There is no debate as fierce in the washroom community as the one which pits hot-air hand dryers against paper towel dispensers. There are those who believe the traditional paper towels are the better option – after all, they effectively remove residual water from the hands of bathroom users, and they’re a lot easier to install than hand dryers. But then, the high-tech hand dryers hitting the market nowadays are incredibly efficient, and they’re also said to be more environmentally-friendly, as they don’t need to be replenished with large wads of paper every day.
So which option wins out? Whose side are you on? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both methods.
Paper Towels – Pros
We all know that fast hand-drying is one way to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria – and paper towels certainly do get hands from wet to dry in just a matter of seconds. Drying your hands with paper towels is also the preferred method of hand-drying, according to one study by Queensland University. It found that ‘drying hands thoroughly with single-use, disposable paper towels is the preferred method of hand-drying’, and recommended that the provision of paper towels be considered as a means of improving hand hygiene adherence. Put simply: paper towels are so quick and easy, it means more people are likely to use them, boosting hygiene standards across the board.
Paper Towels – Cons
Many businesses think that they’re saving money by opting for paper towels over a fancy hand-dryer, but in fact, the ongoing costs of keeping the towels stocked up can mean it’s the more expensive option. If a business spends £50 per month on paper towels for their washrooms, that’s £600 per year – it’s a much bigger outlay than people first imagine! Washrooms can also be left in a mess if you don’t have a sufficient place to dispose of used paper towels.
Hand Dryers – Pros
Some of the more high-tech hand dryers on the market these days are incredibly efficient. You can place your hands under the stream of hot air for a matter of seconds and they remove all traces of water! They’re also said to be better for the environment, creating much less waste and keeping washrooms looking more organised and clean.
Hand Dryers – Cons
If a hand dryer on your premises were to break down, you’d need to splash out on an electrician to come and service it, as well as providing paper towels for your bathroom users as a back-up. Many people also shy away from the noise pollution that hand dryers can make – especially children! Babies and toddlers can be afraid of the loud sound that dryers emit, so if your premises regularly welcomes families or little ones, consider a quieter alternative.
Our conclusion is that hand dryers and paper towels have plenty of pros and cons on both sides – but they’re both highly effective methods of drying your hands. If you can, why not provide both for your washroom users, so they can choose the option they prefer?