Ice in Urinals?

Ice in urinalsYou learn something new every day and today is no different! I’m not sure if you are aware but often urinals in men’s toilets in bars and restaurants were filled with ice. Some 60 or more years ago, even high-end hotels made sure their urinals were packed with ice throughout the day.

But why I hear you ask? It has a lot to do with odours and taking aim.

In 1886, on 27th March Andrew Rankin patented the first urinal. He referred to his invention as ‘the best thing on Earth’. Andrew realised that the urinals may have ‘disagreeable odours’ so he included a homemade recipe to make the first urinal blocks using sugar, molasses, syrup, chloride of soda, water, and other ingredients.

This recipe became cumbersome, so in the 1880s, an astute entrepreneur started marketing the first urinal cakes made with Naphthalene. Klaus explained that “It sure killed the odours, but it also destroyed red blood cells when inhaled in large quantities”.  In the early 1900s, it was slowly phased out.

In 1920 when Prohibition started, speakeasies opened throughout the country. The speakeasies purchased tons of ice. To make way for new deliveries, the old ice was tossed into urinals, because throwing it in alleys or on the street would likely catch the attention of police.

The bartenders were surprised when the ice eliminated urinal odours. As one expert explained, the ice froze odour-causing molecules in urine, preventing them from being released. Eventually, the odour-filled molecules melt with the ice and drip down the urinal and into the sewer.

The heyday of ice in urinals was the 1960s; bar owners found that the ice provided a bit of entertainment for the gentleman and improved their aim. Richard Thaler, a professor at the University of Chicago, explains: “having something to aim at reduces spillage.”

Although ICE was a great idea, new technologies, especially Pureco from Pure Washrooms, just eliminated the need.

Our Pureco Urinal Sleeve is a cost-effective way to tackle all the problems associated with urinal hygiene. Revolutionary urinal sanitation, reducing the risk of Purecoblockages, leaks and smells. This service saves water and money and reduces your carbon footprint and reduces urinal odours.

How it works: As urine passes through and around the ‘bio-cap’ a small amount of bio enzyme is eroded into the solution activating the enzyme. This breaks down the uric salts and limescale reducing the risk of blockages. The Pureco system also includes a purpose-built urinal cistern water manager which significantly reduces water consumption and water bills.

Ice is has definitely had its day, if for no other reason than to reduce water and energy consumption.

SensaflushOur SensaFlush Urinal Water Management System reduces your water consumption by up to 90%.The Sensaflush significantly reduces water consumption and associated costs by eradicating unnecessary and expensive water wastage when flushing your urinals. The unit detects urinal usage and flushes after urinals are used. The unit flushes automatically if detection does not occur for more than a 12 hour period.


So, if you are looking to move away from the ICE age and move into modern day give us a call today on 0844 8000 121.