Are Hand Dryers Really More Sanitary than Paper Towels?
The hand dryer vs paper towel debate is nothing new but is an extremely important topic in certain environments like hospitals and clinics. The question is – are hand dryers really more sanitary than paper towels? First, we take a look at the existing studies that aim to provide a definitive conclusion to this argument.
An important factor to take into consideration is that many of these studies are sponsored by either the paper towel industry or the hand dryer industry. You can predict which study would favour one or the other while completely disregarding the competition. Luckily, we provide both products to our clients; and so our own conclusion in this article is unbiased.
The Benefits of Hand Dryers
Simply put, paper towels are 2-3 times more expensive per month than commercial hand dryers. They are the greener choice and require less time for staff to maintain. For many companies interested in cost savings and minimizing their carbon footprint, this is reason enough to invest in commercial hand dryers.
Studies show that hand dryers can spread 1300 times more bacteria than paper towels. However, this study exposed their subjects to higher than normal amounts of bacterial contamination to prove their concept rather than conducting a study under real-life circumstances.
The Benefits of Paper Towels
The main reason people opt to use paper towels rather than a hand dryer is because of convenience. Using paper towels takes less time to dry your hands and people are more likely to thoroughly dry their hands using paper towels than they would with a hand dryer. The fact that wet hands spread bacteria more than dry hands do is an important point that could highlight a flaw in the study showing that hand dryers spread bacteria.
Are Hand Dryers a Better Product than Paper Towels?
Our conclusion to this frequently asked question is: it depends. If your goal is to minimize cost and your carbon footprint, then commercial hand dryers are ideal. If you’re in a healthcare setting and your goal is hygiene, then paper towels are the answer. Many companies choose both and let their visitors decide. The good news is, there are options available that will meet your priorities.
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