My gym recently switched from paper towels to hand dryers in the restrooms. While I understand this may save them money, it certainly has cost me convenience. Sure, you get to dry your hands a lot faster and it does feel good to have hot hair blowing on your hands (especially if you just washed with cold water). Not to mention that if you’re not feeling particularly social, you get to turn your back on everyone else in the restroom while you dry your hands. Regardless of all this, there are still a lot of disadvantages to using a hand dryer instead of using good old fashioned paper towels.
Here are some of my gripes about hand dryers:
• Water sprays everywhere – A big wind machine blowing water everywhere can get very messy. And depending on how you hold your wet hands under the dryer, there’s no telling where that water will blow. It could hit the wall, the floor, your clothes or worse yet someone else. Who wants someone else’s dirty water sprayed on them?
• Only one person can use them at a time – At least with paper towels, you can grab a few, step aside & let someone else grab some to dry their hands. In other words within the time span of 1 minute at least 10 people can dry their hands. With those dryers it’s got to be one person at a time which means not only will you have to wait to wash your hands, you’ll also have to wait to dry them. So what do you do while you’re waiting on a dryer? I guess you can stand around trying not to get splashed by the person already using the dryer!
• Not sanitary – Everyone doesn’t wash their hands (nor do they use soap) so the door handle can be quite gross. But without paper towels, there is simply nothing to grab it with. What’s a woman to do? You know your hands are clean, but you don’t know what kind of germs that door handle could be infested with.
• Having paper towels is job security for janitors – Don’t they realize that every time you replace a paper towel rack with a hand dryer, you’re costing another janitor their job? Who else comes in to pick up all the paper towels off the floor, empty the waste basket and refill the plastic trash liner? When you eliminate the need for all of that, you are adding to the unemployment crisis! (Okay, not quite but still you get my point)
• Loud & annoying – Let’s face it; these dryers are as loud as they are annoying. I come to the bathroom for peace and simplicity, not to hear a Boeing 747 take off. Plus if I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone else in the bathroom I always end up getting cut off because no one can hear over the load roar. The deafening noise from the dryer should not be the way I end my bathroom experience.
I guess at the end of the day these hand dryers may be here to stay, so I guess I have to get used to them, but this doesn’t mean I have to like them.