||Paper Towel Dispensers and Electric Hand
|Your choice of a hand drying system for your
office or store restrooms is not at all trivial.
Creating an environment that is both neat
and sanitary is important to the image of
your business. If your business is in food
service, hand washing -- and thus hand drying
-- is particularly important.
The three main choices are paper towel dispensers,
rolled towels, and electric hand dryers:
- Paper towel dispensers hold and dispense paper towels rolls, single
fold towels, and multifold towels.
All paper towel systems require you to monitor
the dispensers to be sure that they are filled,
clean, and operational and that the waste
towels are properly disposed of. Most units
have some form of lock to deter theft of
- A popular model of roll dispenser requires
the user to push a lever to advance the paper,
before pulling off a sheet. Some models are
prone to jamming, so pay close attention
to the manufacturer’s claims. Automatic paper
towel dispensers advance the roll of paper
when the user holds their hands near a sensor;
this design is more sanitary than touching
a lever. Some units of either type include
timers that prevent the roll from being advanced
too quickly in a short time so as to prevent
overusage. The towels may be perforated for
a clean tear, or they may be cut by a sharp
edge on the dispenser (allowing variable
length towels but often times leaving a jagged
edge and unkempt appearance).
- Folded towels typically are stacked in a
box that is hung on the wall.
The user then
pulls one or more towels
from an opening
at the bottom of this box.
of this alternative is that
the next towel does not pop
out and so the
user must fish it out from
inside the box.
- Rolled towel dispensers are similar to paper towel roll dispensers
except that the towel is cloth. Rather than
being discarded, the towel is rolled back
into the unit for a cleaner appearance, sent
back to be cleaned, and replaced with a clean
roll. While this approach appeals to recycling
minded users, like electric hand dryers,
it does not allow for cleanup of spills and
other drying needs.
- Electric hand dryers are wall-mounted units that send out a stream
of hot air for drying hands. They also eliminate
paper waste and thus promote a cleaner restroom
appearance. On the other hand, many models
take much longer to dry hands thoroughly
than do paper towels, and users may be concerned
about over drying their skin. Accordingly,
pay close attention to manufacturers’ claims
and guarantees. Electric hand dryers come
in both push-button and automatic (hands-free)
- Push-button hand dryers require the user
to press a button to activate it and have
it run for a specified period.
- The automatic models start when the user
holds his or her hands in front of a sensor
near the air discharge point. Most of these
will keep running as long as the hands are
kept there. As with hands-free towel dispensers,
these are more attractive from a sanitary