Design and Construction

The Need for Speed: Paper Towels vs. Air Dryers in Restrooms

Two-thirds of consumers believe that drying their hands with 100% recycled fiber paper towels is more efficient and more effective than drying their hands with a jet air dryer with a HEPA filter, according to a new report from GP PRO.

GP PRO, a division of Georgia-Pacific, recently conducted a survey of 500 consumers. Specifically, the survey found that of the 405 consumers with a preference regarding speed, 67% felt paper towels provided a faster hand dry, and 63% of the 415 consumers with a preference regarding drying ability felt paper towels performed better at fully drying their hands in an acceptable amount of time.

washing hands

GP PRO says these findings follow its September 2020 consumer survey, which found that while 72% of consumers are comfortable washing their hands in a public restroom, 81% want to get in and out of that restroom as quickly as possible.

According to Julie Howard, vice president and general manager of GP PRO’s towel, skin care, and air care categories, the company’s September survey provided insight into why consumers want their public restroom experience to be fast. This latest survey, however, sheds light on what building owners, facility managers, and custodians can do to help provide that fast experience.

“These findings offer clear-cut information on one way to help give consumers what they want, which in this case is a fast restroom experience—stock the restroom with paper towels,” claims Howard.

Howard adds that with new, more transmissible variants of the coronavirus circulating throughout the country, these recent survey findings also provide information on how businesses can help consumers recommit to proper hand hygiene.

“From the outset of the coronavirus, health organizations have promoted the benefits of proper handwashing and hand drying, the latter of which means drying the hands completely,” says Howard. “If two-thirds of our respondents feel paper towels are more effective at drying their hands in an acceptable amount of time, then I believe offering paper towels can help encourage and advance proper hand drying and potentially help curb the spread of this disease.”

The full survey report is available here.