Cost debate; hand dryers vs. paper towels

Cost debate; hand dryers vs. paper towels

If you are faced with providing an electric hand dryer or paper towels for your customers, there are a number of variables that must be explored and decided upon. Some of the important factors are very much under your control. You decide which type of hand dryer installation to pursue, and you decide the quality of paper towels that you will supply. Other factors are out of your control; the cost of electricity as well as the number of paper towels that one person will use. For sure; hand dryer installation eliminates waste paper and the need to dispose of it and, should you opt for automatic, hands free dryers, you are minimizing the spread of bacteria.

Things to consider:

The cost of providing hand drying for customers starts with your assessment of the number of people that may use the restroom on a daily basis. For a typical business, 150 to 200 visitors a day are about normal.

  • Paper towels: The initial cost of a paper towel dispenser is negligent but the ongoing expenses associated with paper towels are quite high. Paper towels are normally bulk packed, 250 to a pack, 12 packs to a carton which costs on average $45. Using one pack a day requires 24 packs a month at an average cost of $3.75 per pack. This consumption using middle grade paper towels will cost about $90. If your facility is open 5 days or 7 days a month, this amount will change. On top of this is collection and disposal of used paper towels.
  • Hand dryer installation: The initial cost of the hand dryer is several times more than the cost of a paper towel dispenser, but this is where major expenses stop. The cost of electricity, which is the only additional expenses, varies around the country but on average you can expect to pay about $15 a month for electricity. This shows as a savings of $75. Typical electric hand dryers cost about $500, with savings of this magnitude the dryer pays for itself in under 7 months.

Without taking anything other than money into an account, hand dryer installation is a far better choice than the alternative; paper towels.

American Dryer is a leading manufacturer of hand dryers offering a full line of hand and hair dryers for every application. Visit for more information.

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