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  • 1.  Bathroom question: Paper towels vs. driers?

    Posted 08-15-2022 12:25 PM

    Hi, all--

    Posting the below inquiry on behalf of my facilities colleague. If you have any advice from your experience, or research/data that you use to inform your org's choice, we'd much appreciate it. 

    Hello All. Since we've reopened, we're learning how many consumables need to be purchased for our four restrooms. We are finding that we are going through almost 2 cases of Z-fold restroom paper towels per week (8000 towels!). This doesn't seem very financially or environmentally sustainable. We are wondering what other facilities have found to be good alternatives. Looking at electric blower dryers, we know they would pay for themselves quickly, however they have some stigma regarding blowing bacteria all around. Additionally, as a children's museum with tiny tots, some kiddos get very scared of the loud noise and blasting wind. Perhaps there are great modern blowers that are quiet and effective, or use ultraviolet light, etc. Thank you!!!


    Stephanie Arduini
    Executive Director
    Seattle Children's Museum
    Seattle WA

  • 2.  RE: Bathroom question: Paper towels vs. driers?

    Posted 08-15-2022 01:37 PM
    Hello, Stephanie! 
    Here at Historic Jamestowne, the blow dryers were removed during covid. They also had been VERY loud and the ticketing team couldn't hear guests.
    Well it ended up costing about $15,000 per year just for paper towels. Considering that the Visitor Center is a federal building, the powers that be went through the roof. When new blow dryers were purchased by the National Park Service, they did listen to us and bought a super quiet model. They installed them a week ago Monday. We can barely even hear them!

    Lauren T. Furey
    Director of Visitor Services

  • 3.  RE: Bathroom question: Paper towels vs. driers?

    Posted 08-15-2022 04:39 PM
    For some reason, I couldn't send these to you privately. Here is the info! 
    Also, I ran across this article (of course it's from a hand dryer company but it answered a lot of my questions about the anti hand dryer articles).

    Lauren T. Furey
    Director of Visitor Services

  • 4.  RE: Bathroom question: Paper towels vs. driers?

    Posted 08-16-2022 08:19 AM

    Hi Stephanie,


    We transitioned from paper towels to hand air dryers in our public restrooms. (We are still using paper towels in our small office restrooms because any air dryer would be too noisy.) We wanted something that specifically had a nice aesthetic as well as functionality. I compared the Dyson Airblade to a new product I found called Veltia. Their headquarters is in Spain, but the USA office is in our nearby Coral Gables, FL. About Veltia | Veltia Hand Dryers


    We considered dry times and noise levels and found that the Veltia outperformed the Dyson. The VFusion UV-C comes with a HEPA filter (H13) and UV light and they guarantee sterilization. This was very important to us as we installed these during the height of the Covid epidemic. VFusion UV-C | Veltia Hand Dryers


    Moreover, we were impressed by their social value statement beyond the energy saving and environmental benefits. Social Value | Veltia Hand Dryers


    We have had them in operation for a year with no issues. Hope this is helpful!


    Martha Akins

    Senior Director, Facilities

    Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

    Miami, FL


  • 5.  RE: Bathroom question: Paper towels vs. driers?

    Posted 08-16-2022 09:40 AM
    We also switched to paper towels in 2020, and when we turned our hand dryers back on this year, we decided to keep both so that paper towels are available to anyone who isn't comfortable using a hand dryer. 

    If you do move to exclusively having hand dryers available, many of them have controls to change the fan speed and temperature. We have the Excel XLerator hand dryers, and our electrician turns down the speed on those we have mounted lower on the wall so that they don't blow away the kids who are using them. 


    Emily O'Hara
    Curator of Exhibit Design
    Detroit Zoo - Detroit Zoological Society