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Paper Towels vs. Hand Dryers
The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods

Which is more hygienic?

Washing hands after using the bathroom is a MUST, but what about the importance of hand drying? In this article, we discuss why this step is crucial to prevent germ spread and improve hygiene in public restrooms. When trying to decide whether hand dryers or paper towels would be best for your business, consider the following:  

Wet skin is more likely to transmit bacteria than dry skin. Humidity creates the perfect environment for bacteria, therefore, it's crucial to dry hands thoroughly after washing. So the question becomes: what method is more efficient, hygienic and, convenient? Paper towels or hand dryers? 

Some businesses prefer hand dryers because they believe the cost and maintenance will be lower than using paper towels. However, the effectiveness of hand-drying methods (considering the speed of drying, degree of dryness, removal of bacteria, and prevention of cross-contamination) is significantly greater for paper towels when compared to hand dryers. A review by the Mayo Clinic suggests that paper towels are a more efficient means of drying hands, removing bacteria effectively, and causing less contamination of the washroom environment. 

"From a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers. Paper towels should be recommended in locations where hygiene is paramount, such as hospitals and clinics."  -Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Some points to consider 

Proper hand hygiene in facilities should be a priority for every business to create a happy, clean, and safe environment for everyone!  Unsanitary bathroom facilities can lead to employees falling sick more frequently, resulting in increased absenteeism. Additionally, customers may be reluctant to patronize an establishment if they perceive the facilities to be unhygienic. If a business is linked to an outbreak of illness, it can adversely affect sales for an extended period. 

1. Convenience: Paper towels are often more convenient since they are disposable and fast to use, which reduces the risk of spreading germs and bacteria. Paper towels can also be used to open doors and other high-touch surfaces so that the user doesn't have to come into contact with them. They are also more effective at removing moisture from hands and reducing the number of bacteria than hand dryers. 

2. Hygiene: Paper towels have an advantage since they are single-use and do not come into contact with other people's germs. Hand dryers use hot air that might make the air in the restroom more humid and therefore more prone to bacterial growth. 

3. Efficiency: Hand dryers require maintenance and are significantly more expensive to implement into a facility than a paper towel dispensers.  On average, people use hand dryers for about 30 seconds after washing their hands, which is not enough time to dry their hands thoroughly. Paper towels, on the other hand, are easy to use, dry hands thoroughly and people are more likely to use them. 

Ultimately, the choice between paper towels and hand dryers will depend on your priorities and preferences. For hygiene-sensitive environments such as hospitals or clinics, paper towels may be the better choice, while hand dryers may be more suitable for high-traffic areas where cost and environmental impact are major concerns. Armchem provides the best prices for paper towels and offers a DOL (Dispensers on a loan) program that will fit your budget. Call today to meet with a specialist that will answer all your questions and concerns on how to keep a clean and safe environment for all your customers and staff! 

Need paper towels?

Armchem offers a variety of compatible paper products for different dispensers. Choose a size, material and color, we'll take care of the rest! Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with an Armchem specialist! 

Armchem offers a variety of dispensers for your needs

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