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Paper Towels vs Hand Dryers

As the largest organ in our body, our skin has a plethora of functions to keep us healthy, including heat regulation, control of evaporation, absorption and water resistance.

One of the main duties of our skin is to protect our body against harmful germs which can cause sickness. This bacteria can be contracted from simply touching other people or contaminated surfaces, so our skin acts as the main barrier to prevent such germs entering the body. It has been reported that 80% of common infections are spread by hands, so one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs is to wash and dry your hands thoroughly.

Commercial premises see a large volume of people through their doors every day, many of which use the washroom during their visit. As it is an essential part of the hand washing process, providing effective hand drying facilities for your staff and customers is extremely important to reduce the risk of infection spreading.

For this article, our experts at Spectrum Interiors will discuss whether paper towels or hand dryers are the most beneficial option for a commercial washroom.


Paper Towels

Drying hands with paper towels is considered a favoured method as excess water is more efficiently removed. Wet skin is more likely to spread bad germs and bacteria than dry, so rather than forcing your visitors to wipe wet smears on their clothes make sure you provide a fully stocked paper towel dispenser to help reduce the bacteria on hands after washing.

Studies have shown that drying hands with paper towels results in a significant decrease in the number of bacteria on hands, meaning users are much less likely to contaminate the washroom and, in turn, other visitors.

Paper towel dispensers offer a quick and effective way of drying hands so users aren’t waiting around in the washroom too long.

Hand Dryers

Contrary to common belief, hand dryers are not a time-consuming option. Models with slow drying power is a major annoyance for users, with many choosing to briefly dry their hands and then wipe them on their clothes or leave with damp hands causing bacteria can accumulate. Modern hand dryer designs simplify the way a washroom operates, providing a much more efficient way of drying hands quicker.

Types of Hand Dryers

Air Jets

Innovative air jet designs have revolutionised the way hand dryers operate as they use a system of two air jets which blow the water off your hands at a high power, rather than evaporating the moisture from your hands.

By using this method, dryers help to:

  • reduce electrical costs
  • improve hygiene and dry efficiency
  • save annual maintenance costs; it has been estimated that over 5 years, the switch from paper towels to hand dryers can cut costs by up to 95%

For superior hygiene, some hand dryer designs have an antibacterial filter so clean air is blown onto hands when drying.

Automatic/Infrared Sensor Activated

Automatic/infrared sensor activated hand dryers are far more hygienic than push button models as the user doesn’t need to touch the dryer to operate it. This design also reduces energy consumption as the machine stops as soon as the user removes their hands from the drying area.

When refurbishing a commercial washroom, choosing a suitable hand drying method is an essential part of the overall design which is often overlooked. Rather than leaving visitors and staff to wipe dry their hands on their clothes, the installation of fast drying hand dryers or paper towel dispensers will significantly increase hygiene levels.


Here at Spectrum Interiors we specialise in providing quality installations using the finest materials to all commercial customers throughout Manchester, Chester and Liverpool. We tailor our project management services to fit with your individual requirements for a commercial washroom design which delivers on practicality and style.

Simply give us a call or contact us online today for further information.

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