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The unsung hero of hand hygiene

The unsung hero of hand hygiene

washing hands

It’s always been known that good hand hygiene is critical to keeping the spread of germs at bay, but did you know hand drying is just as important as soap and water in the effective handwashing process?

That’s because, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), bacteria clings to moisture on wet or damp hands and failing to dry them thoroughly can increase the chances of germs being spread and picked up.

In fact, as corroborated by the World Health Organisation, the chosen method of hand drying is irrelevant (as long as you don’t dry them on your clothing) – the main thing is that clean hands that are bone dry maximise good hygiene, so either paper towels or an electric hand dryer will work just as well.

Taking stock

Replenishing paper towels

child drying hands
hand towels

Of course, personal preference is important when it comes down to the method of hand drying. However, it’s also important that the chosen method is reliable to ensure public safety. So when choosing to go with paper or air, you must ask yourself, is this paper towel dispenser going to need restocking by a person at a moment’s notice, will this electric hand dryer break down, are either subject to vandalism, and can I afford the initial outlay, ongoing management and maintenance?

Paper towels run out. What’s more, if not properly disposed of or bins are left to overflow, they can cause a mess and a health hazard. Basically, this method of hand drying requires intensive human input, which can be unreliable, expensive and unsustainable (more on that shortly).

Hand dryers breaking down

Vandalism is a fact of life

hand dryer tools
wash room

Electric hand dryers can occasionally break down. However, with technology in this sector becoming more and more advanced in recent years, it’s rare to come across a modern unit that doesn’t work. To add extra peace of mind, Intelligent offers lifetime guarantees that see us repair or replace dryers in a heartbeat at no extra cost – forever.

Sadly, public washrooms can be subject to misuse, where both paper towel dispensers and hand dryers can be vandalised. Many of our hand dryers are actually vandal proof, such as our Dryflow G-Force MKII Hand Dryer with HEPA Filter. It’s been designed with a thick steel cover and plastic parts made from PA6VO, which is known for its strength and flame resistance.

Paper towel dispensers can also come with anti vandal locks – but this may not stop a person stripping out all of the towels before they move on..


The big question of cost

Sadly, the cost of paper towels is on the rise. And that means a cost to our planet as well as financial. This is because of the high levels of energy and resources required to produce them, not to mention the price of raw materials.

A workplace which provides paper towels for 50 people will now spend an average of £2,300 on paper towels each year, which is up from £1,150. That doesn’t include the manpower required to refill dispensers, empty bins and clean mess.

On the other hand, energy-efficient dryers provide 95% more carbon savings than paper alternatives – not to mention cost and mess reduction. The financial cost of running energy efficient dryers HAS also gone up, from £20 to £40 per year, yet with potentially zero cost to the planet.

Hand dryer v paper towels

Carbon neutral hand dryers

British brand, Dryflow, available exclusively at Intelligent, has a range of ten 100% carbon neutral electric hand dryers. Officially verified by ClimatePartner , each dryer has been analysed to measure its lifetime’s emissions, to ensure everything, from the making of the unit to day-to-day usage, creates minimal emissions, and the co2 that is generated is properly offset.

Discover more here

Andrew Cameron, founder of Intelligent Facility Solutions, says: “I started this business ten years ago to provide organisations with more sustainable and affordable washroom solutions that would keep their customers and workers safe. Fast forward a decade, and the technology and research available to support the reasons for investing in electric hand dryers is mindblowing.

“Hand dryers can now thoroughly dry hands at record speeds, come with added extras like hygienic HEPA filters, and even contain self-cleaning UV lights. What’s more, they save businesses thousands of pounds and can help them reduce their carbon footprints. They’re a no brainer.”

Sources

* https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html

** https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/infections/can-clothes-and-towels-spread-germs/

*** https://www.worldwidejournals.com/global-journal-for-research-analysis-GJRA/file.php?val=July_2018_1531405930__20.pdf

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