Dry your hands the energy-smart and eco-smart way

Jonathan asked how best to dry his hands at home in an eco- and energy-smart way. He got his answer on Tuesday. What’s the best way in a public toilet?

Many public toilets have replaced paper towels with electrically-powered hand dryers. The arguments for and against vary depending on the industry presenting the arguments. Energy, cost and spread of bacteria are all arguments that have been used.

There are different types of electric hand dryer. In one model the hands are dried in a current of air at more than 600 km/h. How much electricity does it use to dry one’s hands with this type of dryer?

The answer is very little indeed: the electricity consumed costs about 0.05 kronor/drying session, which is a mere fraction of the cost of paper towels.

So what do we want when we visit public toilets? According to one survey carried out on behalf of the European Tissue Symposium, 63 percent prefer paper towels, 28 percent hot-air dryers, while the rest want cloth towels.

What then is the answer? If we think in terms of carbon dioxide and energy, the clear winner is the hot-air dryer!

Lars Ejeklint, Vattenfall