Restroom Paper Towels Verses Hot Air Dryers

There has been a long debate over the use of hot air dryers versus paper towel dispensers and their effectiveness when drying your hands in a public restroom. At first glance, hand dryers might appear to be the better option. They seem hygienic and all that air feels like it’s really drying your hands. However, this is actually far from the truth. 

It may come as a surprise but the most sanitary option would be the use of paper towels. They generate the lowest spread of germs from your hands to clean objects and surfaces you might come into contact with.

Pacific Northwest Janitorial Services. Competitively Priced. Fully Insured. Quick Response Times. Call Cleanstart Today for a Free Quote! at 253-921-2593

It’s important to remember just how crucial it is to wash and dry your hands properly after using the restroom. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it’s recommended that we wash our hands vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them properly afterward. 

This is the most effective way to limit the spread of infection and illness. Most people, however, don’t actually wash their hands correctly or long enough to kill bacteria. Mix that with air drying your hands too fast, leaving them damp, and you’re in trouble. 

  • Paper towels decrease bacteria by 45%.
  • Hot air dryers increase bacteria by 225%

Air Dryers and Bacteria

The biggest argument against hand air dryers is what happens when you turn them on.  According to a study published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journals.  Hand dryers basically suck up the bacteria in the air of the bathroom and deposit it right onto your recently washed hands. These germs don’t come from the air dryer itself but from the actual air in the bathroom. 

Unfortunately, when lidless toilets (a common finding in public bathrooms) are flushed, it aerosolizes a mist of microbes and toilet water particles, swishing them up into the air in a process known as toilet plume. This isn’t the only reason why air dryers are found to be less hygienic. A lot of time, people are in a rush and aren’t willing to wait around to let their hands dry completely before walking out.

Not Dry Enough

Understandably, many people want to quickly get in and out of the restroom. They wash and rinse their hands in a few seconds and also dry their hands too quickly if they dry them at all. But they were just washed so they’re clean, right? The truth is that if you’re not thoroughly drying your hands after washing them, it makes it easier for microbes to transfer from the wet skin of your hands to whatever you touch. 

When your hands are completely dry, germs have a harder time passing from contact because they have less of a chance of survival on dry surfaces. For some, it might also make sense to speed up the process by rubbing your hands together while air drying them but doing so actually introduces more bacteria because you’re bringing to the surface what was under your skin.

Paper Towels

With all the evidence and research piling up against hand dryers, there’s no longer a debate over which option is the most sanitary. Paper towels allow you to dry your hands properly. They remove the most bacteria and spread the fewest amount of microbes into the surrounding bathroom environment.  

Personal Preference

While not the most important factor, personal preference does reveal some interesting info.

  • 1 in 3 people prefers hot air dryers. The remaining 2 out of 3 prefer paper towels.
  • Winner: Paper towels

Cleanstart Commercial Cleaning and Janitorial Services  

For over two decades, Cleanstart has been providing professional, janitorial and commercial cleaning services in the greater Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest for a variety of businesses and industries. We use state-of-the-art equipment and the latest cleaning technologies in order to keep your office or facility clean, hygienic, and safe.

Our professional cleaning staff is properly trained for each industry we serve and we continuously supervise and audit the services we provide. At Cleanstart, our full range of high-quality commercial cleaning and janitorial services are competitively priced, fully insured, and come with quick response times.

Industries we service in the Pacific Northwest include but not limited to:

Cleanstart offers a wide range of janitorial and commercial cleaning services and plans with scheduling and timing options to accommodate a variety of businesses. We can create a cleaning plan tailored to meet your individual needs, schedule, and highest standards.

From windows to all types of floors to hard-to-reach surfaces to bathrooms to parking lots, our highly-trained cleaning professionals utilize the latest commercial cleaning technologies, products, and equipment available on the market.

  • We offer over 20 years of experience, setting the industry standard
  • We have experience in providing professional cleaning services for all industries
  • We are committed to providing you with the highest quality of clean
  • We offer day and night cleaning options available to best meet your needs
  • We utilize the most efficient cleaning equipment and the highest quality products available
  • We have earned a reputation as the best local cleaning company in the Pacific Northwest/Tacoma/Seattle metro area

Please give Cleanstart a call today at 253-921-2593, send us an email, or fill out the online contact form for additional information about our commercial cleaning and janitorial services and a FREE quote!  

Auburn, Bellevue, Bremerton, Factoria, Fife, Gig Harbor, Kent, Lakewood, Olympia, Puyallup Renton, Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, King County, Kitsap County, Pierce CountyThurston County.

5009 Pacific Hwy E unit 17 Fife, WA 98424 • Phone 253-921-2593 • Email cferling@thecleanstart.com