What Are the Benefits of Hand Dryers Over Paper Towels?

By Tenesha Curtis on 10/28/2019
what are the benefits of hand dryers versus paper towels

Hand dryers are taking over in a lot of businesses like medical offices, grocery stores, churches, and office spaces. Paper towel dispensers, on the other hand are disappearing, even the automated ones. But why is this? What are the benefits of using a hand dryer over paper towels? Let’s go over a few common reasons paper towels are getting ditched for good.


Hand Dryers are Less Messy



The most obvious reason is cleanliness. Paper towels can be messy. Paper towels are commonly found on the floor, even if a trash can is present. Air dryers don’t suffer from the mess problem. With air dryers we can directly manage the costs. Paper towels require managing costs for buying, stocking, and shipping paper towels.


Hand Dryers Are Budget-friendly



People hoarding paper towels costs you money. While people may not stuff entire packs of paper towels into backpacks and purses (though that’s not impossible), they will often take more paper towels than are strictly necessary. You may budget for two or three paper towels per person. Enough for them to dry their hands after washing. But, sometimes two or three towels aren’t enough. We’ve all been there. Those unexpected spills and runny noses do not require more than three towels. But, how many of us realize that? Those extra paper towels represent out of pocket expenses. Even an extra paper towel or two can increase the spending costs of paper-towel dispensers.


Hand Dryers are Time-savers



After setting up a paper towel dispenser, there is still a lot of time and energy that goes into maintaining the dispenser, even if it’s made of plastic. The towel dispenser must be restocked. Someone must pick up the stray wads of paper off the floor. Not to mention, the unlucky soul that needs to unclog paper towels from inside toilets and sinks. That same person most likely takes out the bathroom trash (Yuck!). This is a workload that can amount to hours of extra labor each week. That time could be used doing more important, revenue-generating tasks.

Hand dryers don’t come with any of this high-maintenance nonsense. There is nothing to restock. Nothing from the hand dryer is going to clog anything in your restroom. There is no extra trash generated by using the machine. Your company gets all the low-maintenance benefits, without any hassle.


Hand Dryers are More Environmentally Friendly



Waste creation is a major factor when it comes to figuring out which products are environmentally friendly. Hand dryers are greener in this sense because there is no waste created when they are used. Whereas, every single paper towel goes into a trash can. All trash eventually finds its way to a landfill.

CO2 emissions are another issue to consider regarding the environment. Hand dryers don’t produce any CO2 emissions while in use. Farm equipment, buses, and trains emit CO2 with every use. Even during the making and shipping of a hand dryer, as little as 25 grams of CO2 is emitted. Producing, transporting, storing, and disposing of paper towels averages 56 grams of CO2.


Hand Dryers are Less Expensive Over Time



Of course, buying a roll of paper towels from a nearby store as well as a simple, plastic dispenser is much cheaper than buying a machine that costs hundreds of dollars. However, within as little as a year, the difference in the front-end investment quickly becomes clear.

Let’s use a fictious establishment as an example: Katina’s Home Goods. Katina opens her store 365 days a year. Her restrooms are used 100 times per day. Each person uses 2 paper towels to dry their hands. To cover 36,500 annual uses, she would need 73,000 paper towels. She must buy, ship, store, and stock each case that she buys. She would need to buy 31 cases of C-fold paper towels each year. Each case costs $45 to purchase and ship. To buy, ship, and install 2 plastic dispensers costs $130. If we assume the dispensers will last her five years, here is what her five-year cost breakdown looks like:


Year 1: 2 dispensers ($130), 31 cases of paper towels ($1,395): $1,525

Years 2 – 5: Replacing paper towels ($1,395 per year): $5,580

5-year total expenditures for hand drying: $7,105



In a different scenario, Katina chooses hand dryers. These products consistently reduce costs by 95%. In the first year, she will have to pay for the machines. Two would cost her less than $1,100 to ship and install (with HomElectrical’s free shipping). Once installed, her $1,395 paper towel bill is replaced by a $87.50 expenditure for the electricity to run the hand dryers. Besides inspecting the machine for damage by customers from time to time, there’s nothing else that Katina needs to buy, ship, store, or restock. Now let’s see what her five-year cost breakdown looks like with hand dryers:


Year 1: 2 hand dryers ($800), installation by an electrician ($300), electricity to run the machines ($87.50): $1,187.50

Years 2 – 5: Electricity to run the machines: $350

5-year total expenditures for hand drying: $1,537.50



The hand dryers cost Katina less in five years than the first year of using paper towels. This powerful ability to cut costs is what makes hand dryers so attractive to both new and seasoned business owners.

Hot vs Cold Air Dryers


Some dryers are equipped with heating elements that heat the air that will be drying people's hands. This can add a few extra cents to the cost of using the dryer, but it also adds extra comfort to the drying process. Especially if you live in a colder climate or have workers using the hand dryer who work outside or in a chilly warehouse.

Cold air dryers do not have a heating element and blow room-temperature air onto people's hands to dry them. This adds no extra cost to the drying process or the machine itself. This can be helpful in an environment where the weather is generally hot, so the drying process helps to add a cooling effect for customers and employees.


If you’re interested in saving time, stress, money, or even the environment, hand dryers are your best bet. Shop the HomElectrical collection of automatic hand dryers today!
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