Drying Your Hands the Eco Way

When you’re in a public washroom, you probably dry your hands with the options available because that’s all you have. But have you ever stopped to wonder how hygienic or eco-friendly they are? 

With so much information out there about how hygienic certain hand-drying options are and their impact on the environment, you’re probably wondering, “Well, how should you dry your hands after washing?”. Don’t worry! Woosh has you covered. 

In this guide, we go through how eco-friendly the most common hand-drying methods are and whether they are hygienic. 

How Should You Dry Your Hands After Washing?

It is crucial you dry your hands thoroughly after washing, or else it will all be for nothing! Wet but clean hands can become recontaminated and also contaminate other surfaces. By drying your hands after washing, you can remove any remaining pathogens on your hands, preventing the spread of bacteria. But with all the hand drying solutions out there, which methods are effective in hand drying, and how do they impact the environment?

Hot Air Dryers

Probably the most common form of hand drying you see in public washrooms, a hot air dryer uses an internal fan to blow air across a heating element and onto your hands. With the need to warm up the heating element for each use, it can be seen as the least environmentally friendly option for drying hands. 

Common hot air dryers have been found to release about 20-80g of CO2 during each use! That’s a lot of carbon emissions when you think about the number of times it is probably used in one day. So, although hot air dryers are great for hand drying, there are more environmentally friendly options out there. 

Jet Air Dryers

You may have seen jet air dryers popping up more often in washrooms. With the likes of Dyson producing more efficient ways of drying your hands, jet air dryers have become more popular in recent years. Unlike a hot air dryer, jet air dryers actually blow cool air across your hands at high speeds to dry your hands.

By using cool air instead of hot air, no heating elements need to be warmed up, meaning less electricity is used overall. Additionally, high air speeds mean that hands can dry in 10 seconds, cutting the drying process time by half. This shows jet air dryers are a more energy-efficient way of drying your hands than hot air dryers. 

Eco Hand Dryers 

Made with the environment in mind, eco hand dryers are designed with energy-efficient elements to lower energy consumption. For example, timed stop/start functions reduce the need for excessive electricity use, and faster hand drying times mean less time is spent drying hands. 

This means you will be saving both money and the environment with an eco hand dryer as running costs will be lower, leading to less carbon emissions. When compared to other hand drying solutions, an eco hand dryer can provide a hygienic method of hand drying without compromising the environment. 

Paper Towels 

Paper towels are generally seen as the most hygienic method of drying hands as you simply dry your hands and dispose of the waste. This reduces the spread of germs more effectively than even hand dryers. However, the environmental impact of paper towels is substantial compared to hand dryers. Trees must be cut down to produce paper towels and once used, paper towels typically end up in landfill. 

The only way for paper towels to be the best eco-friendly hand-drying method is for a strict recycling process to be in place. If businesses can ensure that paper towels are 100% recycled, the impact on the environment will be reduced, making paper towels a better hand-drying solution than hand dryers. 

Hand Towels 

Hand towels are seen as the most sustainable hand drying method as they can be reused after washing and have the potential to be made from environmentally friendly materials. However, although it is a great option for at home, using hand towels in a public washroom is probably not the best idea as these hand towels would have to be regularly washed and could end up being thrown on the floor, causing more harm than good! 

Simply Shaking Your Hands Around 

We’ve all done it! If you’re in a rush or the hand dryers aren’t working, you’ve probably just given your hands a shake or wiped your wet hands on your clothes to dry them, but this is not a great way of drying your hands. Simply shaking your hands will not effectively dry your hands, meaning you will be left with wet hands that have the potential to spread more bacteria. 

Additionally, drying your hands on your clothes can make clean hands dirty! Your clothes have potentially picked up germs from your daily tasks, so wiping your newly washed hands on your clothes will result in your hands being full of germs again. You could make sure to bring some tissues with you to ensure you always have a means of drying your hands when there are no other options!

How to Choose the Best Hand Drying Method 

If you have a washroom and are wondering which solution to choose, here are some things to consider before you make your decision. 


Some options are more hygienic than others. For example, a hand towel is probably not the best choice for a public washroom as it can be a breeding ground for washroom germs if not washed regularly. Additionally, eco hand dryers may be a better option as you can ensure your washroom users have an efficient method of drying their hands, reducing the spread of germs and minimising harming the environment. 


No one is going to stand drying their hands forever. A speedy hand-drying solution will ensure washroom users dry their hands thoroughly before leaving the washroom. This will reduce the spread of germs from wet hands and make sure there is no traffic in the restroom. Jet air dryers and eco hand dryers are great options for speed as they are built to dry hands in about 10 seconds. 

Environmental Impact 

With a bigger emphasis on businesses looking for more environmentally friendly ways of doing things, the eco-friendly nature of a hand-drying solution should be taken into account and weighed up against other factors. For example, although paper towels are the best option for hand drying when it comes to hygiene unless there are strict recycling processes in place, paper towels produce a lot of waste that will inevitably wind up in landfills. 

Find Eco-Friendly Hand Drying Solutions with Woosh

At Woosh, we want to help you find the right hand-drying solution for your washrooms. Whether that be our eco hand dryers that boast 10-second hand drying times or simple paper towels that effectively remove germs, we can help! Why not pair your hand-drying methods with accessories such as hand dryer mats or hand towel dispensers to elevate your washroom further?

Get in touch with us today to transform your washroom into an eco-friendly hub. 

Hand Drying FAQs

How should you dry your hands?

There are many methods to dry your hands, from paper towels to hand dryers. Although paper towels are the most effective method of removing germs from your hands, they are also the least environmentally friendly due to the mass amount of waste produced from used paper towels. 

When taking the impact on the environment into account, eco hand dryers are the best solution. Built with the environment in mind, eco hand dryers use low energy levels whilst still drying hands thoroughly. This makes eco hand dryers the best hand-drying method. 

Why is hand drying important?

Hand drying is an important element of hand hygiene. Without drying your hands thoroughly after washing, you have the potential to spread bacteria and re-contaminate your clean hands. Research shows that wet hands can spread more germs than dry hands, so it is essential to ensure they are fully dry before leaving the washroom. 

Are electric hand dryers cheaper than paper towels?

Although electric hand dryers require a large initial investment, the cost of powering a hand dryer is substantially less than constantly replenishing paper towels. However, the pros and cons of each hand-drying solution should be weighed carefully to find the best solution for your business’s needs. If you need help deciding what type of hand drying is best for you, contact us today! 

Related Articles 

Hand Towels Vs. Hand Dryers: Which Should You Choose?

You’re Probably Washing Your Hands Wrong - Here’s How To Do It Properly

The Eco-Friendly Washroom: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint