Hand drying is crucial when it comes to maintaining hygiene. Whether at home or in the workplace, drying your hands is an essential part of hygienic behaviour. So should you use paper towels or a hand dryer? There are two main criteria you should consider before you make a choice. First is the environment and your business’ stance environmentally. Is your business pro recycled or pro virgin paper or do they not care at all? The second is health. It’s very important that you pick an option that will be the least likely to spread illness and germs throughout the office. A healthy environment makes for an efficient workplace.
Often companies worry that using paper towels are contradictory if they are supporting environmental awareness. However, environmentally speaking, using paper towel is often equal to it’s air drying competitors, depending on the kind of paper used in the dispenser (i.e recycled paper) and the amount of electricity used to power the hand dryer. In many studies, it has been shown that using paper towels has less of an environmental impact than the electricity used for hand dryers.
If you’re looking at preventing spreading germs, paper towels are the way to go. In fact in Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki’s book, Curious and Curiouser, it’s noted that drying your hands with paper towels reduces the bacteria count by 45-60%, meanwhile, air dryers increase the bacterial count by an average of 200%. Air dryers can use high heat to dry the water particles off your hands. Therefore encouraging bacteria to multiply. This is still true if your hands don’t touch the dryer device as bacteria can be blown in the air spreading all over the surfaces of the washroom.
Also for an extra tip, in 2012 the Mayo Clinic Proceedings revealed that paper towels dry hands quicker than hand dryers. While air dryers take 45 seconds to complete the process, paper towels only take 10 seconds to dry 96% of the moisture.