Roller Towels vs Paper. Cotton roller towels come out on top of paper towels in…
Washroom Roller Towel Machines or Paper
For proper washroom roller towels hygienic comparisons, you need to evaluate how the hand drying system works under normal use and its effects on hygiene beyond just the user’ hands, such as; does it contaminate others in the area, increase contamination in the washroom, discourage people from using it (thus people spread more bacteria), increase bacterial exposure, provide drying of the forearms/face, or increase the spread of contamination outside of the washroom.
[quote class=”The World Health Organization (WHO) and most other hygiene related agencies recommend washing with soap and water for 15-20 seconds, or more. The vast majority of people, however, improperly wash their hands (for only about 10 seconds).
The use of high quality soaps is also recommended by Rentex such as foam soap.”]The World Health Organization (WHO) and most other hygiene related agencies recommend washing with soap and water for 15-20 seconds, or more.
The vast majority of people, however, improperly wash their hands (for only about 10 seconds). The use of high quality soaps is also recommended by Rentex such as foam soap.[/quote]
To determine the hygiene ranking of the hand drying systems a review was conducted of the available hand drying and related articles along with an analysis of the research studies found.
Higher ranking was given to those hand drying systems that worked best when: the research was conducted in a typical washrooms, using the hand drying systems that have been in place before the study, participants washed their hands the typical way (avg of 10 seconds), participants dried their hands the typical way people use each hand drying system.
Also considered in determining the ranking is the hygiene impact extending beyond just the user’ hands, i.e. potential spread of bacteria in and beyond the washroom.
Furthermore most people do not dry their hands adequately and leave with damp hands, which transmit up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands on to washroom fittings such as door handles.
Because people don’t wash properly it increases the need for hand drying systems that will remove the most residual dirt/bacteria and dry the hands as fast as possible in order to achieve the most hygienic results.
Washroom Roller Towels
Hand Drying Hygiene ranking (Best to Worst)
1. Reusable Cotton Washroom Roller Towels: Appear to be the most hygienic systems.
A clean section of the reusable washroom roller towels is dispensed for each use. The used toweling rolls back into a separate section of the washroom roller towels dispenser. Provides excellent mechanical action for removal of bacteria (and residual grime), dries the hands/arms the fastest (helping to prevent additional growth of bacteria), washroom roller towels leave the least amount of bacteria on the hands, and is the only system type that isolates the bacteria inside the dispenser – helping to prevent the spread of the bacteria.
Cotton Roller Towels v Retractable Paper
2. Disposable Reinforced Retractable Paper (DRRP) roll towels used in a CRT style dispenser system:
The paper towel is not torn off for use. The soiled sections roll into a separate compartment of the roller towel dispenser (just like in a typical CRT system). They provide the mechanical action to help remove dirt/grime and bacteria. Can be very expensive.
Very absorbent multi-layered paper dries hands quickly helping prevent bacteria growth. Prevents the problem of bacteria laden standard paper towels from being spread around the restroom, helps prevent the blocking of toilets a source of bacteria.
Roller Towels v Paper Hand Towels
3. Standard paper hand towels v washroom roller towels
Are a leading cause of blocked toilets (which can also contaminate washrooms with bacteria) they typically are not as absorbent as a Cabinet Roller Towel, thus leaving the users hands damper after typical use. Dispensers have been found to cause cross contamination of the users hands.
Washroom Roller Towels v Blade Hand Dryers
4. Air Blade style electric hand dryers with a HEPA filter v washroom roller towels:
The user places their hands in a narrow slot and uses high speed air jets for drying, these have no mechanical action. They filter incoming stale washroom air, but they spread bacteria, blown off typically by improperly washed hands; which contaminates the washroom, the users clothing, and surrounding area.
They can also contaminate the users’ hands from touching the sides of the narrow opening of the dryer unit.
Additionally they will not be able to dry forearms or faces like washroom roller towels and may not work for people with disabilities such as deformed hands.
Dries hands faster than warm air driers. In certain cases, if used in a washroom that is used by food workers the 2009 FDA Food Code (appendix) regulations require that an alternative hand drying method must be present for use such as washroom roller towels.
5. Warm air hand dryers v washroom roller towels:
They can put 150 – 500 more bacteria on your hands than you washed off
They just re-circulate the bacterial laden air in the washroom; this will also contaminate the users’ hands, face, arms, clothing, wall and floor. Most people will not use them long enough (35-40 seconds) to properly dry hands.
Damp hands will increase bacteria growth and transfer 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands this can cause chapping of the hands which increases the potential of infection.
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