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Automatic and Manual Paper Towel Dispensers Comparison

Choosing the best paper towel dispenser for your facility depends on numerous factors, but most business owners rely on form and function. In this automatic and manual paper towel dispensers comparison, we analyze the key advantages and disadvantages to choosing either in addition to the limitations of distinct designs, including operational requirements, paper towel varieties, materials, and more.

As with many industrial products, dispensing systems undergo strict testing and compliance procedures to determine efficacy, cleanliness, and accessibility. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that paper towel dispensers shall be installed at a height of 48 inches, maximum, to the highest operable part to remain accessible to patrons in wheelchairs. This regulation may affect the mounting style and type of dispenser that best suits your required installation process.

Touch-free mechanisms are a major point of contention in the automatic and manual paper towel dispensers comparison. Automatic paper towel dispensers are believed to prevent the transfer of disease-causing bacteria and microbes by limiting the risk of contact. According to a Cintas proprietary research study, 80% of restroom users rate the cleanliness of a commercial bathroom based on the availability of paper towels. Automatic models offer a hygienic solution that dispenses a set length of paper towel to limit waste. Manual paper towel dispensers, on the other hand, typically feature a lever or crank operation that is ideal for light-traffic environments and allows the user to determine the suitable paper towel length for drying hands efficiently.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drying time while using paper towels averages to approximately 20 seconds. In most cases, the first towel removes the bulk of the water and the second achieves complete drying. Residual moisture can translocate thousands of microbial numbers to new surfaces, so it may be important for you to decide whether the user should be able to determine the amount of paper towel needed to dry his or her hands completely.

In a study commissioned by Dyson, Inc. and prepared by Materials Systems Laboratory as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, they compare environmental implications and life cycle assessments of various hand drying systems. According to their findings, paper towel usage is assumed to vary continuously between one and two cotton roll towel pulls or between one and three paper towels. Automatic dispensers can eliminate the deviation by limiting access altogether. This study suggests that limiting use to one paper towel per dry and collecting the materials at end-of-life can prevent it from degrading in landfills, thus reducing environmental impact in the long run.

Regardless of how our automatic and manual paper towel dispensers comparison has shaped your decision, you can benefit by researching the replenishment and consumable costs associated with C-fold, multifold, and standard-core rolls. It is also important to consult and verify all distances and heights with local codes or ordinances because they often supersede federal requirements. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the team today.

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