Hand Dryers Or Paper Towels: Which Are Better, Why?

Woman using generic hand dryer in public bathroom

Last Updated on September 18, 2023

Science Behind Hand Drying: Unveiling the Truth About Germ Prevention

We’re all well-versed with the mantra of “wash your hands” to fend off illnesses. But have you ever paused to consider the significance of the drying process? The method you employ, be it paper towels or modern hand drying technology, plays a pivotal role in bacterial spread.

Research has illuminated that the spread of bacteria is more rampant from damp hands than from those that are thoroughly dried. While hand washing techniques are the first line of defense against germs, the drying process is the unsung hero that ensures those pesky microbes don’t get a second chance to wreak havoc.

If you’re at the helm of maintaining public restrooms or shared spaces, it’s time to delve deeper into the world of hand drying. By the end of this read, you’ll be equipped with knowledge about:

  • The most effective hand drying methods in the context of public restroom hygiene.
  • Key considerations when investing in a commercial hand dryer.
  • The revolutionary hand dryer that not only dries but also purifies the air.

 Key Takeaways:

  1. Hand drying is as crucial as hand washing in preventing the spread of germs.
  2. Wet hands are more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands.
  3. Not all hand dryers disperse dirty bathroom air and bacteria; modern technology has evolved.
  4. The Pebble+ by Citron Hygiene is a revolutionary hand dryer that not only dries hands but also cleans the air.
  5. Hand hygiene can significantly reduce the spread of cold and flu germs, impacting overall health and workplace productivity.


(Reader: This article may come across a little dry – but we promise it’s worth your time. 😂)

From hand dryers to paper towels: Which hand drying methods are “better”?

The debate rages on: are paper towels the gold standard, or do modern hand dryers take the crown? Some studies champion the efficacy of paper towels in both drying and germ elimination. But what about the environmental footprint and the constant replenishment they demand? On the other hand, older commercial hand dryers have been criticized for potentially collecting and dispersing bathroom bacteria. But let’s not paint all hand dryers with the same brush. Modern hand drying technology has evolved leaps and bounds, debunking myths and setting new hygiene benchmarks.

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When it comes to which hand drying method is best, expert opinions differ.

Some studies have argued that paper towel or cloth hand drying is superior at drying hands as well as eliminating germs. But what about waste, cost and sustainability?

Other studies have shown that old-fashioned commercial hand dryers can sometimes collect bacteria from the air and blow it out on washed hands.

But does this mean that paper towel options are the better option? Or does it just mean that the commercial hand drying technology of yesterday wasn’t up to today’s hygiene standards?

In fact, it’s a myth that all hand dryers disperse dirty bathroom air and bacteria.

If only there was a super hygienic type of commercial hand dryer that could remove bacteria from the air. 

Actually – there is. Keep reading to learn all about it!

What should you look for when considering hand drying options?

The great debate of hand drying is: paper or machine?

While studies differ on which one is more effective from a hygiene standpoint, there are other criteria like cost, carbon footprint and foot traffic to take into account when selecting the best hand drying technology for public washrooms.

Let’s start with the cons of each option:

Paper Towel Hand Drying Air Blowing Hand Dryers
Using paper is less eco-friendly.

Paper waste creates more work for maintenance and janitorial staff to clean up (especially in busy public restrooms).

Paper towels need to be continually filled.

Commercial hand dryers may break down over time if they don’t have regular maintenance.

Some commercial hand dryer models may contain germs and bacteria if not professionally sanitized at regular intervals.

For professional sanitization and maintenance services of commercial hand dryers, inquire here.

There are several things that any restroom maintenance manager needs to consider when making the hand drying decisions for a restroom.

When looking at paper towel options, you’ll need to consider:

  • How efficient and eco-friendly are your hand drying options in a busy restroom?
  • How many janitorial staff do you have on hand to clean up the paper that inevitably lands on the floor around the waste bin.
  • Does your restroom design include space for bulky waste paper bins?
  • Are you looking to decrease absenteeism through reducing contact with contaminated materials?

When exploring commercial hand dryer options, there are some different considerations

  • How noisy is the machine – and how close to the offices are the restrooms?
  • How economic is it to operate these machines regularly on a budget?
  • How successful is your hand dryer at eliminating germs from the air in a busy public restroom?

The Pebble+: A Game-Changer in Public Restroom Hygiene

If the technology existed to dry hands at the same time as eliminating germs and bacteria from the air in public washrooms, would you use it?

Take a look at the splash Citron Hygiene has made with our new hand drying technology that really does eliminate germs from the air of even the busiest public restrooms: The Pebble+.

A high-quality, eco-friendly, low-cost option now exists to help stop the spread of contagious illnesses in public restroom settings by removing bacteria from the air with specialized technology

Why settle for basic when you can have groundbreaking? The Pebble+ isn’t just about drying hands; it’s about redefining public restroom hygiene. With a potent combination of UV lighting, silver ions, and HEPA filters, it’s a fortress against bacterial spread.

Witness the future of hand hygiene with the Pebble+. It’s not just a product; it’s a movement towards a cleaner, healthier world.

See the Pebble+ in action:

Pebble+ – The Hand Dryer That Cleans the Air

To combat the spread of germs, the Citron Hygiene Pebble+ uses a combination of UV lighting, silver ions, HEPA filters, and more.

The Pebble+ has been called an “innovative hygiene solution” and is being promoted by other companies who want to see the trend of eco-friendly and germ-killing equipment continue.

How to equip your washrooms with the best hand dryer

Citron Hygiene is dedicated to providing public and workplace washrooms with an elevated hygiene experience.

Our hand hygiene solutions target 80% of the cold and flu germs that spread by our hands – which means that you’ll be able to help keep your colleagues healthy during the cold and flu season to avoid a major impact on revenue caused by sick leaves.

We’d love to hear from you about your particular restroom needs. How can we elevate your experience today? Speak with a Citron Hygiene representative to schedule a free professional consultation today.

Check out our range of commercial hand drying solutions below –


  1. Why is hand drying important?
    Hand drying is essential because wet hands are more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands. Proper hand drying can prevent the spread of germs effectively.
  2. Are all hand dryers unhygienic?
    No, while some old-fashioned commercial hand dryers might collect and disperse bacteria, modern hand dryers like the Pebble+ by Citron Hygiene are designed to eliminate germs from the air.
  3. What are the benefits of using the Pebble+ hand dryer?
    The Pebble+ uses a combination of UV lighting, silver ions, HEPA filters, and more to ensure hands are dried hygienically while also cleaning the air, making it an eco-friendly and germ-killing solution.
  4. Paper towels vs. hand dryers: Which is better?
    While some studies favor paper towels for their drying efficiency and germ elimination, hand dryers, especially modern ones, offer benefits in terms of cost, sustainability, and hygiene.
  5. How can I ensure the best hand hygiene in public restrooms?
    Investing in modern hand drying technology, regular maintenance, and professional sanitization are key to ensuring optimal hand hygiene in public restrooms.

Find out how we can elevate your washroom experience today.

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