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The importance of hand drying in maintaining hand hygiene

neilmrwhite September 1, 2021

Everyone knows how important it is to our health to wash our hands. Especially nowadays, when we have encountered a pandemic, and we hear at every step that we should wash our hands as often as possible. However, washing alone is not enough. It is very important that, in addition to bacteria and dirt, the moisture disappears from the hands too. Clean but also dry hands are a guarantee of health. The fastest way to get clean and dry hands is with the help of a hand dryer.

A hand dryer is a small electrical device popular all over the world, usually installed in public washrooms, activated automatically by a sensor or manually by pressing a dedicated button.

The hand dryer, while it may seem like a relatively new invention, is actually a century old. The first device of this type, originally used only in bathrooms, hairdressers and factories, was patented in 1921. They were popularised several decades later (in 1948) by George Clemens and today dryers are used all over the world: in schools, cinemas, shopping malls and offices.

However, despite a century of tradition, these devices still outperform traditional paper towels. According to a 2008 survey, 63% of Europeans prefer traditional towels, and only 28% prefer to use a hand dryer. Yet this device, which is most often touted as environmentally friendly, also has many other benefits.

Why you should consider buying a hand dryer:

1. It’s cheaper

The manufacturers claim that buying a hand dryer can reduce costs by 99% compared to using paper towels. Of course, this difference can vary depending on the price of towels or electricity, but it cannot be denied that even for a small company, the systematic purchase of paper towels per year is much more expensive than the cost of consuming electricity from one small device.

2. It is less demanding

When shopping for a hand dryer, we no longer need to worry about regularly replenishing paper towels, which tend to disappear quickly. We also don’t have to worry about replacing them in dispensers in the bathroom or kitchen. Using towels also includes purchasing suitable paper towel containers and trash cans, as well as activities such as emptying trash cans when the towels are used up. It is also necessary to clean the entire room more often.

3. Saves paper

Each ton of paper produced is approximately two to four tons of wood from which it is made. Also, it’s worth noting that although disposable towels are made from recycled paper, they cannot be reused after use – they remain waste.

4. Environmental friendliness

Not only paper is used to make disposable towels, but huge amounts of oil, water and electricity are also used. Manufacturing also results in significant carbon dioxide emissions. It should not be forgotten that the whole process does not end with the production of towels. They still need to be packaged, transported and disposed of. All of these activities require energy consumption and contribute to CO2 emissions. Towels, of course, wear out over time, and then production begins anew.

Of course, the production of hand dryers is also associated with waste and greenhouse gas emissions, but the result is a unit that will last us much longer – at least a few years. This was amply demonstrated by a study conducted in Kansas: after installing 102 dryers in public schools, it was found that there is 34 tons less waste annually. It was also estimated that 587 trees were saved in this way.

5. Hygienic

While hand dryers have faced accusations of significantly lower levels of hygiene compared to paper towels and the transfer of germs to the user’s hands during drying for many years, today they can successfully refute these accusations. While it is true that the dryer sucks in air in the bathroom, where bacteria may be present, this problem has been solved in new devices – the hot air inside the mechanism kills the vast majority of microorganisms.

There are also hand dryers on the market that do not have heaters and dry hands with room temperature air. Most often they are equipped with a HEPA filter that cleans the intake air from 99.97% of impurities, including various types of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses).

Types of hand dryers

Hand dryers in a plastic case

The classic ABS-reinforced hand dryer is most often white, but you can find hand dryers in grey or black. Automatic actuation devices that are most commonly found in public washrooms.

Metal case hand dryers

Classic automatic hand dryer in brushed stainless steel body. Also, available in polished stainless steel, powder coated carbon steel and aluminium. Both plastic and metal models have a large power range and different hand drying times.

Hand dryers with button

Hand dryers with a timer button are usually made from stainless steel or carbon steel. Their characteristic feature is a movable air outlet nozzle. Typically, the power of the device is over 2000W.

Pocket hand dryers

Also called a jet hand dryer. They are larger than classic hand dryers and have an oblong shape. Their characteristic feature is to dry your hands by placing them in a pocket-like opening. This type of dryer uses modern digital motors. They are fast, efficient and energy-efficient.

Hand dryer for home and apartment

Modern people have a desire to make their home as stylish and comfortable as possible. To implement it today, a lot of opportunities are provided – the market offers an incredible number of new products in household appliances and gadgets. Such devices include electric hand dryers, which were previously only installed in public places, and now are increasingly found in apartments and private houses.

The need for such devices at home is controversial, there are opponents and supporters of their use in individual living quarters. Most often, the arguments in such a dispute boil down to one thing – wiping your hands with ordinary terry or paper towels is much more practical and convenient, and buying a hand dryer is just “money down the drain”. Is it the case?

Electric hand dryer – controversial points

Several misconceptions that can be attributed to ignorance of the features of the operation of such equipment:

-It is believed that drying your hands with a towel is much faster than using a jet of air. Modern dryers do this in just 10-15 seconds.

It is too expensive and an unnecessary luxury. When you consider all the costs of laundry detergent and paper towels, the dryer is ultimately more profitable. At home, it is used much less than in public places, so its operation practically does not affect the value of the electricity bill, which cannot be said about the energy consumption of the washing machine.

-Continuous use of the dryer will dry out the skin on your hands. In fact, this happens if a high-power device has been installed in the bathroom. The correct selection of the model will avoid such unpleasant consequences.

Benefits of home hand drying

By our time, the evolution of dryers has made it possible to create models, the use of which in everyday life brings important advantages:

-high level of comfort and efficiency;

-personal hygiene and cleanliness in the room;

-the ability to clean and disinfect indoor air;

-thanks to interesting design solutions, for example, you can dry not only your palms, but also your head;

-installation of a dryer is very appropriate in a house where a large family lives or where there are often many guests.

Selection criteria for home dryers

You need to select a model for an apartment or house taking into account the following recommendations:

First of all, it is worth deciding on the type of inclusion. For frequent use, automatic devices are the best option. This will extend the service life, as well as provide safety for a person, since you do not need to touch the power button with wet hands. Manual models are less convenient and less hygienic.

It should be borne in mind that the inclusion of contactless electric dryers can occur from every movement in the area of ​​the sensor. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the right place for installing the equipment.

The version with shockproof and heat-resistant plastic housing is perfect for bathrooms in a residential building. It is much more economical compared to metal models.

For houses, it is more practical to choose models with a low noise level, i.e. such devices, in which additional noise are installed, are vibration-damping elements.

The compact dimensions of the selected device will help not to clutter up the space with unnecessary details. If you are not afraid of the rather high cost, then you can purchase a dryer combined with a crane, which many well-known manufacturers have recently begun to produce.

Conclusion

The emergence of new products that provide additional comfort plays an increasing role in the everyday sphere of human life. Devices for hygienic hand drying now occupy a special place among them, which, from an attribute of elite establishments, are gradually becoming the reality of everyday life.

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