For many companies, manual ice machine maintenance seems like the only viable option for maintaining their ice machines.

Publicly, ice machine manufacturers recommend cleaning an ice machine only once or twice a year.  Does this seem like enough?  Anyone who has ever maintained an ice machine knows that this schedule is woefully inadequate.  (Manufacturers admit it, too!)

Keeping ice machines clean often helps to prolong the life of the machine and reduce the need for servicing. In addition, ice machine manufacturers may be reluctant to replace any components which have failed due to a lack of preventative maintenance. This is not usually considered a warranty issue.

When dealing with a single ice machine, a frequent cleaning schedule may not seem like that large of an expense. When you look at the numbers for companies that care for hundreds or even thousands of machines, the expense of cleaning even one becomes easy to see.

For example, SUBWAY®’s largest franchisee, the Rottinghaus Company, owns over 400 stores.  There is at least one ice machine in each of those stores. As management looked into the operational costs associated with maintaining their ice machines they found that the manual cleaning process was a serious drain on their team’s resources, both time and money.

Typically, it takes about 2 hours and over $200 to properly sanitize an ice machine. With a cleaning schedule of once every five weeks for their 400+ ice machines, the company was understandably interested in alternatives to manual cleaning.

As expensive and time-consuming as manually cleaning their ice machines was, however, cleaning them less was not an option. A contaminated ice machine can cause a whole host of serious problems including

  • equipment malfunction
  • risk of health inspectio
  • infraction
  • risk of infection spreading to customers,
  • all of the bad publicity and other expenses that would result from a customer falling ill

Cut Operating Costs without Sacrificing the Level of Maintenance of the Machines

The company turned to IceZone®. IceZone works by using UV oxidation to alter the environment inside the ice machine. It inhibits the growth of contaminating slime that would otherwise spread throughout the ice machine.

Rottinghaus tested out IceZone first in one store, then in nine, to see how the product worked. After installation, they monitored the ice machines over a five-week period between scheduled cleanings, they evaluated each machine during its next scheduled sanitization.

Each IceZone-equipped machines was as clean as the day IceZone was installed.

The difference between manual cleanings and IceZone was clear.

  • Originally, manual cleanings needed to be completed every five weeks
  • with IceZone the cleaning scheduled could be pushed back to once a quarter or even longer

Over the course of seven years this saved Rottinghaus over 20,000 employee hours and they retained $2,520,000 of pure profit.

Switching to IceZone also helped reduce technical malfunctions in the ice machines by an average of 70%, which increased the life expectancy of the machines by 30%.

The savings from switching to IceZone from manual cleaning, coupled with how easy it is to install (typically less than 30 minutes) makes IceZone a viable long-term solution for ice machine maintenance.

Download the case study to learn about how IceZone saved the Rottinghaus Company millions, or contact us to learn more about IceZone.

IceZone Subway Case Study: IceZone Saves Restaurant Operator Millions


BioZone Scientific designs and manufactures ultraviolet light commercial and industrial applications, creating systems for virus disinfection and sanitation, preventative maintenance, and odor control solutions.

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, we serve clients globally, with offices in 5 countries on 3 continents.


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