Boy drying his hands in a restroom

Restroom hand hygiene – a practice still up for debate – continues to be thrust into the spotlight after a study from the University of Connecticut found hand dryers blow fecal material onto users freshly washed hands.[1] While shocking, yet not surprising, Cintas Corporation has always emphasized that disposable paper towels are the most hygienic option for public restroom users.

“Handwashing best practices are a critical component in limiting the spread of pathogens,” said Jillian Bauer, Marketing Manager, Cintas. “This study is further evidence that individuals should choose paper towels when drying hands to stave off bacteria and limit the spread of infection.”

Before drying hands, here are five essential hand dryer facts:

FACT: Hand dryers take 300 percent longer.
Swift drying is essential to limiting the spread of pathogens. Studies show that paper towels take 10 seconds to dry hands versus 40 seconds for hand dryers.[2]
FACT: Hand dryers increase the spread of pathogens.
Research shows hand dryers increase pathogen aerosolization, spreading more bacteria onto hand surfaces than paper towels.[3]
FACT: Hand dryers contaminate restrooms.
Hand dryers launch bacteria over six feet from their source.[4] Paper towels do not.
FACT: Hand dryers are loud.
Hand dryers can be dangerous for users’ ears as they rival the noise output of a close-range pneumatic drill.[5]
FACT: Hand dryers are less desirable.
A recent Harris Poll found that 69 percent of American’s prefer paper towels over hand dryers. Seventy percent agreed paper towels were more effective.[6]

“Data continues to show us that consumers favor paper towels,” added Bauer. “Cintas believes it is essential to understand the facts when making daily choices that affect your health. We are confident that paper towels are the best option.”