February 1, 2005

Ecolab's WASH 'N WALK™ floor cleaner receives award for best new cleaning innovation of 2004

ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 1, 2005 - Ecolab Inc.'s revolutionary no-rinse floor cleaner WASH 'N WALK™ is the most innovative new cleaning product for the foodservice industry, according to the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD).

WASH 'N WALK™ took top honors in the cleaning and chemical category of the North American Foodservice Grand Prix New Product Awards, which are jointly sponsored by the IFDA and the CCGD. The awards, presented Sunday, Jan. 30, at the IFDA Partners Executive Forum in Washington, D.C., identify and recognize innovative new products within the North American foodservice industry.

"We are excited and honored that WASH 'N WALK™ has been recognized by the IFDA and CCGD as the best new cleaning product for the foodservice industry," said Maarten Potjer, who jointly accepted the award with co-project leader Jaclyn Steep on Ecolab's behalf. "We feel very strongly about the contributions this breakthrough product makes to the industry. In fact, WASH 'N WALK™ delivers outstanding grease-removal performance for foodservice facilities. To have prestigious groups like the IFDA and CCGD state that this is the most innovative cleaning product is a profound testament of the efficacy and originality of WASH 'N WALK™."

The competition is judged by a panel of experts including operators, culinary experts, distributors and trade press. The judging includes preparation and sampling of each product in a test kitchen and an analysis by the judging panel. Products are ranked upon uniqueness and innovation, product attributes, operator convenience and quality appeal.

According to Steep, WASH 'N WALK™ approaches grease buildup on floors in a unique way, with enzymes literally eating away deep, packed-in grease and soil buildup in grout and tile pores.

"It's a completely different approach to attacking tough grease and soil for the restaurant and foodservice industry," Steep said. "The improved friction on the floor is valuable to customers, because safety is always a top priority for their operations. The enhanced appearance of the floor is great, but the appearance is ultimately an indicator that the floor is cleaner - and therefore safer. WASH 'N WALK™ offers exceptional value to foodservice operators, and we believe this product is a winner any way you look at it."

In addition, WASH 'N WALK™ uses a formula that doesn't need to be rinsed off the floor, allowing the enzymes to continue working after application, while providing significant savings in labor and water costs. Because of these benefits, it's no surprise that WASH 'N WALK™ has been a huge hit with Ecolab customers and sales-and-service associates.

"Response from our customers and our field sales team has been nothing short of fantastic," said Jim Chamberlain, Ecolab vice president of Institutional Sales. "WASH 'N WALK™ lives up to the claims it makes, and works better than any floor care product I've ever seen. The value of this product goes far beyond performance alone."

Ecolab launched WASH 'N WALK™ to foodservice customers in January 2004, meeting the contest parameters of product introductions between Nov. 1, 2003, and Oct. 31, 2004.

"We had tremendous success with WASH 'N WALK™ in 2004 and continue to get unsolicited positive feedback about its performance," said Mike Miner, Ecolab marketing manager for WASH 'N WALK™. "We look forward to building on the momentum of WASH 'N WALK™ this year by exceeding the expectations of many more of our global foodservice customers with this exciting floor care solution."

The Institutional Division of Ecolab Inc. provides a full line of products, programs and services for the foodservice and hospitality industries, including warewashing, on-premise laundry, housekeeping, water filtration and conditioning, specialty kitchen and laundry products, and pool and spa management. For more information about WASH 'N WALK, contact Ecolab Inc. at 1-800-35-CLEAN.

With 2003 sales of $3.8 billion, Ecolab is the leading global developer and marketer of premium cleaning, sanitizing, pest elimination, maintenance and repair products for the hospitality, foodservice, institutional and industrial markets. Ecolab shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECL.

Ecolab news releases and other investor information are available on the Internet at www.ecolab.com.

Contact: Derek Malmquist - (651) 293-4104


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