Hand Dryer vs Paper Towels

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Hand dryers are technologically advanced to use electricity to help you dry your hands with the help of warm air. Paper towels on the other hand are tangible sheets that one cuts off to dry one’s hands. While both seek to help you dry your hands after washing them, each comes with their benefits and advantages depending on the situation at hand and the needs and wants of different individuals. When referring to hand dryer, this article will be addressing the more advanced hand dryers in the market. it is very important that your hands remain clean and dry and wet hands are known to harbor more bacteria and other harmful microorganisms as opposed to dry hands. This translates to fewer diseases for individuals who dry their hands.

Factors to consider when choosing between hand driers or paper towels

The choice between using a hand dryer or a paper towel will be dependent on several factors. These will include:

The cost savings on an annual basis

When referring to paper cost, its annual cost savings add up. This is the exact opposite with hand dryers. You will have to refill your dispenser with paper towels constantly. Usage will depend on the individual using it, as some individuals tend to use too much paper towel. However, all factors held constant, there are more savings annually with hand dryers.

The cost from maintenance

Between the two, maintenance is more costly with the hand dryers as the electric system must also be maintained. Maintenance with the paper towels will only be reflected when it comes to cleaning the holders.

Energy savings

Paper towels do not need any source of power to dispense the towels. However, without a power source, you will not be able to use a hand dryer. Paper towels save 100% on energy. Looking at the latest developments, the invention of high speed and energy efficient hand-dryers are proving to save on energy while performing at their best.

Overall hygiene

Both option will help you wipe your hands and leave you clean. However, maintain cleanliness and hygiene differs. First, recycled paper is known to hold more bacteria as opposed to virgin paper. All together, hand dryers tend to kill more bacteria after washing your hands. This is more evident with the use of automated hand dryers, which do not require that you touch any buttons when using them. The warm/hot air they emit kills germs. Even better, some hand dryers are using cold plasma which naturally kills

Preserving the environment / going green

Eliminating the use of paper towels will definitely save the environment by conserving the resources from paper production. This helps to save trees, water, as well as land fill spaces.

Emergency situations

You have walked into the ladies/ gents and have finished your business and washed your hands only to realize that the paper towels are not present. This will force you to leave without drying your hands. The only way a hand dryer will let you down is if you no power. However, many businesses will have a generator or back up plan to run power.

Life expectancy

A dispenser with paper towels will only serve the purpose until the paper towels are finished. On the other hand, hand dryers have an average lifespan of about 7-10 years as long as they are well maintained.

Waste management

Hand dryers will leave less waste as compared to paper towels. Whether it is at home or a business center, you will find yourself cleaning and collecting after paper towels. It is also important that individuals do not flash the paper towels as they may clog the toilets. Clogging in turn will affect the hygiene and maintenance costs by increasing them.

In reference to hand dryers, it is evident that they are more beneficial in reference to being more environmentally friendly and destruction of harmful bacteria. It is important that when weighing your alternatives, you look at the long-term objectives as well as the short-term ones. There are circumstances that will favor one equipment over the other. For example, when visiting public toilets, many would prefer paper towels, which will not only help to dry your hands but it will also take on other hygienic measures such as helping to open the doors. It can be difficult to entrust public toilets. However, be sure to have a waste bin right out of the door to prevent dirtying the surrounding area.

Pros of using the hand dryer

  • You not only dry your hands but kill germs as well
  • There is no waste product after use
  • It preserves the environment by preventing high carbon emissions as well as deforestation
  • The overall maintenance in the long-term is more cost-friendly
  • They save on overall cost of usage


The air may help to spread bacteria as it blows around the air even that from the toilets. For example, after flushing a toilet, it emits aerosol mist, which is not hygienic and dryers can spread it with air movement.

They require regular maintenance to remain functional

Pros of using the paper towels

  • They are easy to use
  • They are convenient especially for people who are constantly on the run as you can dry your hands even when on the move
  • They are efficient as more than one use can use them from the dispenser at the same time
  • It retains most of the bacteria on the paper towel rather than spreading it.
  • Hey are also versatile so you can also clean after spills.


  • You need to constantly refill the paper towel dispenser
  • There is a lot of wastage.

The battle between the use of hand dryers and paper towels can go on and on with several variables in consideration. Other factors will come in handy to help determine which tool is best. Ensure that you flash the toilet only after you have covered it with its lid. In addition, it is recommended that ensure your restroom are clean. Avoid wastage. There are instances when individuals will pull out a lot of paper towel just to dry their hands.

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