Hand dryers versus hand dryers

Paper Towels vs Hand Dryers: What’s Best For Your Washroom

What’s the best way for staff or customers to dry their hands in your washroom?

Before we come to a recommendation, lets look at the issues in washrooms that we would have all experienced:

As a patron, waiting (too long) for someone to finish drying their hands after you have washed yoursYou are now in a hurry so leave without drying your hands properly. GERM ALERT: wet hands transfer 1000 times more bacteria from one surface to another
Plus, sometimes, after using washroom hand drying equipment we feel like we are making our hands dirty again after just washing them
As a facility manager, you have to contend with the hygiene issues, convenience and the wet areas and marks on walls where patrons have flicked surplus water DIRTY & UGLY WASHROOM SYNDROME – avoid it!
What are the options?
Cloth Runner/Roll Towels – from a hygiene perspective, they consistently perform poorly versus other options. Contamination risks are higher as the towel is often not rolled and users touch where others have wiped there hands and it may still be wet (sound like touching a petri dish?).

Score: FAIL

Hand Dryers or Air Blowers – here’s the problems with blowers….

Too Slow – they often take 10 – 20 sec to effectively dry hands
Noise Levels – in enclosed toilet areas it often sounds like you are on an airport tarmac
Dissemination of Germs – bacteria can be projected between one and two metres from the device
note – whilst high speed air dryers dry hands quicker they do risk projecting bacteria further
Score: FAIL


Paper Hand Towels – the quickest solution and also transmits the least bacteria. This is supported by a research paper from a scientist at the Queensland University of Technology.

Score: PASS

Now if paper hand towels are supported by a regular paper replenishment, a decent sized waste bin, in the right location and emptied frequently, we are on to a winner.


Disclaimer – these conclusions are based on hygiene, user convenience and washroom appearance, which as cleaning contractors, are the key factors we are exposed to regularly. There are other factors, such as energy use and envirnomental impact, which we will save for another time. There is a swathe of science to support some of these assertions so we won’t claim scientific rigour in our short commentary but we are sure plenty of you make similar assessments.

If you would like to discuss this further or any other cleaning or commercial property services issues please contact the team at Duticall.




About Duticall

Brisbane's leading commercial & office cleaning business

Duticall has over 300 clients and over 25 years' experience in offering a cost-effective and managed commercial cleaning service to businesses in the S.E corner of Qld. We work in partnership with our contractors and our clients, with a dedicated accounts team making sure each contract runs smoothly.

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The Duticall difference is the fact that our skilled Contractors invest their own money for the privilege of cleaning your premises. It's a very powerful incentive to ensure that customer satisfaction is maintained and you get what you are paying for.

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