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Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels

All commercial restrooms must face the decision of whether to purchase hand dryers or paper towels. Many public restrooms choose to purchase both as some customers like the hand dryers but some like to paper towel for opening the door, or cleaning up with. The decision to purchase either a hand dryer or paper towel dispenser is completely a personal preference and the manufacturers of both products with try to convince you that their product is better. The decision is really up to the business owner. Here we will try to list the pros and cons of both the hand dryer and the paper towel dispenser to let you decide what works best for your business.

Hand Dryers

Different Styles of Hand Dryers

Autmatic Hand Dryers Vertical Hand Dryers Cold Plasma Clean Technology
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Saniflow E85A DualFlow M08A ExtremeAir CPC9-BG

Benefits of Using a Hand Dryer

  1. No clutter of paper towels - Paper towels can leave a mess on the floors of the restroom and require maintenance to clean up.
  2. Lower plumbing costs - Many times customers will try to flush paper towels in the toilet and will clog the toilet causing the need for a plumber to come out to fix.
  3. Energy Efficient - Hand Dryers today use a lot less energy than the ones of yesterday.
  4. Better for the Environment - Hand Dryers do not waste paper or trees, they leave less of a carbon footprint.
  5. Lower Maintenance Cost - Paper towels require refilling when empty, which requires a maintenance person to check on the paper towel levels throughout the day.
  6. Fast - High Speed Hand Dryers can dry hands in as little as 10 seconds.
  7. Hygenic - There is new technology today that actually cleans the surrounding air while drying your hands. The American Dryer has a patented "Cold Plasma Clean" technology that kills germs naturally. This technology can be found in the Extreme Air CPC hand dryer.

Benefits of using Paper Towels

Types of Hand Towels

Exit Towel Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser Combination Paper Towel Dispenser and Waste Receptacle
Palmer T177 BR-2494 BR-2291
  1. Less expensive - Paper towel dispensers are less expensive up front than hand dryers. In order to get a good high quality hand dryer you will spend $400 up to $1000 for a hand dryer. Paper towel dispenser with auto cut rolls are under $100.
  2. Quick Dry Time - Paper towels dry your hands fast, you know when your hands are dry and you know when you are done. An economical hand dryer takes about 45 seconds to dry hands. The high speed hand dryers do dry hands fast, but they will cost between $400 to $1000 for a high speed hand dryer.
  3. Mayo Clinic say paper towels remove more germs than hand dryers. This point can be debated back and forth depending on which side of the fence your on, but in the article published by the Mayo Clinic, they conclude that paper towels remove more germs. Mayo Clinic Article.
  4. With a stub roll feature the paper towel dispensers allow you to use the last piece of paper towel - helping reduce maintenance and paper cost.
  5. Customers can use paper towels for more than drying hands. Many customers use paper towels after using a hand dryer to finish drying hands. They also use towels to grab the door handle on the way out so not to touch the germs that could be lying on the door handle. Palmer has come out with a small exit towel that can be placed at the exit door to avoid touching the door handle. Palmer ExiTowel T177
  6. You can choose a combination paper towel dispenser and waste receptacle unit to avoid the clutter of paper towels as the customer has a place to dispose of the used towel
  7. Easy Installation - Paper towel dispensers simply mount to the wall. You do not need to spend the $100s of dollars hiring a certified electrician to install your hand dryer. *** Always use a certified electrician to install your hand dryer to avoid liability issues ***