Pro's Corner

Tom Forsythe Sits down for an Interview with The Carpet and FabriCare Institute to Discuss Protectors

In April I sat down with The CFI (Carpet and FabriCare Institute) to discuss my background from my days in the oriental rug trade and leather furniture industry to developing some of the leading formulas in our industry. 

The interview starts with a brief history of my background. In the late 90s, I contacted Dave Hanks at Bridgepoint and began teaching an Oriental rug cleaning and leather class at the end of the decade before being hired by them to be the product trainer. 

It was around that time that I started making products for Bridgepoint Systems. Over 200 formulas later I'm here to share some of my knowledge about protectors in this interview. 

These are some of the topics that we address:

  • The importance of selecting the proper protector (the area that I've worked the most in)
  • How to be judicious in selecting the right amount of protectors when working
  • Procedures for testing out a protector you want to use 
  • How protectors affect the surface tension of the fibers you are working with
  • How to make sure that you don't oversell a protector and provide your customer with reasonable expectations
  • How fluorochemicals and protectors prolong the life of carpets and rugs and help prevent them from being thrown away 

Here is an excerpt from my interview: 


CFI: Just to make sure everybody has it clear, it used to be that we put one thing down for everything but that's changing now. It sounds like the number one question is, do you know what fiber it is that you're applying it to?

Tom Forsythe: Scott Warrington and I did a presentation at the IICRC science conference three years ago, and we made the point of our discussion "Let the Fiber Choose the Protector" rather than the cleaner do it, and I know that complicates things, but great customer service isn't always easy to do. So, provide a protector for the wool rug and the nylon carpet and treat it that way, and treat the triexta fiber differently. 

One good thing about most upholstery is that you will use the same type protector as used on triexta because it works on body oils. We have two protectors, one for the nylon and wool, and one for upholstery that can't be damaged by water.

CFI: This is getting away from carpet cleaning and turning into science. What are we going to do?

Tom Forsythe: Well, part of what needs to happen is that by understanding the science you're going to be able to sell the protector. It's hard to sell something that you don't understand. For you to go into a house 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 protector expert. Because probably a lot of them never had a choice, or told that one protector will be done better than another. 

You can watch the entire interview below:


I hope you enjoy watching. If you have any questions I'm always happy to engage. You can contact me at

Tom Forsythe


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