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Paper Towels > Air Blowers

A recent study has concluded that paper towels are superior to air blowers for drying your hands off. Which comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody who has ever used one of those old school blow driers which are absolute pieces of crap.

I have some very clear memories of spending forever trying to get my hands dry at the local McDonald’s because they used those blowers there, and never really succeeding. Has anybody ever actually used one of those to get their hands completely dry? Now something like the Dyson Airblade does a credible job of actually drying your hands off, but it still lacks a couple of advantages that paper towels have:

  1. You can use a paper towel to open the door bathroom door without directly touching it
  2. You can use a paper towel to clean up random spills

Now #1 is a problem we shouldn’t have. Public bathroom doors should always open outwards. And if space is available, the doors can be removed entirely and replaced by those curvy hallways that prevent you from seeing in (aka airport style). And #2 doesn’t happen often, but if you are out and about and spill something or just generally need a cleanup, it’s nice to be able to pop into the bathroom and grab some questionably absorbent paper towels.

Good luck cleaning up a spill with a bloody Airblade!

If you want to read more, there’s some interesting commentary at Techdirt, one of the few sites on the internet where you actually want to read the comments!


1 Dirk { 01.09.13 at 4:04 am }

I am from Holland: What a simple article / tought. I know lots of bathrooms where there is and paper and a Jet Towel or Airblade. You can dry your hands with the jet and clean your nose or etc with paper. Still the paper use will we less etc.

2 LW { 10.18.13 at 1:58 am }

There’s been quite a decline here in Sydney (Australia) of paper towels in bathroom. Quite a few public bathrooms have replaced the older models with the Dyson airblades. Compared to the older models, paper towels definitely have a greater advantage but I think they’re probably trying to reduce the use of paper towels from an environmental perspective.

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