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Paper Towels are More Hygienic than Air Dryers

Want to dry your hands but keep them clean at the same time? Don’t even think about using a hand dryer in the restroom.

A new study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology reveals that hand dryers create a cyclone of microbes and bacteria. Researchers from the University of Connecticut Health and Quinnipiac University exposed bacteria culture plates to air blow from hand dryers in both men’s and women’s restrooms. After being exposed to the hot air for 30 seconds, an average of nearly 20 to 60 colonies of bacteria formed on each plate. The plates played host to numerous types of bacteria that are known to cause diseases in humans.

For comparison, the researchers also exposed the plates to bathroom air without running the hand dryers…and an average of only one colony or fewer formed per plate. Installing HEPA filters in the dryers did cut the amount of bacteria bu four times, but even filters couldn’t remove all disease-causing bacteria.

Other studies back up these findings, including one published in the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences that found bacteria like staphylococcus haemolyticus, bacillus cereus and pseudomonas alcaligenes in the airflow of hand dryers.

A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection discovered that using a hand dryer propels 27-times more bacteria into the air than paper towels.

It is clear that paper towels are simply more hygienic than air dryers. Our Center Pull Towels, for example, deliver one clean, dry, germ-free sheet at a time. These thirsty, bulky towels are strong, soft and absorbent, making them the most efficient hands-free drying method available for restrooms, food prep areas, kitchens and any place where sanitation is important. To learn more, check out our Center Pull Towels here.