It’s true: from the moment we are old enough to do it ourselves, proper hand washing is a staple in our day-to-day lives. But how often do we think about proper hand drying? This often-overlooked component of hygiene is much more important than it may appear and might not be as “cut and dry” as you expect.
When it comes to drying our hands in a public place, there are really only two options – paper towels or hand dryers. While both choices have their merits, there’s a clear winner if you’re looking for the quickest, most hygienic drying tool. Read on to learn more about the benefits of paper towels and how they promote a healthier, more hygienic, and sustainable hand drying experience.
Unhygienic Hand Dryers
In 2018, the American Society for Microbiology conducted a study on bathroom hot-air hand dryers. Their goal was to determine whether these seemingly hygienic hand dryers were spreading bacterial spores through the air currents they produced. What they found confirmed their suspicions.
In short, evidence supported the fact that bathroom hand dryers not only disperse bacteria from improperly washed hands throughout the air, but they can also deposit bacteria on to surfaces, including recently washed hands.
What’s more, the study concluded that even within large buildings, hand dryers are a possible mechanism for the spread of infectious bacteria between rooms, making them possibly even dangerous in healthcare settings such as hospitals with immunocompromised patients.
To recap, this study and others have all determined that even if you do an amazing job washing your hands, using a hand dryer can actually put all that bacteria right back on to your hands. Luckily, paper towels provide a better, healthier alternative to these unhygienic hand dryers.
Below, we’ll explore why paper towels are more hygienic, as well as a few of their other benefits over typical hand dryers.
Protecting Health with Paper Towels
Lacking the powerful, germ spreading air currents of hand dryers, paper towels actually safely capture both remaining pathogens and moisture from hands, where they can then be dumped straight into the trash. As a result, the risk of contamination is significantly reduced.
Paper towels can also be used to protect users from coming into contact with high touch surfaces, such as faucets and door handles, further reducing the risk of contamination. While paper towels are by no means a fool proof tool for germ prevention, the majority of evidence still points to them as the most sanitary hand drying solution available.
More Benefits of Paper Towels
Paper Towels are Faster
Taking as long as 45 seconds to achieve a complete dry, we’ve probably all seen crowds start to gather around hand dryers. When that happens, many people will simply leave the restroom with damp hands instead of waiting in line for the dryer. Unfortunately, pathogens are easily caught and spread in that moisture, meaning the more people who leave the bathroom without drying their hands the greater the risk of spreading germs.
Long lines in restrooms can also lead to negative experiences and bad reviews, not to mention the fact that large crowds in tight spaces are not recommended with today’s public health concerns.
Paper towels simply need to be grabbed once and used quickly, solving the issues created by hand dryers by allowing traffic to move out promptly and with dryer hands.
Sustainable Options are Available
One of the most common complaints against paper towels are the lack of sustainable options. However, while it may take a little bit of work, paper towels are actually becoming increasingly sustainable. Most options are sustainably sourced either from recyclable materials or from highly managed forests. Paper towels can also be composted after use to help ensure your restroom is truly waste-free.
If you’re looking for even more sustainable practices, consider installing a no-touch, single sheet towel dispenser. Not only do these no-touch dispensers help reduce the spread of germs, but they can also help to reduce the amount of unnecessary towel waste created by your restrooms.
Looking for Affordable Paper and Shop Towel Solutions?
If you’re looking for high quality towels at affordable prices, Discount Shop Towels is your solution. As a leading supplier of top quality, disposable bulk shop towels, industrial wipers, cotton rags, and a variety of other shop related products, we can help you make the best, most sustainable option for your needs.