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Kitchen and Restroom Hand Drying: Paper, Cloth, or Warm Air?

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Kitchen and Restroom Hand Drying Paper, Cloth, or Warm Air

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There is more to industrial cleaning and janitorial services than cleaning itself. We need to think about other things, too. For example, how are guests going to dry their hands after using the restroom or working in a commercial kitchen? There are a number of options. No particular option is better than the rest of them.

In the modern cleaning and janitorial space, hand drying is generally accomplished through one of three means:

  1. Paper towel dispensers.
  2. Cloth-roll towels.
  3. Electric hand dryers.

You have undoubtedly experienced each of the three options at various stages in your life. Do you have a preference? Remember that there are pros in cons to each one. Let us look at them in more detail.

Paper Towel Dispensers

Paper towel dispensers are arguably the most popular option for public restrooms and commercial kitchens. Hygiene is the big advantage. With paper towels, you minimize the risk of spreading germs in both restrooms and kitchens. A paper towel is a single-use product that gets tossed in the trash after you’re done drawing your hands.

There are several types of paper towel dispensers:

  • Center-pull dispensers.
  • Roll towel dispensers.
  • Standard paper towel rolls.

The center-pull dispenser is pretty popular because it is easy to install, maintain, and use. With all three options though, the biggest downside of the paper towel dispenser is cost. Paper towels cost more than cloth roll towels.

Cloth Roll Towels

A cloth roll towel is essentially a long piece of fabric rolled up into a cylindrical shape. It is threaded through the internal mechanisms of the towel dispenser, out the top of the dispenser, and back in through an opening at the bottom. This creates a continual loop of towel material. When you need to dry your hands, you just pull a towel down for access to an unused portion.

Cloth roll towels are very economic for high traffic restrooms and kitchens. In addition, a typical roll towel machine doesn’t have to be changed as frequently as you refill paper towel dispensers. That means they require less work. However, we are back to the hygiene question with cloth roll towels.

In a post-COVID world, cloth roll towels can be a hard sell. People concerned about spreading germs in public restrooms and commercial kitchens might be hesitant to use them.

Electric Hand Dryers

Your third option for restroom and kitchen hand drying is the electric hand dryer. As you already know, the electric hand dryer is a machine that dispenses warm air for up to a minute at a time. You rub your hands together so that the air can evaporate the water.

The big advantage of the electric hand dryer is its minimal environmental impact. It eliminates single-use paper towels that go into the trash and cloth roll towels that need to be laundered.

Unfortunately, there are concerns that electric hand dryers can help spread germs. It is not quite clear if the electric hand dryer is any more or less hygienic than the other two options. But it’s something to consider.

Look at the Big Picture

So, what’s the best option for your restrooms and kitchen? As a commercial cleaning and janitorial services provider, the best we can do is offer you options. You need to look at the big picture to decide what is best for your organization.

You will likely want to consider traffic volume, your budget, any concerns you might have about hygiene, and whether you want to minimize environmental impact. Whatever you decide, your guests will need a way to dry their hands.

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