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It’s an age-old debate: which one is better between hand dryers and hand towels? This heated debate has been ongoing since mankind discovered some electronic gizmo that can blow lukewarm air on your wet hands after using the washrooms. The reason for such heated debate is obvious: paper towel manufacturers and dryer manufacturers look to make money by convincing consumers that their method is the best.

Hand dryers or paper towel dispensers are nowadays commonplace in the office or in public washrooms. But which one could be the best choice for your office? Well, there are various factors to consider when choosing whether to install a paper towel dispenser or a hand dryer. They include:

  • Hygiene
  • Environment
  • Cost
  • Convenience

Let’s look at each factor and see how it will affect your decision.


It’s a known fact that bacteria can breed and spread more easily if the hands remain wet. Basically, the need to use a hand dryer or a paper towel is to keep your hands dry after washing. A good hand washing practice and of course thorough drying are the most significant factors in hand washing. The idea of drying your hand with air is not only unhygienic but also not logical. So people have resorted to various technologies.

While the hand towel industry has done a lot of studies to discredit the hygiene of the hand dryers, there’s no doubt that hand towel still relies on the user to do the cleaning. On the other hand, a proper hand dryer is less reliant on the user.

The Environment

Generally, many hand dryers use as little as 2 to 4-watt-hours per dry. In a normal office, this would equate to about 627.9-watt-hours per year. This can have negative effects on the environment as it means that a single hand dryer at the office washroom can emit about 339 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year.

On the other hand, the production of paper towels revolves around cutting down of trees, their transportation, energy to process and many other factors that are generally detrimental to the environment. At the end of it, studies reveal that the use of paper hand towels at the office can lead to the production of 5,265 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year!

Again, paper hand towels cannot be recycled and will most likely end up in a landfill, which is in itself detrimental to the environment. From this outlook, it’s easy to see that having a hand dryer at the office is friendlier to the environment than the use of paper hand towels.

Cost Comparison

Studies reveal that each person on average uses three hand towels everyday while at the office. Having about 100 people at the office would, therefore, mean that 301,000 towels are used every year. This would cost an approximated $1755 per year.

Conversely, the office will only have to fix the hand dryer once and there would be no extra cost apart from the occasional maintenance costs and minimal energy costs.


It’s obvious that the paper towels are not going to put themselves in the dispenser. Instead, the office will need a staff member to maintain the dispensers and restock the paper towels. This is not only inconveniencing but will also raise the cost of hiring new staff.

On the contrary, hand dryers do not necessarily need additional staff or costs of maintaining the machine. All you have to do is install it and that’s it. That being said the office will benefit greatly from the installation of a hand dryer.

So which is better for the office?

The preference of whether to use a hand dryer or hand towels at the office can be confusing given that there is a lot of misguided information out there. However, it should depend purely on choice where you prefer a given type of drying method over the other. Well, that’s because we all have the right to choose.

But based on our unbiased studies, we believe there are a lot of reasons why a hand dryer has the upper hand over paper hand towels. From being environmentally friendly, cheaper to being more hygienic, you have every reason to go for a hand dryer.

Depending on the model and type of hand dryer in your office, they can cause a lot of water spill on the floor. This creates a work hazard which requires regular office cleaning to ensure that no body slips in the work place. Evolve Cleaning specialises in commercial cleaning services including office kitchens, workspace, common areas and toilets.

Contact the experts in professional commercial office cleaning today. For a free quote simply call 8313 7035.

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Jennifer Price

Jennifer Price

Jennifer Price is the Client Happiness Manager at Evolve Cleaning. She dedicates herself to managing healthy business relationships while prioritising her client's commercial cleaning interests are met with each and every clean. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she lives and breathes cleanliness, hygiene, sustainability and has a huge love for dogs.
Jennifer Price

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