BLOG: Paper Towels vs Air Hand Dryers - The Ultimate Showdown

In our modern society we are all looking for the most efficient and effective way of doing things. This is no different when it comes to personal hygiene and with the new Jet Air Dryer, it seems we have found the ultimate product. Is that really the case?

Through extensive research, scientists have found that not only are Jet Air Dryers less hygienic but they are less efficient at drying your hands. This is always a great debate - one that should be taken seriously and given careful thought. Researchers found that a Jet Air Dryer dispersed 60 times more bacteria into the air than Hot Air Dryers, and 1,300 times more than paper towels. One report remarked “Using a Jet Air Dryer is like setting off a viral bomb in the bathroom”. The new Jet Air Dryer dries your hands by forcing air at around 600kph. This means that the surfaces around the dryer are literally coated with bacteria, increasing the chances of you inhaling them and getting ill.

Then there is the more concerning findings that when you are drying your hands with an air dryer, the bacteria living in the damp, humid conditions in the dryer, actually get blasted onto your hands. The ‘Myth-busters’ recently did a study where sixteen subjects had their hands swabbed three times, once after going to the bathroom, once after washing their hands, and once after drying them. This was performed twice, one with a paper towel and once with a Jet Air Dryer. The results were frightening. When the participants used a paper towel to dry their hands, there was 71% less bacteria from washing your hands to drying your hands, but with the air dryer, it only reduced it by 23%, less than half as effective! These studies clearly indicate the danger that air dryers are to our hygiene standards. However with the correct drying methods in your washroom, you can dramatically reduce the risk of illness.

Many reports and surveys have been conducted with interesting but not surprising results. The target population in the graphs below are persons in the ages of 18-65 who wash and dry their hands at public toilets and have experienced all three methods of drying their hands. The results speak for themselves.

So we can conclude that paper towels are so much more effective and hygienic than air dryers. Arrow Hygiene stocks a great range of paper towels and dispensers. Get in touch with our friendly team if you need more information.