Sunday, October 2, 2022


Which one of these would you use to dry your hands?

The two devices you see in the photo are common in restrooms across America and in other lands as well. Sometimes there is no choice to be made about which to use to dry your hands — it’s either a paper towel or the air dryer. But other times you can choose.

We recall a poll years ago by a Northern California TV station that asked which of these methods was the safest from germs — the towels or the air dryer. It turned out that the towels were safer, at least for men. The reason: The guys who used the air dryer would often, when they were finished, rub their hands on their pants to complete the drying process. Who knows, of course, what germs were inhabiting their clothing?

Let’s see what you and the other readers of this newsletter would do. Would you opt for the paper towels or use the hot, blowing air to dry your hands — after washing them, of course?

Remember, it can take a few moments for the poll to load, so stand by.


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9 days ago

Having been a nurse plus having worked in audiology for 8 years, I used paper towels if I have a choice. The blow dryers are damaging to your hearing and can stir up airborne pathogens that have settled on bathroom surfaces.

9 days ago
Reply to  Cindy

I agree with Cindy, I hate the sound of the blowers

Baron VonFùrstinbed
12 days ago

Push button, wipe hands on pants!

Michael Galvin
13 days ago

You usually don’t need to dry your hands. I learned how to “air dry” in the Army. Works fine, saves time, saves resources.

13 days ago

These days by the time I get my hands dried I will need to pee again…!!!

Leslie Smith
13 days ago


13 days ago

I’ll use either one but prefer paper so I have something to open the door and not touch the same handle people that don’t wash their touch.

Tom M
13 days ago

The installation of electric driers aren’t just about the customer. When driers are installed instead of paper towels restroom will look cleaner because of a reduction in trash on the floor and overflowing trash cans from the paper towels.

13 days ago

I don’t want to concentrate aerosolized bacteria and viruses onto my hands. Bad enough to have to visit one of those filthy facilities. Paper towels allow me to also open the door with them preventing further contamination.

Tom S
13 days ago
Reply to  Bill

You nailed it

13 days ago
Reply to  Bill


Roy Davis
13 days ago

This kinda reminded me of a public restroom I was in a while back that had both, but the towel dispenser was empty. Not sure if they just weren’t refilling it or everyone was using the paper towel. I will use paper every time I can, especially if I have to open the door afterwards. Remember when someone would write on the dryers and say, afterwards “wipe hands on pants”.

Gene Sannnes
13 days ago

I read a study some time ago that says the blow driers in a bathroom are as dirty as a toilet seat. The air collected by the blower takes the air from same room as toilets and puts it on your hands as you dry them. The paper towels are reasonably clean as it comes off a roll.

Shelia W Frances
14 days ago

I would choose the paper towels mainly because of the obnoxious deafening noise the air blower makes. I would then use my paper towel to open the bathroom door.

14 days ago

I can’t remember being in a public restroom where I had a choice.

14 days ago

Air Hand Dryer Instructions:

1-Press Button To Activate
2-Rub Hands Together Vigorously
3-Wipe Hands On Your Pants

Andrea Vaughan
14 days ago

I would use the paper towels, in part because of the “blowing germs”, I’d seen studies on that year ago.
On top of that, with hearing issues with loud noises, some air driers are literally painful for me, especially the high powered ones. I’m not the only one apparently, having seen a child have a meltdown when one went off unexpectedly next to him.

Glenda Alexander
14 days ago

While air dryers reduce paper waste, they are not totally environmentally neutral. After all, they use electricity, which is not produced without some environmental issues. Some of this power may even be produced by a coal-fired plant. Paper towels aren’t environmentally neutral either. I would like to see a study that takes into account all sides of this issue so we could be confident that we actually are acting sensibly.

14 days ago

If you are so worried about the environment then don’t wash your hands.

14 days ago
Reply to  JAMES


14 days ago

I chose paper towels. It would be nice to know if the paper towel manufacturers are using recycled paper in their product…

14 days ago

The paper towel, and then I would use it to open the door on my way out of the restroom.

Bob p
14 days ago
Reply to  kat

Yep, to protect yourself from the bacteria left on the door by pigs who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom. When I first started driving truck I witnessed a driver come out of restroom stall(from which I presume he had a bowel movement) and walk past the sinks and go right to the buffet line where he used his predominate hand to handle every serving utensil on the line. I swore I’d never eat off a buffet line again.

14 days ago
Reply to  kat

Agree, I don’t like touching someone’s private parts and behind by proxy. Just think of all the things they touch after leaving the bathroom! I always had a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my pocket even before the pandemic.

14 days ago

If you think blowers are better for the environment, how much electricity does it take to run a blower vs dispensing a paper towel? One reason blowers might be popular in a place is less maintenance. The owner of the rest room doesn’t have to order, store and replace paper towels if they use blowers.

Which is cleaner? Blowers blow any left over germs all over the place. Paper towels can wipe away a few more cruddy-bugs.

My personal preference, paper towels. Blowers in a tile lined room are uncomfortably noisy

14 days ago
Reply to  dawn

I always carry a several full sheets of paper towel and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my pockets. Paper towel for drying hands and opening the door.

14 days ago

When using paper towels, one can use the used towels to pull the door to get out.

Paul B.
14 days ago

The poll should have read ‘paper towel’ or ‘air blower, then wipe hands on pants’. 😁😁😁

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