home, if you have the time and space. Even then, there are drawbacks if you don’t use the right sponges, cleaners, or don’t dry your vehicle properly. An automatic car wash is best way to get the most bang for your buck. This simple convenience only takes 10 minutes out of your day, and extends your car’s lifetime with a little maintenance. Washing your car regularly will help keep it in shape and help you maintain it’s value if you ever want to sell it.

If you’re looking for a quality car wash, try any of Flagstop Car Wash’s nine locations. We’re all over the Richmond, VA area. With friendly service, top-notch products, and a loyalty program that provides actual value to clients, stop by Flagstop Car Wash today and see why we’re rated one of the best in the state.

Your vehicle is an expensive asset. On top of that, most people take pride in their cars. This is why keeping them shiny and clean is important. Washing your car keeps it functioning well and keeps the paint job looking fresh. For some, taking the car through the car wash is a drag, while others have turned car washing into a hobby.

Washing your car several times a month is normal – in fact, you may even want to wash it a couple of times a week. As long as you’re washing your car properly, there’s no such thing as washing your car too much.

What Happens if You Wash Your Car Too Much?

Washing your car every week, or several times a month will not hurt the car’s mechanics or paint job. Of course, if you want to preserve your car’s sheen as long as possible, it’s important to use high-quality cleaning products that will not eat away at the paint. Flagstop Car Wash uses only the best, eco-friendly products in our washes to keep your vehicle protected with every wash.

How to Properly Wash Your Car

If you do wash your car weekly, make sure you’re doing it right. If you want to avoid damaging the car, try a professional service. Car washes always use the latest and best products that keep your car looking good. Running your car through the car wash, it’ll get the exact treatment it needs. Professional-grade cleaning agents will keep your windshield free of dirt and sap. An underbody flush keeps salt from building up on your undercarriage and wheels. Plus, the whole process is quick and easy!

If you are a DIY fan and enjoy washing your car yourself, follow these steps to make sure you get the best wash possible:

  • Use vehicle-safe soap and water. Avoid using rough sponges. If you must scrub your car, use something soft, like microfiber sponges and cloths to avoid accidentally scratching the paint or the glass on your car.
  • If you don’t have space or materials to wash your car at home, try one of our self-service car wash bays. Flagstop has everything you need from quality soap and waxes to polish your exterior, to top-notch materials to clean the inside of your car.
  • Use soft materials when drying your car after a wash.
  • Dry your car thoroughly so you don’t have water spots.
  • Be gentle when scrubbing anything sticky off your car – it’s easy to get over-enthusiastic and end up with a scratch.
  • Always use wax or some type of finish after you’re done rinsing off your car.

Take care of your car and you can avoid costly damage.

Best Car Washes in Virginia

If your car needs a thorough cleaning, try Flagstop Car Wash. We have eleven locations throughout the Richmond, Chesterfield, and tri-cities areas. With many years of experience in the business, we provide Virginia residents with all the best tools for keeping a clean vehicle. We have self-service stations, full-service washes, and even pet washing stations. We use only the highest-quality cleaning products that enhance your vehicle’s look and preserve the paint. Stop by one of our full-service or express wash locations today. If you have any questions, give us a call at 804-782-9274.

Keeping your car clean throughout the seasons is essential. It’s not just an aesthetic choice, although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the look of a spotless car. Cold weather is tough on cars, and frequent washes can help keep your car cared for and happy. Increasing your trips to the car wash during wintertime can help make sure your vehicle stays in tip-top shape, no matter what the weather is like.

Tips for Keeping a Clean Car in Winter

The cold affects the way your car runs. Salt and snow on roads can cause your frame to rust, and scraping off snow or ice often results in scratches in the paint. Keeping a clean car during the winter can help it last longer or retain its resale value. Check out these tips for maintaining your vehicle this season.

  • Wash off the salt – We can’t stress this one enough. Take your car to a local car wash to keep it spotless. All that salt and snow causes damage to your frame, suspension, undercarriage, and paint job. Flagstop Car Wash uses the best products to wash away all the calcium chloride in road salt so that it doesn’t build up on your vehicle.
  • Don’t tailgate – A good rule on the road on any day. In the winter, keep a large following distance to prevent the cars in front of you from kicking extra dust, dirt, snow, salt, and whatever else is in the streets into your car’s exterior.
  • Use rubber mats inside – Your vehicles might get water damage if you don’t take care to keep excess water out. Get some rubber mats to keep things dry.
  • Get it waxed – It’s recommended to use high-quality car wax or polymer sealant every three to four months. The extra coating will help keep dirt, dust, and grime off your car.
  • Wipe your windshield – Use a towel and cleaning products to hand-clean your windshield and windows a few times a month. This will keep grime from building up and inhibiting your visibility.
  • Protect your wheels – Salt and dirt can cake onto your wheels and mess with the mechanics. There are protective waxes and sprays available for wheels, so check with your local car wash and see what options they have.
  • Use heavy towels – Place these under the rubber mats to help absorb any excess muddy water, slush, and dirt. You can throw these in the washer every few weeks to keep things clean. Slush on the floor of the car can cause unnoticed rust and damage that’s expensive to fix.
  • Invest in mud flaps – These deflect road debris from the fender walls, keeping your car protected from the elements.
  • Inspect your car regularly – Do a check at least once a week to make sure there’s no rust on your frame. If you catch it early, you can have it taken care of before the problem gets worse.
  • Park indoors – This is not a possibility for everyone, but if you live in an area where there are regular snowstorms, you may want to consider investing in an indoor parking spot. Keeping your car away from the elements will keep it clean and running smoothly.

Find a Car Wash Near You

If you’re looking for a local car wash that you can trust to keep your vehicle in shape, visit Flagstop Car Wash. With eleven locations throughout Richmond, Chesterfield, and the tri-cities area, you always have a dependable car wash near you. At Flagstop, we take pride in our work and make sure each and every vehicle gets the best treatment possible.

While you should always keep your car clean and maintained throughout the seasons, it is especially important to wash your vehicle in the winter. Whether you live in the city or drive through the elements, salt, dirt, dust, and even dry leaves can affect the well-being of your car. It’s best not to allow dirt or salt to cake on parts of your vehicle. Normally, you should give your car a thorough wash every two weeks to a month, but in the winter, it’s best to wash it more often.

How Often Should I Wash My Car in the Winter?

The simple answer is you should wash your car every week in the winter. However, how often you wash your vehicle is also dependent on where you drive, how you store your car, the weather, and road conditions. A trip to the car wash can prevent salt from caking onto the vehicle’s body and rusting vital parts. The last thing you want is for your car to break down, or end up needing more expensive repairs to its frame because of salt deterioration in the winter.

If you live in or drive through the city, or park your car outside for most of the day and night, you should consider going to the car wash more often than you do in other seasons. Even if you live outside of the city where there is less salt (and more snow), you should still be vigilant and consider more frequent car washes during winter months. Most people living in and around the Richmond area would benefit from visiting their local car wash more often – it can prevent serious car trouble later on.

Don’t Forget to Wax This Winter

It is recommended to wax and detail your car twice a year. If you do so regularly, you’ll notice that weather conditions don’t affect your car as much. Wax has more benefits than making your car look shiny and new. It prevents corrosive substances – like salt or bird droppings – from damaging your car. A smoother exterior helps these materials slide off your car, instead of sticking to the car’s exterior.

What Salt Does to a Car

Salt on the roads keeps cars safe while driving in snowy and icy conditions. While salt can be vital when driving on snowy, icy roads by preventing drivers from sliding on slick surfaces, salt does damage vehicles after continued exposure.

The most common issue is that salt will rust your car. You’ll notice the difference immediately in cars that were not taken care of during the winter – the brown rusty spots are not easy to remove, and you may have to replace rusted parts entirely. You can rust-proof your car, but even that is not a guarantee. The best way to prevent your car from being damaged by salt is to wash it weekly.

Local Car Wash

Flagstop Car Wash has eleven convenient locations around the Central Virginia area. Our trained experts will make sure your car leaves in great condition and is ready to face harsh winter weather. We offer full-service wash locations, express automatic washes, and stations for self-service washing if you prefer to do it yourself. With an A+ rating by the BBB, expect friendly and honest customer service at every visit to our car wash locations. Stop by today and see how we can help your car stay clean this winter!

While many people know how to wash their car, the most efficient time to do so often goes unnoted. There is a common misconception that all car washes should occur around midday during the summer months, however, this is wrong and here’s why.

Why Wash Your Car

Firstly, it is important to cover the basics regarding the necessity of car washes. In a blog post published a year ago, we talked about the inevitability of car damage if you go too long without giving your car a proper wash. Rusting, damaged paint, and corrosion are just a few on the laundry list of harm that could happen if your vehicle isn’t washed for long periods of time.

Now that we’ve rehashed why adequate car care is essential, it’s time to address the best times to give your car that all-too-necessary wash!

When to Wash Your Car

If you are living in a place like Richmond where pollen attaches itself onto virtually everything you own, car washes are the best way to rid that unwanted dirt and that all too familiar plague of yellow dust particles from your car. It is important to wash during a time when it is neither too hot nor too cold. The most effective times to wash your vehicle are in either the morning, evening or during a mildly temperate overcast day, when the sun isn’t directly beating on the car. When temperatures are moderately cooler, as they tend to be during these hours, it is easier to avoid soap residue and stains. When temperatures are hot, water evaporates quicker which results in the evaporation of soapy water before a thorough rinse can wash away all the residues, leaving spots all over your vehicle. Even more so, when you wash your car under direct sunlight, it makes it more difficult to see the minute particles of dirt, dust and pollen laden on the surface of the vehicle. When you can’t see these deposits, you may subject your car to more damage if you unknowingly scrub these areas and scratch the surface of your vehicle.

In the same thread, it is best to avoid overly windy days when washing your car. There is nothing worse than cleaning off all the dirt, dust and pollen from your vehicle only to have a gust of wind pick it up and put it back on a now wet and sticky surface.

Winter Time Care

During the winter months, car care is equally as important. While pollen may not be the culprit in dirtying up your car during this season, snow, frost and ice play similar roles. When you’re washing your car during the winter, it is best to do so when the temperature is well above freezing. Similar to the summer months, washing the car during early daylight is preferable because it allows time for your car to dry before the temperature drops when the sun goes down. According to a blog post from Julia Douglas, the best way to maintain your car’s exterior in between going to the wash every two weeks is to use clean, warm water coupled with a little bit of baking soda to dissolve hardened salt during the winter months. It is important to dissolve the salt before carrying out a thorough cleaning of the car’s surface to avoid any scratching.

Now that you know when to wash your car’s exterior for the best results, stop by one of our 9 locations in the greater Richmond area for easily usable vacuums to tidy up the interior of your freshly washed vehicle!

You’ve seen the signs, heard the offers, read the articles, and maybe even considered joining, but there’s still that main question stopping you, “How does the RVA Wash Club benefit me?”

To help you make a decision, we broke down exactly what our Wash Club offers and how it will benefit you and your car.

Saves You Time and Effort

You never have to worry about paying for a wash every time you go, or even scanning a membership card. You will receive an RFID tag for your car that marks your car as part of the Wash Club when you pull up to any of our locations, so all you need to do is sit back and relax while your car gets cleaned.

Just like with music or entertainment streaming services, your membership renews each month with the card you keep in our system, and you are able to cancel anytime you want with no consequences or extra fees.

Saves You Money

Have you ever gotten your car washed, only for it to rain the next day? Do you find yourself needing to wash your car all the time due to pollen, dirt, or road salt? With our unlimited washed, you can take care of these problems by coming back as many times as you need, without it costing you a penny outside of your monthly flat rate. This means that you can bring your car every single day and have it cost the same as if you only went once or twice.

Say goodbye to having to plan your washes around the forecast or driving around with a salty car in the winter. With our Wash Club, you can be sure that your car will stay clean all year long without emptying your wallet.

We would love you to become a new member of our RVA Wash Club! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or visit one of our many locations.

It’s about that time for you to get your car washed, which means you have some decisions to make. What kind of car wash are you looking for? Do you have the time to get a high quality car wash? What is the best option for your car?

Getting an automatic touchless car wash might cross your mind. You drive in, get sprayed down, and leave, with almost no work from you at all. It seems like it would be quick and easy, but is it safe for your car?

What Is a Touchless Car Wash?

Using a touchless car wash method means that the only things touching your car are soap and high pressurized water. Your car is first rinsed off with water, then it receives a layer of soap, and finally the soap is washed off with high pressure streams of water.

It may seem like a quick, and easy option when it comes to washing your car, but its effects can actually leave your car in an even worse condition than when you brought it in.

Let’s take a drive through an automatic touchless car wash to see some of the cons up close and personal.

Harsh Chemicals in Touchless Car Washes

We begin with the actual cleaning portion of this trip. Because there is no physical contact from cloth or towels in a touchless car wash, you lose that elbow grease needed to effectively remove dirt.

To compensate, touchless car washes use soaps containing high concentrations of harsh chemicals with a higher pH. This shortens the life of the wax and sealants on your car by messing with the chemical balance in the products.

Wash after wash, the soaps quickly strip away layers of your finish, and after just a few washes, the soap can even begin to strip the paint from your car. Without good sealants, your car is more susceptible to the various physical elements you encounter with driving; you lack protection from rain, hail, road debris, and more dirt.

Your car will appear dirtier, sooner, driving you to get yet another cleaning.

Power Wash Your Car

Next, your car needs to be rinsed off to remove the soap that was added, along with the dirt and debris that is still sitting there. Touchless car washes use high pressurized streams of water to blast anything and everything from your car. This aggressive and unsafe method breaks up the dirt buildup and sends waste flying across the surface of your car.

Consequently, you end up leaving scratches on the paint and plastic parts of your car. If you get more washes, there is a higher chance of the water chipping and possibly rusting parts of your car’s finish.

Conditioning Water in Automatic Washes

Your car is almost through, it just needs one final rinse. In order to efficiently run touchless machines with high pressure water, the water needs to go through a conditioning process. Basically, the water is “softened” through a process of adding salts and electricity, which removes larger minerals, making the water flow through the machines easier and faster.

Using water recycled from the car washes before yours is an eco-friendly characteristic of most car washes. The runoff is collected, filtered, used to rinse off your car, collected, filtered, and used again.

However, the reconditioning of water creates a buildup in the concentration of salt in the water, and will leave a foggy film of dried salt on the surface of your car. In touchless car washes, the water runoff carries a lot more debris because it is the water doing the heavy lifting in the cleaning process.

On the bright side, this layer of salt basically replaces the layer of your finish that was broken down earlier.

What You Should Do

Your car is dried off, and we are finished with our automatic touchless car wash journey. Now that it’s done, your car looks… not so great.

The safest and most effective way to wash your car without the damage is by simply using car wash specific soap with a soft cloth. While this can be done by hand, we invite you to stop by one of our automatic car wash locations that use cloth brushes and quality car washing equipment to negate the effects touchless car washes.

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Here at Flagstop, we believe in giving you the highest quality clean with the use of the safest car wash methods.

We offer that quick, easy, and affordable car wash with our express soft cloth and foam wash express soft cloth and foam wash method. This process gives you a high quality clean, while also being gentle on your car’s finish.

For a more in depth car wash, check out our full service interior and exterior packages.

Trust only your own two hands? Our self service provide all the materials needed to give your car the care it needs.

Right now, you’re probably looking over a not-so-dirty car wondering if you should wash your car today. It’s a fair question. As a car wash company ourselves, we certainly would say that any day is a good day to get your car wash. For our RVA Wash Club members, who have access to unlimited car washes for a low monthly fee, getting their car washed every single day is entirely within their plan.

How often should you wash your car?

In a blog article posted over a year ago, we talked about how often you should wash your car. We recommended washing you car about once every two weeks. For many car owners, this is a little more often than what they are used to. For those individuals who think that every two weeks is a bit much, perhaps our article about what happens when you don’t wash your car will help you make an informed decision.

Assuming that you are going to wash your car either this week or next week, now you have to decide what day in the next two weeks. Thanks to the interesting world of the internet, we can provide you with a fun way to figure that out. Spin the wheel below to test if you should wash your car today, tomorrow, or sometime next week.

 

Locations around Richmond, Chesterfield, and Hopewell

Flagstop has nine locations around the Richmond, VA area. We have a location in Ashland, North Chesterfield, Chester (W Hundred Rd), Chester (Bermuda Crossroads Ln), Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, West End, Glen Allen and Hopewell.

Spring is ramping up and, as anyone with allergies knows, that means pollen. As pretty as flowers look when they bloom with the warmer months, your car can become coated with yellow dust and require a trip to your local car wash.

But as you get in your car and go to the car wash, you may be wondering whether the effects of pollen go beyond skin deep. It is a fair question. Pollen may leave an ugly hue that may look especially bad on dark-colored vehicles, but is it really all that bad?

How Pollen Affects Your Vehicle

Pollen are microscopic thorny balls that blow in the wind and attach themselves to many surfaces. They are an integral part of a plant’s reproductive system which is why plants are so keen on mass producing this irritating dust.

While tiny-thorned balls that float across your car’s exterior may sound like scratch-inducing mayhem, this aspect of pollen is actually quite harmless. The acidity, on the other hand, is cited by a few online articles as a cause for concern. While Flagstop was unable to verify the scientific grounds for the acidic level of pollen, many sources maintain that pine pollen is acidic when it comes in contact with water. If true, this oxidation could eat away at the exterior of your paint and make your car susceptible to rusting.

Another area of concern for your vehicle is the way pollen dust can find its way into your air filters and the internal mechanics of your car. When driving through pollen-infested air, your car sucks in a large amount of pollen dust, and the air filter can clog and circulate allergy-causing air throughout your car’s cabin.

The Best Solution for a Pollen-Free Car

In all cases of removing pollen from your car, it is imperative that you wash thoroughly. This includes vacuuming the dust out of some of the nooks and crannies of the car and checking under the hood for dust in the air filter.

After washing your car, you will want to consider a good coating of wax to make your car a slippery surface that the pollen won’t want to stick to. This will protect your car’s paint from any threat to its integrity, such as acidity or oxidation. Wax is best applied before pollen season is in full swing as the microscopic pollen particles can be everywhere in a pollen storm. You wouldn’t want to trap the dust that you are trying to ward off underneath the layer of protective wax.

How Flagstop Can Help You Fight Pollen

With vacuums available at many of our car wash locations, Flagstop can help clean both your car’s interior and exterior. Flagstop car wash has locations in and around Richmond, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights and Hopewell. What’s more, RVA Wash Club members can wash their car free of pollen anytime for a monthly fee so they don’t have to worry about needing to wash more often when the pollen is at its worst.