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Bathroom Hygiene: Hand Dryer vs Paper Towels

Bathroom Hygiene: Hand Dryer vs Paper Towels

Entering a public toilet with shiny floors, large mirrors, and fresh aroma scents are what all guests hope to experience. However, even the cleanest and brightest restrooms out there can be a dangerous place when it comes to germs. All because of the hand drying methods they provide.

All restrooms usually have one of three hand-drying methods available for their guests: jet dryers, air dryers or paper towels. When jet or air dryers are the only available option to use, the overall costs within the facility may be lower. However, customers using these hand drying methods are usually left with damp and wet hands when they leave the restroom.

On the other hand, restrooms that offer paper towels for drying your hands can experience the overuse issue. However, paper towels provide customers with the opportunity to dry their hands thoroughly.

Now that you know the fundamental differences, you’ll understand which one is the better option to use and why. Facility managers must realize that different hand drying methods can undoubtedly have a significant impact on their overall health even beyond the restroom itself. Mostly, it’s vital to provide the best option for hygienic hand drying to be able to please your customers, but also to prevent any form of infection. This will help you protect your company and brand.

Drying Hands Is A Crucial Part Of Hand Hygiene

Over 80% of infections in the US are transmitted via hand contacts. People are not aware of how critical it is to dry their hands thoroughly. Drying your hands is a critical part of the hand hygiene process because a lot of harmful bacteria can survive on your hands even after you washed them. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control, hand drying is also necessary because:

1. Poor Hand Washing Procedures

It’s a known fact that many people don’t wash their hands as they should have. Michigan State University conducted a study recently in which they’ve found out that 95% of people don’t wash and scrub their hands long enough for them to be completely bacteria-free.

Additionally, people must know that some viruses are able to survive on various solid surfaces for many days. Some dangerous viruses can survive on objects like soap dispensers or sink faucets for several days if they are not disinfected appropriately. 

2. Transfering Germs Directly Or Indirectly

Germs will undoubtedly pass further from wet skin. By knowing that a lot of people don’t scrub and wash their hands properly, it’s likely that numerous germs will remain on their hands. However, it’s important to note that bacteria from wet “washed” hands will spread quicker from person-to-object or person-to-person, which creates the opportunity for an unwanted infection. It’s known that germs can hardly survive on dry skin, it’s critical that effectively dry your hands.

Preventing the infection to spread within foodservice, schools, and hospitals is of paramount importance. A thorough scrubbing and washing finished with complete hand drying will undoubtedly help to limit the dangerous or, in some cases, even deadly infections throughout the schools, restaurants, or healthcare facilities.

 Bathroom Hygiene: Hand Dryer vs Paper Towels

The Disadvantages Of Air Drying Methods

The University of Westminster, London, conducted a study that provided us with valuable results regarding the best hand drying methods. The participants covered their hands with gloves and dipped them into a liquid containing a virus. After doing so, they have tested all three hand drying options to see which drying method spreads fewer germs.

1. Hot Air Hand Dryers

The hot air dryers work by removing the water from hands with downwards air movements, while the dryer evaporates the water from the hands. However, jet air dryers use forces that move simultaneously in opposite directions to remove water from hands with speed well over 370 mph.

2. Jet Dryers

The Westminster study showed that jet dryer, because of how it’s constructed and how fast it blows out the air, spread the virus used for this study around 60 times more than the warm air dryer does. Additionally, jet dryers spread the virus around 1,300 times more than it was when subjects used paper towels to dry their hands.

People may consider hand dryers as a cost-efficient solution, but the fact remains that they can undoubtedly cause more harm than good.

The Benefits Of Drying Hands With Paper Towels

The same study from London concluded that using paper towels will significantly decrease the spread of germs from hands to the environment. Disposable paper towels effectively remove all remaining bacteria from hands after they’ve been thoroughly scrubbed and washed. Additionally, paper towels can for other purposes like closing and opening doors as well as turning off the faucets.

A survey came up with the results that around 75% of people prefer to use paper towels in restrooms instead of the alternatives. Facility managers that opt-out for paper towels will provide customers with their preferred hand drying method in public toilets. By doing so, they also provide everyone with a much healthier and cleaner environment.

It may sound impossible, but paper towels can be an incredibly cost-friendly and sustainable hand drying solution. Automated paper towel dispensers with sensors that can sense hands will dispense the length needed for guests to dry their hands appropriately. These modern dispensers can undoubtedly save a lot of money.

Some disposable tissue and paper towel companies use new strategies to make sure that all their products are made by following environmentally friendly practices. Some of these practices include forest preservation, appropriate recycling, and limiting CO2 emissions. On the other hand, air dryers add on to energy waste. Therefore, it’s good to know that paper towels can also help solve landfill waste problems. By knowing all this, you should consider researching and finding disposable paper products that have biodegradable and dissolvable properties as well.


There’s no room for further debate on this matter. Managers should know that the choice of whether to provide their customers with air dryers or paper towels within toilets is clear as day. The research showed that paper towels are the best and most hygienic hand drying method to use since they spread fewer germs than all other options. Paper towels are the most hygienic solution while being the simplest and possibly cheapest as well. It’s important to note that by providing customers with the best sterile hand drying solution won’t benefit just your customers. By doing so, you’ll promote a positive image for your brand by maintaining safety and health.