Are Paper Towels Better Than Air Dryers for Hand Hygiene?

paper towels

Hand washing is one of the most recognized means to fight diseases. You will find most health agencies, like the World Health Organization (WHO) recommending frequent hand washing in both clinical and non-clinical environments. Unfortunately, research shows that one out of every five people does not wash their hands. Still, at least the number is not that high. That being said, bacteria transfer often occurs more on wet hands than on dry hands. That is why proper hand drying is a significant part of hand hygiene. The most common methods of hand drying are paper towels and air dryers. However, between the two, why do most people prefer paper towels? Read on to find out.

Paper Towels Are Considered to Be More Hygienic

Even after washing your hands with soap and clean water, pathogens can remain on your hands. It is recommended that one takes about 20 seconds to wash their hands to clean off all the bacteria and viruses. Still, most people spend around 10 seconds doing so. A paper towel helps rub off the remaining germs. On the other hand, air dryers contribute to adding bacteria to your hands. The atmosphere in the restroom contains bacteria. So, when you are using an air dryer, the air is circulating, and some of the pathogens go to your hands.

Paper Towels Are Not Noisy

Air dryers are noisy, which could be disturbing to the people nearby. For instance, in certain locations like hospitals, patients are sleeping and in recovery, requiring as little disturbance as possible. Also, one has to consider children or people who are autistic. The noise from the air dryer can be disturbing or irritating.

Paper Towels Are Faster

A paper towel dispenser is quick where you just grab a towel, wipe your hands, and in 10-15 seconds, you are done. To achieve that same level of dryness using an air dryer, you will take about 45 seconds. If you consider that there may be other people waiting in line, paper towels take the win here.

Paper Towels Are Environmentally Friendly

Most people argue that paper towels are a waste of paper. However, paper towels are made of recycled paper and can be recycled. On the other hand, hairdryers are made of metal and plastic components. If you are going for an eco-friendly solution, consider paper towels.

When it comes down to it, paper towels are a better alternative, especially in terms of hygiene. Also, a bigger percentage of people claim to prefer paper towels over air dryers.