Hand Towels Vs. Hand Dryers: Which is Best For Your Washroom?

February 11, 2022

There’s nothing quite like a heated debate; and even washrooms can be the subject of such discussions. There is an ongoing debate about which hand drying method is best for a public washroom. Some people prefer electric air dryers on their hands, some prefer using hand towels, and others just wipe their hands on their jeans (spoiler alert: this is not the professional, preferred method!). There are benefits to both hand dryers and towels, and which one you use varies from bathroom to bathroom. So, when it comes to choosing your hand drying system, it can be almost impossible to choose! That is why we’re providing you with everything you need to know about both kinds of hand drying to make an informed decision- and to stop using your jeans as your method of choice!

Which One Is More Hygienic?

If you consider both hand drying methods, then your first thought might be whether one is more hygienic than the other. Rather helpfully, there is no concrete scientific evidence as to whether one hand drying method is safer or not. Paper towel manufacturers claim an added risk of germs spreading with air drying systems, but this is yet to be proven. The Dyson Airblade, for instance, re-absorbs the particles it releases into the air along with water particles, making this a very hygienic hand drying option. These high-speed items naturally come at the highest price point but are very good at the job. If this option is out of your budget, then you needn’t worry. You can dry your hands perfectly fine with many other options on the market, and you won’t need a hefty bank loan in the process! We offer three air drying options here at Woosh, our Jet Blade, Ultra-Fast Hand Dryer, and our Compact Fast Dry Hand Dryer. 

There has been a long-standing “war” between the two hand drying methods, and the old and faithful paper towel often prevails. Sometimes you shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken, and paper towels do the job of hand drying. As absorption technology progresses, paper towels are becoming even more efficient. The health industry still favours this method, with hospitals preferring a paper drying system instead of electric hand drying. There is less risk of cross-contamination with paper towels, ensuring the maximum level of hygiene. Paper towels can get your hand dryer than any other method. When there is residual water left on the hands, this increases the transmission of bacteria. So drying the hands as thoroughly as possible minimises the risk of that bacteria spreading.

Which requires More Maintenance?

If you are looking for the easiest, time-saving, and minimum maintenance hand drying method, we recommend an air drying system. Unlike paper towels, they take only a little effort to run efficiently and don’t produce any waste. They can be wiped regularly as part of your washroom cleaning schedule, and this will ensure any potential bacteria is removed from the surface. Modern electric hand dryers don’t require the user to touch the surface. So you can be sure they will remain relatively clean and avoid any damage. 

Paper towels, on the other hand, require a lot more upkeep. If this is your sole method of hand drying, then you must ensure that your paper towels are constantly being monitored and restocked to avoid running out. It is also worth bearing in mind that you will accumulate a lot more waste, which will need disposing of more frequently.

Which is More Cost-Effective?

In terms of cost, if you are looking to save money with your washroom, then you should opt for paper towels. They are cheap to buy and a more reasonable hand drying option for bathrooms with only one or two cubicles and few users. If you run a larger washroom that is constantly being used, you will soon go through your fair share of paper towels! This is when an air dryer would be more appropriate. They cost more initially to install but will later cost you next to nothing to run because they are so energy efficient. There are many different types of high-quality air hand dryers, so you don’t always have to go for the most expensive to know it will do a good job. 

Which Method Is More Environmentally Friendly?

When considering the environmental impact of each hand drying, paper towels pose the biggest problem. Due to the fact they are single-use disposable items, this will lead to an increase in the overall landfill waste your washroom produces. Electric hand dryers are energy efficient and zero-waste, so you can ensure your washroom hand drying method is not harming the environment. Also, because they work so fast, they are never running for long!

We hope we have helped you determine the best hand drying method for your washroom- and managed to persuade you to ditch your method of waving your hands around to help them dry. If you are interested in installing our very own hand dryers in your washroom, then please get in touch with us today. One of our Wooshologists will give you a quote and arrange a day for installation!