When it comes to hand-drying tools, all public restrooms are different. In one, you might find a hands-free dispenser, such as a pull towel roll or the type where you wave your hand to get a towel. A second restroom might have an electric hand dryer. And a third might have the type of towel dispenser where you need to press a handle or turn a knob in order to get your towel out. Most of us might not care which hand-drying system we use, but it’s important to choosing the right paper towels to prevent the spread of germs. As we face a flu epidemic across the United States, it’s important to know what types of systems could help keep the flu at bay.
1. Hands-free dispensers. These are the ones where you only touch a towel, not the dispenser. Some versions, like the Centerpull Dispenser, give you a single towel at a time. Other versions allow you to wave your hand in front of an electronic “eye” to get a paper towel out.
2.Touch dispensers. These dispensers require you to touch the unit in order to get a towel out. Some might have a push bar in the front. Others require you to turn a knob or handle to dispense your towel.
3.Electric dryers. These are the ones that blow air onto your hand to dry them.
If you are looking for a new hand-drying system, cost should not be the only factor. Consider options that will get rid of and prevent the spread of germs, keeping you staff and customers healthier.
1. Hands-free dispensers. These are best for preventing the spread of germs because they reduce touch points. That means people do not need to touch the dispenser to get a towel. They touch only the towel that they need, so they’re not spreading additional germs. These types of dispensers are also great for people who want to grab a second towel to open the door once they’re finished drying their hands.
2.Touch dispensers. These are becoming less popular because they require you to touch the dispenser, not just the towel. That increases the spread of germs and bacteria via your hands. Any germs that come in contact with the dispenser can be transferred to other people.
3.Electric dryers. Research has found that automatic air blowers spread bacteria up to six feet from the machine. That means bacteria is not only getting on your hands, it’s spreading to other surfaces across the room. Even the Mayo Clinic concluded that paper towels are better than electric dryers for preventing cross-contamination and germ spreading.