Meet the Experts with Tom Forsythe

Interviewing Business and Industry Experts

Hosted by: Bryan O'Haleck and Steve Marsh

Tom Forsythe has worked as the chemist for Bridgepoint Systems for over 20 years and has developed more than 200 products. He has formulated multiple fluoro-chemical protector products in both the original C8 version and the current C6 versions as well as a few polymeric protectors.
Webinar #20220406

Tom ForsytheOur guest will be Tom Forsythe, Chemist Operations Manager

Tom Forsythe has worked as the chemist for Bridgepoint Systems for over 20 years and has developed more than 200 products. He has formulated multiple fluoro-chemical protector products in both the original C8 version and the current C6 versions as well as a few polymeric protectors.

For a thorough understanding about protectors and how to boost your profit line, CFI presents Tom Forsyth, the chemist who formulates Bridgepoint Systems cleaning products. Attend this in-depth, truthful discussion and the latest developments about protectors. Use this knowledge to best utilize this very profitable service for your customers and business.

Tom will be speaking about:

  • Understanding the 3 types of protectors – repellents, dye blockers and hybrids

  • Which type of protector is best for which fabric

  • How to sell this beneficial service for outstanding profits

  • What about safety and environmental concerns raised. Are protectors hazardous?

  • Special considerations regarding designer and specialty fabrics and textiles

i'll start by uh introducing tom forsythe tom is a chemist with bridgepoint he's been a chemist for some 20 years um making all the the formulations they use um tom just let us know that uh he went to went to college and got a degree in history which makes him extremely qualified to to make chemical formulations and he's got a lot to uh got a lot to say i have to admit that i've spent some time following down some of the the the leads that he has given us um [Music] my co-host is steve marsh who you all know uh long-time instructor and all-around uh cleaning industry superhero i'm brian o'hallick i work for a company in seattle that does mostly high-end work so we see some things that maybe other people don't and have been in the industry for a little over 40 years i guess if you look at the three of us we all look like we've been around for a little while so steve take it away all right yeah i did i'm very excited to get the latest on uh protectors here but tom i i i want to turn the attention over to you and would you you know fill in a little bit of that journey as to how you got started i'm always curious how everybody gets into this industry being a cleaner or you know you know retailer selling stuff but i always kind of thought well the chemist of course you would be having a chemistry degree in that background but would you want to give us a little brief summary of how you got to where you are now um brief is hard to do but we'll do it i got my master's degree in history and statistics and along the way i ended up in the oriental rug trade which for a boy born in an ohio farm i don't think i saw an oriental rug until i was 26 but i was in that industry for 12 years and the last seven of those i was helping to supervise a rug cleaning plan as well as selling rugs and then i moved over to the leather furniture industry which was really doing well there uh in the late 90s and through that i you'd never want to lose something you've done so i contacted dave hanks of bridgepoint because we used bridgepoint uh chemicals to clean our rugs and we developed an oreo rug class which started in 96 and then i introduced them to leather products and we started teaching those classes in in 98 and i was too busy and told him he needed to hire me and so he did and uh i was originally hired to be the chemical uh or the product trainer which i learned a lot early on and then one day gordon hank said hey let's make some chemicals and here we are uh 200 formulas later in fact we finished five today for the first time so and a lot of uh this is i've had a lot of help along the way i've had a lot of phd chemists who uh one in fact gave me his cell phone number he probably regrets it to this day i wear them out and uh always try to learn stuff and we're always looking for new things to do and early on we uh we did so much performance testing side by side side by side until we got a good view feeling about what we did so um and that's that's been one of the privileges of my life to do this and one of the one of the reasons that our products a lot of people like our products because they never told me to make them cheaper they always told me to make them better and there's always ways to make products cheaper making them better is a little harder task great maybe i can kind of launch this off getting into um the the protectors but again i i i i really like your history there but maybe you can kind of lay a foundation for us of the different types of protectors that are out there and then we can kind of build from there yeah there the first one which didn't last very long was a colloidal silica which they quickly moved away from and then they went to silicones and then they developed fluorochemicals and then your acid dye resistors and that was probably in the 90s and this century there's been a lot more use of polymers for soil resistance um and the polymer is similar to the acidity resistor for stain resistant and and they are working on polymers for water resistance they have perfected that in the mill level but on the secondary market level i haven't seen anything usable one really repelled water really well that i checked five years back the problem was it left the fiber stiff as a board and it wouldn't become unstiff so they're still working on that but i think now shaw carpet is basically using this uh polymer for water resistance on their carpet along with the acid dye resistor so there's been a move away from gloria chemicals which has gone through phases and adaptations the carbon molecule chain the original one was eight so they called a c8 and that created some water issues around the plants in minnesota and uh the ohio river west virginia area with the 3m and dupont and so there was a mandate to go down to the a c6 chain and that worked out pretty quickly you know 2005 to 2008 for water base but the solvent base took a little bit longer and one formula went from c8 to c4 and then i know of a c3 formula in australia which caused us to create a polymer-based product for australia about six seven years ago which we sell today so that gives you the you know the timeline of what's good when you look at performance features oil repellency can only be done by a fluorochemical so if there's no fluorochemical there's no oil repellency your fluorochemicals you know can will provide soil resistance as well as water repellency um when you add a acid dye resistor to a fluorochemical you don't get that surface uh tension with the water so so there's no water repellency there but you you do get uh at the fiber level oil repellency so those are some of the characteristics there one thing no protector does it all well there's not a protector out there that's great at soil resistant great at stain resistance great at surface repellency and great at oil repellency there's always a choice what are you making it for and um that's that's its purpose so for example i don't know if i want to get too far into this but for nylon and wool which have open dye sites the acid dye resistor is a amber light amber color that fills those dye sites so that really limits staining that does nothing for polyester carpet and that would be polyester includes olefin and triexta for those that's an oil loving fiber so you want a protector that protects against oils so so the you know what you're treating can also depend on on what we're uh we're dealing with and then somebody put a question up there should i answer that question that i saw yeah okay so what products do i recommend for uh oriental rugs um and i'm sure uh brian can can go on in on that too but my my when i look at an oriental rug what would cause somebody not to use it and in my life for drugs i've never seen an oil issue that prevented somebody from use it but i've seen scores of dye stain issues that create uh a situation for people not to use it i remember in my youth when i was really strong i went and picked up a 10 by 14 rug go out for cleaning and was in a bedroom and a big bed was on and i'm just like why are they hiding this beautiful rug under this bed so 15 minutes to get it out from under i realize why there's this huge stain that the bed is covering up so the fact that that rug wasn't protected from didn't have any stain resistance meant its life useful lice was limited where that rug probably could wear another 100 years but it would only ever be used in that situation where they could hide stain so what if i if i take this right we had a question about what's best for nylon a question about what's best for a wool oriental rug wool and nylon are similar and what works well for them so that product that you use for nylon would also work well for wool correct i have seen some things that have been optimized for wool what makes one optimized for world different than one for nylon well um you can add more acid dye resistor to it okay or you also one of the biggest things of oriental rugs they're not pre-treated at the mill so you got to add more because to make up for that mill treatment that milk treatment is really pretty pretty outstanding so if you're if you're looking at a gallon of protector 400 square feet for nylon make it 200 for wool and i also would probably treat the lighter areas in the wool rug more because that's where the stain is more likely to be seen so is is the mill doing something differently than what we do when we apply the protector as or is it the same thing they just put more of it on there well they apply it with heat and in a foam situation we can't replicate that out in the field um you know i've done some testings on applying a protector at 150 degrees versus 120 degrees and i saw no difference one time i did i did put samples in my lab oven at 140 degrees and found that the water repellency of this particular thing i was using really increased significantly it was like wow that's really amazing so heat can do it but in the middle they have it at that time so you can't beat the mill protection so having a hot dry room that's a good thing yeah yeah then you know and that was one time test i don't you know i from what i know about the formula i think it could be readily replicated but we'd have to do more testing before we would add that as a feature to the product sales but for me the water repellency if i think of the thing i would go you know not concern myself with is water repellency is my least thing on my list so for olefin fiber you'd want oil repellency water repellency doesn't really mean anything in that situation and for wool and nylon you know you want stain resistance and oil repellency all water-based protectors i ever looked at do have a fair degree of soil resistance so they all have a tendency to keep the carpet cleaner longer no matter what brand you use so what type of protector what of the ones that you were talking about would you use as a as an oil protector we're looking at i mean we see enough of the the plastic carpet products that that oil is the main problem yeah that and and part of that also is the the bonding of that on those fibers mohawk several years ago they use when they first came out the triexa they said no need for protector then they changed it to forever clean i think and they added a really good protector to the tracks the fiber three or four years ago which was really what was essential for polyester but the traffic patterns wear down and expose and that's where another application of a protector will stick to protector and and stick to that that type of situation so generally speaking the water-based protectors that work well on oil they're generally cationic in nature where the ones for uh nylon are war and ionic in nature and the acidity resistor is anionic so the fluorochemical used with it is anionic so so that that would uh make the difference so so we have some for both you know our main main product that we developed when nylon was king unfortunately it's not it's king as much so there needs to be somewhat adjustments so 15 years ago one protector was basically all you needed for for homes now i would recommend that you carry two because more and more homes may be paying a lot of money for attracts the fiber that would need to be treated in the traffic areas as the cleaner uh is there what what difference does it make if the product is anionic versus cationic it is it doesn't make a difference because the charge isn't real strong but it um it's just how they are made in the manufacture type of a situation so they have to do it anionic if they're putting an acid dye resistor in it because that can only be in anionic form so they can make a fluorochemical with the cationic charge or the antionic charge sorry i'm making notes carry on steve well is um we can go down to sort of the performance again uh just to make sure everybody has it clear because it used to be uh you know that we just put one thing down essentially for everything but that's changing now so it sounds like the number one question is do you know what it is that you're applying it to yeah um scott warrington and i did a presentation of that iicrc science conference i think about three years ago and we made the point of our discussion let the fiber choose the protector rather than the cleaner choose the protector let the fiber do it and i know that complicates things but great customer service service isn't always easy to do so by providing a protector for the wool rug or for the nylon carpet and treat it that way and and treat the tracks the fibro for different now one good thing about most of your upholstery will use the same type of protector as used on triexta because body oils uh we we you know on furniture you need that oil repellency um so that you don't have a lot of body oils uh developing so um so sometimes like we have two protectors one for the nylon and wool and the other one or the tri extent and for upholstery that can't be damaged by water this is this is getting away from carpet cleaning and turning into science what are we going to do well part of the part of what needs to happen is by understanding the science you're going to be able to sell the protector it's hard to sell something you don't understand and for you to go into a house and and identify what the fibers are and say well we need to do this protector for this one and this protector for that one bingo you're the uh protector expert because probably a lot of them never had a choice or never told that one will do better than other i'm not aware of you know i'm sure there's a statistic from clean facts magazine but uh what percentage of carpet cleaners apply protector to the products they service not enough i i don't know the real pers real percentages of it i i do know that about 10 years ago nylon was 50 of the carpet being sold and the last one i saw it was 25 and 72 percent was in the polyester or 73 and two percent wool so we've really moved away from that now nylon wears real well and the better grades of carpet will be around so you'll probably still be cleaning nylon carpet you know for the next 30 years some of it being 30 years old so it is a durable fiber and most people value it so when they value the nylon they're more likely to protect it just like they value their wool rugs they're more likely to protect it where the original olefin and polyester was just cheap carpet and people probably weren't thinking about keeping it more than five years anyway so but now the tracks to fire carpets very pretty expensive uh comparatively to some of those others so it's it's worth doing more to we just got a question that came in uh asking how to remove a solvent-based protector from upholstery fabric um i'm i'm not sure why you'd need to do that but um does does a protector being solvent-based make much of a difference whether it's the carrier is solvent or water well the the solvent-based protectors are non-ionic in nature and once the solid evaporates the uh the protector or the fluorochemical becomes part of the fabric so good luck in removing it um it's that's that's one of the reasons you know it's very durable um now i've done a lot of testing i like to take carpet that has been protected to mill and i want to use it but i want to break it down so i'll i will clean with a really high ph in a strong citrosolve or delimiting boosters and i'll clean it several times just to break it down so it's more reasonable for me to test that to see what happens one thing remember uh floor chemicals walk off with friction acid dye resistors can be rinsed out so like an acid eye resistor is pretty durable to the fiber but once you clean it you're removing quite a bit of it uh whereas the fluorochemical it's more through friction and that's applicable to stone as well where you walk on the floor chemical will come off but in the grout line since there's no friction it will stay active much longer so people reapplying protector to factory applied protector carpet it's still an important thing to do it's it's not something that people go uh you know what that protector will still be good until this stuff goes to the dump adding more protectors you're just ripping people off well you just it's like there's a certain level of solids a fluorochemical and acidity resistor that were with the carpet when it came to them some of those have gone away so by adding that you're replenishing what was lost and so you're you're trying to keep that protection at the optimal level um and and you're you know that protector that may be good and and um it's not going to be so good five years from now i don't know what percent it diminishes a lot of it depends on the the traffic that it's it's to and and that gets to a point like in a room i generally speaking i don't see any sense of moving furniture apply protector unless they move furniture around a lot because that protector underneath that sofa is still like prime so doing it in traffic lanes makes a lot more sense to me than doing it everywhere the same thing when you're applying a protector to a piece of furniture uh why are you protecting the back that's against the wall now if it's out and about where they're you know into that i i can see that so we need to use some common sense and and put more i would rather put more protector down where it's needed then put less protector but put it everywhere a lot of it where it's not needed now i realize you're not a marketing guy you're but to a carpet cleaner who is not making protector easily available to his customers do you have a reason why that might be do they just not understand it do they not know how much wears off in time uh is there kind of something that you could to to motivate the person because there's money to be made but we are providing a good service by restoring the protector but is is there something that you can help somebody who is not marketing it understand a little bit more about why he may not actually be doing his full job as a expert cleaner well you know the good news about our industry work we're a lot of salt of the earth people and we don't like to sell anything that we don't believe in and i just think a lot of people don't quite understand protectors and if if i were uh an owner of a carpet cleaning operation i'd have my i would let my ticks go home and protect everything when they cleaned they protect everything and as they saw how well it worked then they can tell their customers yeah i didn't think that much but i had this situation that protector saved that so i think a lot of it is we need to get them convinced that it works protector works the sad thing about it is over the years there's been a lot of protectors that in my testing in the lab i would say they don't work so if you've had a customer that's had one of those protectors then they're like you know i paid a lot for that but i didn't really see much difference well based on what i've tested i could see if that protector had been used on their carpet they could come to that conclusion so in any event there there is a wide disparity in the quality of protectors and there's a wide disparity in the claims people make about it so some of that can be customer resistance and and uh the techs can actually can understand that maybe see that and maybe they don't believe it in themselves so um i think that's the first step you know test for yourself and one thing to be aware of is not all protector formulas are the same you have a solids of the fluorochemical and i had that we do a lot of private label and there was one person who wanted one of our protectors but they didn't want they wanted a third of our solids well they didn't buy enough for us to make that special for them but we would have labeled something that we had had and put it on the line but they wanted it much cheaper well you put a third less solids and it works a third you know 67 less and solids cost money and any protector that's too inexpensive probably has less solids and doesn't really do that much to the carpet so you always get what you pay for there is a point though where you you want to make sure that you can't knock on that chair once you've applied the protector it it still needs to be soft and retain the feel of the textile so you can go overboard with the protection you can't but generally speaking a good vacuuming takes care of that and generally speaking any prominent protector question ends up in my desk in my 20 years i've only heard of one carpet that had protector applied to the point of being stiff okay and um apparently it was a bedroom a guest bedroom of a big house and the person always demanded that to get protected every year and of course um you know if you don't have any wear and tear then just keeps building up building up and basically he just had to really vacuum it to break off some of that uh stiffness so on on that note um there's a question that came in about and um [Music] one of the things that we've seen and and we haven't done any scientific testing but we found that encapsulation after encapsulation after encapsulation there's a point where there's a buildup to the point where sometimes the carpet can't be cleaned anymore you can't get that buildup out now a lot of the encapsulators have a polymer in them is that correct um yeah and it's a basically a soil resistant polymer um the one that we we used is more water soluble can be rinsed out more but you always can overdo it and the temptation for a lot of people encapsulation is so much easier than extraction well let's just encapsulate one more time and then they start boosting their formula so they can get it clean if you're at that point where you're using a highly boosted formula it's time to extract it so yeah you can get build up over the course of time too much um okay but you can use a lot of things too much in life you have to be judicious in what you do yeah well uh i wanted to step back to um our viewer who's asking about the california ban because they're concerned that legends is saying that they're not going to sell protector are they going to sell protector of a different kind are we just talking about floral chemicals are there protectors that say you carry that or that you provide that would still be perfectly legal in california anything with a fluorochemical in our understanding is on the way out the timetable from that regulation is somewhat confusing you can challenge it and maybe buy more time but is that a waste of time so um and so basically that for a fluorochemical and the four things i talked about soil resistant stain resistance water repellency and oil repellency there is nothing out there that will repel oil from fibers except for a fluorochemical nothing now soil resistance fluorochemicals provide that you have polymers that provide that um and you know so that nature is good and for stain resistance you have an acid dye resistant which is a polymer which also that acid eye resistor also provides soil resistance and at this point in time what i have if you want any repellency whether it be water or oil then you have to have a fluorochemical but if you need need same soil resistance and stain resistance we have some products now there is um there is some science going on that there has been some polymers with water repellency that uh have been effectively applied at the mill i've not seen it in a form that we can readily apply to uh carpet at this time uh i know they're working on that and that may happen but i don't see anything in the works for oil repellency so when you think about soil resistant sustain resistance you're good with nylon wool because i would say that most important thing on nylon wool is stain resistance most people don't disassemble their motorcycle on top of a wool barrier and and most uh there's a lot of solvent degreasers that are safe on wool that will remove oil so i've never really run into a situation that i had any difficulty getting oil off a wool rug now brian with the thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of more carpets you've looked at you may have run into that but i think that's a fairly rare situation it's more body oils dog oil we'll run into that yeah oxidized oils yeah but generally speaking that's a lot easier to handle than uh a red dye stain olive yeah back um when i was uh teaching you know the carpet cleaning classes you know i would suggest that people go test the protectors just so they could experience that we did tests in the class and i can't tell you there were many times that people said that they tested the protectors and said oh it didn't work and then so my next question was tell me how how did you test it and they went down to a retail store got a remnant piece of carpet and uh put a line down the middle put protector on half and the other without and uh and they tested and says well it was the same on both sides and the fallacy there is that was completely protected when it was brand new and so you know my recommendation to them was go put that out as your welcome mat you know you wipe your feet on for uh you know several months and then go do the same thing and uh but is there a sort of a way that you would suggest a non-chemist carpet cleaner who wants to test it out what is sort of a procedure they could do to try out uh the protectors what's what's a reasonable test thing for you know a non-chemist like me well they might find a small wool area rug probably isn't protected and they can try that that way one of the things i have unprotected nylon carpet that i do all my tests on and when you don't have any protection you follow the directions on the label and you apply it and it doesn't work very well you're forgetting that the whole basis of protectors on nylon carpet is to replenish what's already been applied not to apply protection totally but you have to remember what you're you're doing in regards to that so if like on our wool protector i recommend twice the coverage just because most airy rugs don't have protectors on them so so that's that that's uh one thing to do it there's there's a lot of tests that um we used to have a kit where you could compare untreated to treated nylon carpet and you could see how how easy it was to get the red dye stain out and how you couldn't get it out and the regular untreated nylon so there's been a lot of stuff out there that we have shown over the years and i have videos galore showing how this stuff works uh but i think lab demonstrations um have more limited value than seeing it yourself and so just a person you know like a a cleaner if he just cleans his house which he's he should do on a regular basis and he can just treat one area with protector in one area without and i'm sure he'll see some difference over the course of time one of the things is you get a big stencil that says protected and put protector onto the carpet there on a heavy traffic area and then look perfect the next day and see what happens we used to do that sometimes on uh say restaurants that we did routinely we would take a section and put protectant on it we knew the restaurant owner was never going to pay for that and we'd see how much more more easily it cleaned up uh how much better it looked in that area that we protected and in some cases we just started building the protector into the price of the cleaning because it made our lives so much easier we just even talked to them about it anymore and uh and and that's a good thing that anybody can do if you have a recurring job those condo common halls or something you can test yourself and see if it looks better the next time you come back in the area that you you did or if it if it cleans up better there's there's a lot of ways you can you can you can test and see how things are are working and i i think that's really a good comment because a lot of technicians will fight you for no other reason than to fight you and if they can see it themselves then they can they admit that it works and it's not you don't have to convince them anymore well and i i like what tom had mentioned too is that when you're restoring protector you don't have to put it underneath furniture where no one's been walking and put it in the heavy traffic areas put it down the center of a hallway versus really making sure it's coated you know over the tack strip part of the you know down the hallway and that way they would have i think more confidence that what they're selling uh is a good value versus that they know they're putting it someplace that doesn't need it at least that helped me sell it so a lot of times i sold it by the you know square footage and but i was figuring the traffic area versus you know wall to wall and then that becomes a better a better value and so far at least as we've progressed with the chemicals so far there as you said there isn't anything that does that does everything well oil repellency diet repellency some things are better for some and some things are better for others is there an inherent incompatibility in the chemistry that you can't make something that will do it all the um one one area of our industry where the top minds have been at work is in developing fluorochemicals from dupont and 3m and far be it for me to say that they missed something um and that's just been you know the way it is and part the acid dye resistor not being a fluorochemical uh and being anionic in nature and how that affects surface tension which means that scientifically with that you can't surface tension is dependent upon what you put on on the fiber so um there there is a an article on our blog scott warrington wrote this article on surface tension you can look up carpet protectors and it's quite well done and i'm not sure we want to get in that detail but there's a thing called dines per centimeter and in this situation it's just like golf the lower score wins so like water is at 72 dimes as is cotton which means water can go in the cotton really quickly other fibers are from 30 to 50. so you'll have some upholstery fibers you spill water on and it takes a while for the water to penetrate but the oil is at 25. so you see some brand new upholstery not protected water may sit on it but oil will penetrate like that and then a fluorochemical will take it down to 15 dimes per centimeter and that's why you get that surface repellency oil repellency on it now silicones only take it down to uh 30 dimes per centimeter and there are there are some people out there still selling silicones and i've seen their demonstrations where they show repelling oil and they have to have a fast camera because once you drop it on it goes in because 25 is lower than 30 so there's no way a silicon protector is going to repel oil scientifically i don't care if it's pure silicone it isn't going to do it so so those are are things to think about in regards to that so by adding the acid dye resistor we have impacted that surface tension so that even water will go in readily but there is some extra there around the fiber that oil will slide down and won't sit on the surface but it'll slide down the fire so there's there's a lot going on in in this chemistry and it's really pretty fascinating really i still get a kick at seeing these demonstrations uh and just you know how amazing science really is well and i know that you can't possibly know every product on the market and and probably best not to comment on on brand names but there are some things on the market we have a question about microseal and fiber protector and i've i've talked to some of the people involved in those products and oh they hedge a lot on what their products are but i know what some of them are and uh and i think as a general comment you have to watch out for any product that makes really big claims we always try to undersell what a protector does it's not a sheet of plastic if you spill a plate full of cake it's not going to go way by the door to go outside it gives you time to blot something up or maybe allows you to blot something up without having to use any kind of a cleaning product but but i think some of the products when they they really make some some hefty claims i'd i'd uh i tend to shy away from those yeah when they have their list of ten things it does and three or four of them doesn't make sense or so so what so yeah i saw a question pop by about a warranty and what we've always found a good warranty is that if if a protector doesn't work for this that we refund them the money they paid for the protector and um and um you don't want to get in the business of of saying well if anything happens to it we'll buy it for you no you'll just refund them for the protector because like you say it's not a piece of plastic well you have to you have to decide if you're in the cleaning business or the insurance business and generally speaking that you you get the opportunity to come out and clean it before you refer re refund them their money so they have their chance to blot it and you have your chance to clean it and i think uh i haven't heard very many reports of people who have had to to replace the refund the cost of the protector we have done some spotting work for some of the companies that sell warranties save for new upholstery when someone buys a new couch they can they can have something applied and it comes with a warranty and most of the warranties are typical warranties where the the large print it giveth and the small print taketh away so it looks like it's something that's going to be great you're going to get a new couch if this stains when you really read the warranty it says basically that will refund not what you paid for the for the protector but for the portion of the piece that has a stain so those warranties typically aren't worth very much so if i was involved i knew a lot of people doing that and they would go out and apply protector and then then i heard of one company about 10 years later but they didn't do anything they just took the odds of you you know being able to prove that they didn't so they take your money wouldn't provide any extra service and just figured two percent that people would ever make a claim anyway so i guess that's a little cynical on on their part but i'm thinking that you want to add something well to some degree it depends on on what you're selling and protecting for if if you're if you're making a reasonable profit on on the application it doesn't usually cost that much uh it's when people start charging as much to put the protector on as they charge for cleaning people are going to ask for some some performance guarantees so if you're really going to get people for a lot of money then you're probably in the insurance business and and then you've got a warranty that you have to back up yeah well there's a lot of those the protectors you made that you mentioned i think are sold by designers and there's applicators out there who apply it for them typically isn't done through our mainstream industry uh those those things some of them are um and um and so yeah it's best to just leave it there but if you uh if you test those it'll be really clear how good they are and one you mentioned is pretty good and the other one you mentioned i would say that uh the marketing term i would you does no immediate harm does little good so that means you can apply it to something that would be ruined by water but it doesn't immediately ruin it well i've got a maybe a little bit of an obscure question but we've seen this happen before where uh product like you said they're silicone protectors out there and they're pushed pretty hard by certain companies and i've seen cases where factory applied fluorochemical carpet with factory applied fluorochemical is then treated with a silicone product and it turns into a nasty sticky mess that you can't get clean what's happening there um it's obviously some sort of incompatibility and one of the issues is if you have a protector on it you're applying a silicone it sits on top of the protector because the protector is keeping it from going so as that dries that would be sticky goo one of the problems with silicones their one strength is water repellency but they don't resist soil and they don't really resist stains after it breaks through the surface tension and they don't do oil so three of the four things they don't do really well but the need for them on high-end fabric that water can damage that's where there can be some some benefit you know long-term i've heard that there can be yellowing issues with silicones and i don't know about the current current products out there if they have taken care of that or not but that would be the the the the small niche market that it has which makes sense if your designers they want to protect um some of the fancy stuff they do from being damaged by water because it's easy to spill a glass of water uh on a sofa so but what you what you mentioned they're they're not very resilient against oils so coffee has oil in it wine has alcohol in it they both tend to go right through the silicone yeah so like i say it uh um does a little good but you know you you can use a water-based protector that would do a lot of good you use it on a viscose and you just darken the whole fabric so that can cause you to have to buy it again even though you probably made it more usable but you know so there's a lot of things going on and there's a lot of junk fiber out there anymore i know you're seeing the viscose and area rugs and i think i want to have a national movement where nobody cleans the viscose and tell everybody to take it back to the manufacturer and that would get rid of that scourge because they wouldn't know how to clean it well on a positive note we went to surfaces a couple of years ago four of us from our company and we spread out and our goal was to hit everybody at least four times for four of us and talked to him about how much we hated rayon and [Music] there was only one company unfortunately for us a company in seattle who said screw you we're selling a lot of this everybody else had figured out that you can get shiny polyester and shiny nylon and shiny other things that will give you that look and still be cleanable and almost everyone there had gone to something else so a little positive you and i could go teach a class on functional furnishings to the interior design community how you can have a beautiful house with things that will last for 50 years and look great the challenge is designers would go out of business because they don't want anybody to keep it for 50 years so the replacement is key to their business anyway that's well that's true and today and maybe people don't care they don't want something to last 50 years because it's going to be out of style why would you want something for 50 years and i have to admit i have an in-law my father-in-law sold furniture for broy hill had a six-bedroom house full of wonderful furniture that was all from the 70s and nobody wants that stuff it's great furniture but it's ugly you just have to wait for the next generation that all of a sudden that's the cool thing it's it's it's it's planned for 2040 that they're going to bring back all this stuff okay one thing i did want to talk about briefly it's on the whole concept of environmental for protectors and we've been trained to focus on the micro of environmental is this formula green and gotten the macro of the impact of something uh being green for example i would love to make an argument that floor chemicals and protectors whether you know polymer are some of the greenest things we sell because they prolong the life of carpet and rugs and stone so rather than something being thrown away after eight years it can last to 15 years in my experience most people get rid of carpeting because there's some bad stains they rarely have worn it out so by using protector you make it more aesthetically pleasing for longer and for some reason people don't pay attention to the filling up of our landfills but i think it's a win if you can apply a protector to something and double its lifespan or even increase it by 30 percent and i think when people talk about green they got to look at the big picture you know like some people say oh you're you're not using it you're not using the green pre-spray yeah but i just added three years to the life of the rug so you wouldn't throw it out that's green and so we get you know our focus gets so narrow that oh it's it's it's a hundred percent green in the bottle when i expanded out well gee it's 99.4 green in use but look what it does so when we talk about green we need to broaden our focus and i i would uh be happy among the environmental people to talk about filling up the landfill is uh is something we want to delay as much as possible so using something that isn't classically green in the bottle but it does that is very valuable so i i just wanted to get that in before we end our time well many many products that are that are not green they're not green if you pour it in the stream so don't do that and you'll be okay well i think that's a motivation not only for protectors but also for regularly scheduled cleaning because that carpet like you say it doesn't wear out it uglies out and if you you keep up on it it's going to last you know perform longer and look good and that's a good argument because you know people are very aware and i really think that that's a good one that should be included in a marketing piece that this really makes their carpets last longer reduces that landfill issue in fact in some ways all carpet cleaners are environmentalists because they're helping to prolong the useful life of a lot of things that end up in a landfill so we just need to see it in the bigger picture and not in a narrow focus that often they were trained to look at things that's yeah that's correct i was talking to a local chemical manufacturer and they said everybody went phosphate free for laundry detergent and the sewage treatment plants use those phosphates as part of the treatment system and now that they're not getting them through people's laundry detergent they have to buy phosphates by the pallet load to break down waste at the treatment center so trying to be environmentally sound actually created a different type of problem because nobody is dumping their their um their laundry water out in the yard or out in the pond so yeah i had a conversation with somebody in canada and there was this one lake i don't remember where it was but that was how they were reviving the lake adding phosphate to it they wanted marsh to grow yeah they wanted more they wanted more plant food to grow for the fish so the fish could get larger and it'd be a better fishing lake okay so you know the life is complex the world is complex and we you know my goal in chemistry is trying to simplify it for everybody i write a lot of blogs and i do it generically just so everybody can benefit to understand what is going on and i try to keep it four to five paragraphs because i know everybody's attention span has been trained to be five minutes now so i'm happy that people hung around for an hour this is a fun uh exercise to be able to do this well it is a great resource i don't know steve if you if you will uh publish that to your membership the the information that tom sent around to us uh there's a lot of good information there i i sort of went down the rabbit hole reading those blogs very good well that's a good point we'll see if we can put that online make that available you always can get a hold of me and my email address is tommet you'll make my day if you ask me questions about protectors it's the one it's a one area of all we've done i've done the most with 15 years ago dupont said that bridgepoint was the largest secondary marker market seller protector in the world and i would think we've only increased that um position 15 years later so uh it's a big thing what they've done i've spent a lot of you know i've done literally hundreds of tests with different types of protectors at different times um so it's something i'm passionate about and i uh i'm always happy to engage you if you want to talk to me if you have a good chemical question you'll get my attention well i really appreciate you coming on and spending time with us i think this is a topic that just isn't dealt with enough and because it is for the good of the consumer it is good for the you know the environment uh we it's a service that we get you know rightly paid for for our participation in it and if we are the expert you know we should be aware of these issues and concerns so thank you so much tom for for coming on and sharing your your insights um i really appreciate it thank you tom it's my pleasure thank you
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