Sucro Liquid Aromas For Scenting Portable Sanitation Toilets

Deodorizing Solutions For Portable Toilet Service Providers

Few people spend time contemplating portable restrooms or porta-potties. Those that do probably wouldn’t admit to it anyway, as it is a rather strange topic to contemplate, and not the sort of conversation that comes up at cocktail parties or business meetings. But portable toilets, like most things in life, have a history and a story to tell. If you’re a portable toilet service company, supplier or distributor, it’s smart for your bottom line to pay a little homage to these odd edifices that populate special outdoor events, marathons, festivals, parks, construction sites and more.

A Brief Interesting History Of The Portable Toilet Industry

The story of the portable restroom dates back to the troubled years of World War II. Although an era of great turbulence, it was also a time marked by tremendous innovation in computers, jet engines, nuclear power and last but not least, the not so lowly, wood and metal portable restroom. Theirs was a noble purpose, created to accommodate rapidly constructed military bases and ship crews who were out to sea for very long periods. Spartan constructions, these early portables were heavy, difficult to move and keep clean. They were smelly, unsanitary eyesores to those working on the ships.

The Modernization Of Portable Restroom Deodorizers

Surco pioneered non-formaldehyde portable restroom deodorants with the addition of non-staining blue dye. This invention of portable restroom deodorizer, also known as the “blue liquid,” was a huge enhancement as well for the portable sanitation industry. This, probably above all else, has transformed portable restroom experience, but certainly more environmentally-friendly experience than might not otherwise be the case. The blue liquid masks the smells of the waste for up to seven days, which isn’t flushed away every time the toilet is used.

The first restroom deodorizers were comprised largely of formaldehyde, which decades later were proven to be environmentally unkind and carcinogenic. Biological, non-formaldehyde liquid products have been gaining strength, as they are 100% green and sustainable.

According to Arnold Zlotnik, President of Surco, “Portable restroom deodorizers contain several main components; emulsifiers, biocides, dye, odor neutralizers, biological digesters and fragrance. Additional bacterial inhibitors were discovered that are safer than formaldehyde.” Biocides are the active ingredients, which inhibit the growth of odor-producing bacteria; blue dye helps mask waste odors; fragrance provides a pleasant scent for every user, and emulsifying agents insure that fragrances can be dissolved into water to create a uniform mixture.

Restroom deodorizers have undergone many improvements over the decades. Technological advances have made it possible to create deodorizers that are based on biological products that are eco-friendly and can simultaneously break down waste and paper, which aids in the treatment of waste as well. This means fewer chemicals, such as formaldehyde. To help prevent potential environmental hazards when handling portable restroom deodorizers, portable restroom providers rely on the professionals at Surco to maintain and pre-measure the solution so that it uses as few chemicals as possible.

The Portable Restroom Resurgence

The Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI) Trade Association was formed in the United States in the early 1970s with the purpose of standardizing services and communication for the burgeoning portable toilet industry. PSAI’s growth has been steady and strong, and includes international membership spanning six continents. This association is recognized as the voice for the international portable sanitation industry, providing education and information to promote a cleaner, safer and healthier environment for the modern world.

During the 1970’s, awareness concerning the importance of eliminating bacteria and maintaining clean bathrooms brought about a series of innovations that greatly improved the portable restroom experience. The first of these was the introduction of fiberglass, which was a much lighter material than the traditional wood and metal. This made portable toilets much easier to both move and clean, but there were still problems. Fiberglass was fragile and easily broken. It also absorbed and retained malodors.

In this same time period, polyethylene was invented and marketed. These portable restrooms were even better than fiberglass as they were more durable and could be used for up to ten years. It was this in addition to the fact that these polyethylene restrooms could be easily assembled from diverse parts and cheaply transported across long distances that led to the expansion of the portable toilet industry. Providers could now increase both their fleet and their business contacts. Being so much easier to move than earlier portables, manufacturers were now able to easily replace damaged parts and prolong the life of their products.

By the early 1990s, after many years of invention, innovation and trial and error, portable restrooms began to reflect the many advancements that were incorporated into their creation over the course of the two prior decades. The market became more diversified and included such offerings as Restroom Trailers, VIP Units, Portable Water Systems and Solar Powered Units.

The portable restroom industry has come a long way since its inception during the 1940s. First, there were no portable toilets and then there were boxes constructed from metal and wood. These morphed into fiberglass and polyurethane toilets that were easily portable, and aided by deodorizers that helped keep them clean and odor-free. Today there are even more options, including luxury restroom trailers that have become the new standard and are closer to those bathrooms you might expect to find in someone’s home or office building. Innovations in the manufacturing process brought about by advances in technology are also providing for easier construction methods.

The Ongoing Need For Odor Control Products

The one constant element in the development of the portable restroom industry has been the need for odor control products. Consumers have ranked odor as the most unappealing factor with portable toilets and this user base encompasses a broad range of ages and includes both genders. Science has come to the rescue with the advent of citrus and earthy scents that are not only fresh and clean and have a universal appeal, but are also environmentally friendly. Masking odors will not work, and scents that are powerful and overwhelming can have unpleasant results, creating nausea and even the upchuck of many a meal.

Studies and Statistics About Portable Toilets

According to, portable restrooms save an estimated 125 million gallons of fresh water every day due to the fact that flushing does not occur each time the toilet is used. Within the next few years capping in 2022, Ibis World forecasts that portable restroom industry revenue will increase, but with it will come intensified environmental regulations, which will result in higher compliance costs for industry operations.

The University of Missouri has conducted several independent industrial studies in the fields of construction and recreation that document the economic and health benefits resulting from the use of additional, properly located portable sanitation units at special events and crowd gatherings. Their published guide, Portable Restroom Requirements at Special Events and Crowd Gatherings, offers help in planning the proper distribution of portable toilets for almost any large congregation.

Planning the placement of sanitation facilities is based on a number of predictable factors. Normally, most people will use a portable restroom once every four hours, but weather, the consumption of food, liquids and alcoholic beverages can increase that usage by 30 to 40%. Each portable restroom unit should have the capacity to adjust to the needs of a maximum of 200 people. The professionals at Surco are there to help their clients plan properly for any large event. For really large occasions requiring more than 10 units for more than one day, a Surco service technician should be on standby in case of any problem that might arise.

Surco Portable Sanitation’s Origins and Development

Surco has been a world leader in odor control solutions since 1946, developing and producing sophisticated strategies for every application under the sun that far outshine potable sanitation industry standards. Our odor control products and systems are the industry’s best, especially designed to suit the needs of portable toilet suppliers and distributors by capturing the essence and power of natural products. All of our manufactured goods are created and manufactured in their ultra modern, 85,000 square-foot Pittsburgh facility. You can read more about our long history here.

The Surco Technology Center

Dedicated to the exploration of scientific odor control solutions, the Surco Technology Center is comprised of a team of experts equipped with the latest in gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, head space analysis, distillation, extraction and quality control technology. This is the potent scientific force behind the company’s creation of state-of-the-art sanitation odor control products, deodorants, liquids, dry toss packets and wash down solutions. When it comes to important questions relating to the portable sanitation industry, Surco has all of the answers.

Surco Odor Control Technology And Metazene

The pride and joy of our in-house aromatic technology team is the development of Metazene, a scentless additive specifically designed to neutralize odors present in ambient air at a molecular level. The process involves the rapid binding to foul smelling molecules, which renders them imperceptible. This additive is used in portable restroom deodorant, wash downs and other odor control products.

According to Tonya Ray, Surco odor control specialist, after Metazene is applied, the new and heavier particles sink to the floor and evaporate. Research conducted by Surco has proven that when two diverse elements of a fragrance are properly coupled, the effect can be positive in terms of odors. She says: “A simple example would be pairing lemon with fish to neutralize the fishy smell. Fruity and sweet fragrances tend to neutralize sewage odors best…I guess you could say that Metazene along with high-quality fragrance pairing is our secret ingredient in odor control.”

Surco And Our Odor Control Applications

The wastewater industry relies heavily on odor control products in the fields of septic plumbing, portable sanitation and wastewater treatment, and Surco is there to provide them. The biggest demand is for odor control deodorant liquids, toss packets and specialty products, but Metazene is also widely utilized in many vapor-phase applications, including air fresheners, aerosols, pump sprays, passive air fresheners and candles.

According once again to Tonya Ray: “Some products contain the blue dye and others do not, some are water-soluble and others are oil-based. Each wastewater treatment facility has to decide which product works best in their particular situation after proper testing. Since the early 1960s, Metazene has been successfully used in candles for neutralizing odors. This is because its formulation is resistant to high temperatures.”

The Future of The Portable Toilet Industry

The portable restroom industry has undergone many changes since its inception more than seventy years ago. The key to its success boils down to three words: innovation, innovation and innovation. Surco is the well-earned master of the portable sanitation world. The future of this industry lies squarely in the hands of technology that is consistently focused on the health and environmental benefits offered to the user. Although it has come a long way, the end will never be in sight for the portable restroom industry. Change is the only constant here, and it is inevitable. The cold hand of technology and a dynamic database of scientific knowledge make it possible for the powers-that-be to adapt to consumer needs and desires every single day.

If you’re a portable toilet service company anywhere in the world, a supplier or redistributor, or you’d like to become a distributor of our products, we’re fully equipped to serve your ever need! Give us a call today or submit an inquiry.

Final thoughts about portable restrooms: Caution: This vehicle may be transporting political promises. ~ Septic truck sticker


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