In development of the customized antimicrobial solution for coolers, the Microban Research and Development team had a challenging task to integrate the technology in a way that would have real world impact. There can be a disconnect between efficacy in the lab versus efficacy in the real world, but the Rubbermaid team was committed to putting a better product on the market that was truly enhanced to provide more value and ease of use to customers.
Cleaning a cooler is not a fun task, which is why coolers can often be neglected, put on the shelf or into the closet without a proper cleaning in between uses, so having a cooler that remains cleaner between cleanings can have a big impact in the lives of busy consumers.
Rubbermaid coolers featuring Microban technology are treated with a customized formulation of Microban ZPTech® - a zinc additive technology. ZPTech has been shown to be effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, mold and mildew, both in the lab and in real world applications. In order to show the true efficacy of the technology, the team at Microban developed an experiment to duplicate usage of the cooler that mimics common everyday use of the product in the real world.
The treated Rubbermaid cooler and an untreated cooler were inoculated with a small amount of beer and stored in a garage for a period of 3 weeks.
This is not an uncommon occurrence in the lives of most people, following a camping trip, tailgating party, or the like where the cooler gets put away with a little leftover liquid floating around inside, because cleaning a cooler is probably last on the list after a fun trip or big event.
Three weeks later, the Rubbermaid cooler and the untreated cooler were opened.
The untreated cooler had grown mold and had an extremely strong and unpleasant odor. The treated cooler still had the liquid present, but there was no mold, mildew or pungent odor.
Here at Microban, we sometimes refer to our technologies as “invisible magic,” but in this case study we can actually see the added benefit that Microban technology provides to Rubbermaid products, adding value to their product mix and to the lives of Rubbermaid consumers. The impact on consumer loyalty and brand integrity alone made the extra effort to develop the right antimicrobial solution more than worth it for both Microban and Rubbermaid.