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Hand Dryers or Paper Towels?

As consumers, we do our best to avoid touching door handles and other contaminated surfaces after washing our hands. Unfortunately, most establishments face the contested question of purchasing hand dryers or paper towels for their commercial facilities or public restrooms. Both hand dryers and paper towels are considered operational costs as well as environmental costs. Hand dryers can be more environmentally sound if they were composed of recycled material, whereas hand dryers require little maintenance and can last a facility up to 10 years of use. Taking longevity, durability, and the energy used to create their respective materials into consideration, hand dryers do cost less to operate overall, but there are advantages and disadvantages to making what you may consider the “greener choice.”

Business owners and facility managers may believe that hand dryers are the more ecological choice because they avert deforestation. According to Brendan Koerner in his article, “Electric Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels,” he argues that most paper towels are manufactured in commercial timberlands where the trees used to make them are substituted after harvest.

Essential issues to consider when deciding between hand dryers or paper towels:

  • Environmental Impact
  • Noise
  • User Preference
  • Cost

Although paper towel products use a lot of resources and require consumable expenses for constant replenishment, hand dryers also require resources and energy to build. Many hand dryer and paper towel dispensing systems are made from durable materials such as stainless steel, which is renowned for its resistance to corrosion or chemical damage.

Facilities found in hospitals, nursing homes, or places where germs are found at every turn would benefit from paper towels. According to Mayo Clinic Proceedings, studies show that residual water was more efficiently removed from the hands by cloth towels, and hot air dryers can take upwards of 45 seconds to reduce residual water while drying hands with paper towels can take between 10 and 15 seconds to achieve the same decrease. Most other establishments would benefit by using hand dryers because they allow you to save on operational costs. Calculate your annual paper towel cost and the current rate for electricity per KWH to determine whether your business could save costs by making the switch.

If environmental sustainability is important to you, the decision between hand dryers or paper towels should be a little less difficult to make. Facilities of all kinds are realizing the cost benefits of installing fast-drying hand dryers for their customers to use. Making the switch may improve the functionality and efficiency of your restroom’s fixtures, reduce or eliminate maintenance costs, and improve overall customer satisfaction. If you have any questions about this buying guide or would like help finding the best hand drying solution for your facility, contact a member of the team today for further assistance.

6808 South Major Dr. Beaumont, TX 77705
PO Box 21358 Beaumont, TX 77720-1358
Toll Free (800) 608-6568 | Local (409) 842-2267 | Fax (409) 840-5545