There has been considerable debate regarding whether paper towels or hand driers are more hygienic. The European Tissue Symposium recently sponsored a study to determine whether paper towels or hand driers were more hygienic. Their study demonstrated that if you dried dirty hands under a hand-dryer, the surrounding area would become contaminated with bacteria. They therefore, concluded that hand driers were indeed less hygienic than paper towels.
However, critics were quick to point out that this wasn’t an unsurprising conclusion considering that members of the European Tissue Symposium also happened to manufacture paper towels. It was also pointed out that the tests were not indicative of real life because dirty, gloved hands were placed under the dryer and not bare washed ones.
It’s an interesting point because, whatever your views on the validity of the study, it’s a well-known fact that many people do not wash their hands properly. Regardless of whether people opt to dry hands with a paper towel or use a hand-dryer, many people haven’t washed their hands long enough or efficiently enough to eliminate bugs and germs.
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The Happy Birthday song rule
The official NHS protocol for effective hand-washing states people should use warm running water and soap for 15 – 30 seconds*, making sure all areas – including the back of the hands and in between fingers – are covered. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention even suggests humming the ‘Happy Birthday’ song from beginning to end – twice – if you’re unsure how long it should take!
Are Hand Dryers Better Than Paper Towels?
When it comes to drying hands, many people have a preference towards paper towels or hand driers. At Citron Hygiene, we also understand that each business has unique requirements and preferences when it comes to their washroom options. For example, paper towels require staff to monitor the usage of towels and to stock and replenish supplies as needed. Consider whether your hygiene services provider can offer a managed refills service to ensure you never run out of stocks!
Where space is a premium, it might prove more space savvy to provide hand driers as opposed to paper towels. Eliminating the need for a disposal bin and freeing up space in storage rooms for paper stocks.
As the debate of towels versus hand dryers continues, it’s worth remembering that much of the concern about hand dryers is that people may not fully dry their hands as thoroughly as they might with paper towels.
For this reason, people should rub their hands together until they are totally dry if using a hand-dryer. Fast economical hand-dryers are a good way to encourage thorough hand-drying; The Dyson 9kj, for example, can dry hands in just 10 seconds.
Whatever you decide is right for you, the most important thing to remember is that effective hand-washing is just as important as how you dry them for good hygiene.
Different Hand Drying Solutions
Luckily, Citron Hygiene have a wide range of hand drying solutions whether your preference is electric hand dryers or paper towels. Dependent on your business’ needs, there is a commercial hand drying solution for everyone.