Best Commercial Hand Dryers

27 August 2019 Shares

Home Hand dryer Best Commercial Hand Dryers

By Recycling.com/ 27 August 2019 Shares

Best Commercial Hand Dryers

Blow Dry your Hands Automatically and Sustainably

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Looking for a sustainable and hygienic method for drying your hands in the restroom of your office? Then you should definitely look into air hand dryers. Hand dryers are an eco-friendly alternative for cotton towels and paper towels. These towels are great for drying your hands but they require regular labor for cleaning, refilling, and emptying overflowing trash and laundry bins. This labor costs time and thus money.

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reuse-reduce-recycle-iconHand dryers reduces the amount of paper waste in your office. Also the costs of running an average hand dryer are only $28 per year.Buffalo.edu


Top 10 Best Commercial Hand Dryers

Below you can find our top 10 recommended hand blowers for commercial use. If you would like to know more about hot or cold air hand dryers before reading about specific models, then take a look at our hand dryer guide at the bottom of the page.

Our top picks include the most common types of hand blowers. You can find out more about these types in our guide. The top 10 list also covers hand dryers with special features, such as recessed hand dryers or hand dryers with airblade technology.

  1. Powerful, compact and wall mountedExcel dryer XL-C
  2. Fast designer hand dryer with Airblade technologyDyson Airblade V
  3. Great looking and ultra-energy efficientExcel Dryer XL-GR-ECO
  4. Large, beautiful hand dryer with Airblade technologyDyson Model AB 14
  5. Reliable and fast heavy duty hand dryerAike AK2903
  6. Quiet and ultra-efficient all around hand dryerToto HDR101 Hand Dryer
  7. Large affordable, high speed jet hand dryerAike AK2005H
  8. Recessed stainless steel hand dryerPalmer Fixture Blustorm2
  9. Compact, adjustable and reliable dryer – World Dryer SMARTdri
  10. Classic and durable button activated hand dryerWorld Dryer Model A


#1 | Excel dryer XL-C

Powerful and compact wall mounted hand dryer

The Excel dryer XL-C is a compact, minimalistic wall mounted air hand dryer with adjustable speed and heat, and sound control. The dryer activates with an automatic motion sensor and features an external service LED light that indicates when the dryer needs maintenance. The Excel dryer XL-C has built a reputation for being reliable and having a low failure rate of less than 1%. Lastly, the dryer is easy to install and has seven cover finish options. You can also order an optional recessed backsplash kit that protects your wall from water splashes.

  • Drying time: 8 seconds
  • Power consumption: 1300W
  • Noise: 70 dB
  • Dimensions: 11.75 x 12.7 x 6.7 inch
  • Warranty: 5 year-limited

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#2 | Dyson Airblade V

Fast designer hand dryer with Airblade technology

The Dyson Airblade V is a compact and well-designed wall mounted commercial hand dryer that operates fast and quietly. Additionally, it is hygienic in use thanks to the installed HEPA-filters which filter the blown air from dust mites and other small airborne particles. This makes this hand dryer a perfect option for people with dust allergies or asthma. Finally, its Airblade technology makes the device more energy efficient, and therefore cheaper to run than the average hand dryer. All these features and characteristics added together makes it a very popular option.

  • Drying time: 12 seconds
  • Power consumption: 1000W
  • Noise: 79 dB
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 9.25 x 17.9 inch
  • Warranty: 5 years

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#3 | Excel Dryer XL-GR-ECO

Great looking ultra-energy efficient hand dryer

The Excel Dryer XL-GR-ECO is a high speed, ultra-energy efficient hand dryer which uses up to 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers. It uses so little energy because of its innovative ‘no heat technology’, which allows you to install multiple units on one electrical circuit. Despite its low power needs it still has a fast drying time and is almost maintenance free. Lastly, the Excel dryer is available in seven different cover finishes and has an option recessed backsplash kit for wall protection.

  • Drying time: 10 seconds
  • Power consumption: 500 W
  • Noise: unknown
  • Dimensions: 11.75 x 12.7 x 6.7 inch
  • Warranty: 5 year-limited

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#4 | Dyson Model AB 14

Large and beautiful hand dryer with Airblade technology

The Dyson Model AB 14 is a thoughtfully designed hand dryer with Dyson Airblade technology which is 50% more quiet than the original model. The hot air hand dryer is made of ABS polycarbonate which makes this machine extremely durable and long lasting. The device requires almost no maintenance and its Airblade technology makes it more energy efficient than most other hand dryers.

  • Drying time: 12 seconds
  • Power consumption: 1400 W
  • Noise: 81 dB
  • Dimensions: 9.75 x 11.9 x 26 inch
  • Warranty: 5 years

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#5 | Aike AK2903

Reliable and fast heavy duty hand dryer

The AIKE AK2903 is a compact, automatic and fast drying hand dryer with a simple stainless-steel body, designed for heavy-duty use in a professional and commercial environment such as your office. This hot air dryer is easy to install, and is equipped with a HEPA filter and  safety features, such as time-out and over-heating protection. Additionally, this hand dryer features automatic heat which turns off the dryer’s air heating system when the environment temperature above 25 °C / 77 °F.

  • Drying time: 8-12 seconds
  • Power consumption: 1450 W
  • Noise: 68 dB
  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 11.9 x 6.8 inch
  • Warranty: 2 years

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#6 | Toto HDR101#WH Hand Dryer

Quiet and ultra-efficient all around hand dryer

The Toto HDR101#WH Hand Dryer is a compact hand dryer that is fast, energy efficient, and quiet. It is a wall mounted hand dryer that has some feature of a recessed dryer as it has an encompassing backsplash and some features or a vertical hand dryer as it features a removable drain tray. The only downside of this hand dryer seems to be the short 1 year warranty.

  • Drying time: 10-15 sec
  • Power consumption: 390 W
  • Noise: 57 dB
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 18.5 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year

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#7 | Aike AK2005H

Large affordable high speed jet hand dryer

The Aike AK2005H is a fast commercial hand dryer made of durable ABS plastic and features HEPA filters to ensure hygienic use. This vertical hand dryer is easily installed on walls and easily cleaned thank to its removable drain tank. The hand blower has an attractive design with an LED count down and control options for hot air and air velocity, as well as an auto-stop safety function to prevent overheating.

  • Drying time: 8-12 sec
  • Power consumption: 1850 W
  • Noise: 73 dB
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 11.8 x 27 inch
  • Warranty: 2 years

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#8 | Palmer Fixture Blustorm 2

Recessed stainless steel hand dryer

The Palmer Fixture Blustorm 2 is a powerful recessed hand dryer made of stainless steel. It has infrared sensors for automatic activation and deactivation once the user moves their hands away from the dryer. Additionally, it has safety features such as shutting off after 60 seconds and a motor thermal cut-off at 85 °C / 185 °F. This makes the dryer durable, vandal proof and virtually maintenance free.

  • Drying time: 10-15 seconds
  • Power consumption: 1600 W
  • Noise: 77 dB
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.5 x 20.2 inch
  • Warranty: 5 years limited

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#9 | World Dryer SMARTdri

Compact, adjustable and reliable hand dryer

The World Dryer SMARTdri is a small reliable air hand dryer with a fast-drying time, ideal for high traffic areas, such as public restrooms. The adjustable air flow, sound quality and heating options allow it to be fitted to a user’s comfort. The dryer is motion sensor activated, energy efficient, and features technology which inhibits the growth of bacteria.

  • Drying time: 10 seconds
  • Power consumption: 400 – 1200W
  • Noise: 72-80 dB
  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 11.4 x 14.7 inch
  • Warranty: 5 years limited

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#10 | World Dryer Model A

Classic, durable button activated hand dryer

The World Dryer Model A is a durable, long lasting wall mounted hand dryer with a classic design and push-button activation. Keep in mind that a button makes the dryer less hygienic in use. It comes in several cover materials and finishes, and five different electrically options. Although it is quiet and vandal resistant it does have a relatively long drying time.

  • Drying time: 30 seconds
  • Power consumption: 1725 W
  • Noise: 76 dB
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 11.3 x 9.5 inch
  • Warranty: 10 years

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Didn’t find the right hand dryer?

Our top 10 list contains recommendations for different types of hand dryers. You can read more about hand dryers in general below. Or check out all hand dryers at Amazon or Walmart.

Best Sellers:

Hand Dryer Guide

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What is a hand dryer?

Hand dryers are electronic devices that blow hot, warm or cold air in a directed stream and are meant to be used to dry wet hands after washing them. These devices are commonly used in (public) restrooms, bathrooms, kitchens or other areas where there is a need to dry wet hands. If used correctly, hand dryers offer a sustainable, effective and hygienic alternative to paper towels or cotton towels. As with most appliances, hand dryers have their up- and downsides, most of which will be discussed on this page.

Electric hand dryers allow the user to easily and quickly blow dry their wet hands after washing them in the restroom or in the kitchen. Most hand dryers don’t even require the push of a button, as the devices contain motion sensors to activate the dryer when it senses motion. This is more hygienic for the user because it allows for touchless use, which causes less transfer of germs or bacteria.

broad-warm-air-stream-vs-concentrated-airblade-stream

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Hand dryer types

To begin your search for the perfect hand dryer you first need to make a choice between the two main types of hand dryers, which are high speed hand dryers and standard speed hand dryers, but there are multiple ways in which you can categorize hand dryers, namely:

  • Shape:
    • Hands in – vertical hand dryer
    • Hands under – compact wall mounted hand dryer or recessed hand dryer
  • Method of activation:
    • Fully automatic – touchless infrared sensor, turns on when you hold hand in or under dryer and turn off when you remove your hands.
    • Automatic – touchless motion sensor, timer activates when you hold hands in or under dryer, turns off when timer runs out.
    • Button activated – requires touch (push of a button) to activate timer which is less hygienic.
  • Speed:
    • Stand speed hand dryers
    • High speed hand dryers
  • Air tempurature:
    • Warm broad air stream
    • Cold concentrated jet stream of air (Airblade)

However, we believe that for commercial use, choosing between high speed and standard speed hand dryer is the most helpful. While high speed hand dryers are powerful and fast, they do make more noise than standard hand dryers, which have less powerful and therefore less noisy but also slower. Below you can find a comparison table on the two types with information that is applicable to most hand dryer within these categories.

High Speed Hand Dryer

High-Speed-Hand-Dryer-dyson-airblade

Drying time: 10-15 seconds

Air temperature: Not heated

Energy efficiency: High*

Power: Approx. 1,500 watts

Noise level: 70 – 85 dB

Build material: Strong plastic (polycarbonate)**

Warranty: Approx. 5 years

HEPA filters: Standard***

Automatic/ Manual activation: Fully automatic****

Cost: $150-$1200

Standard Speed Hand Dryer

Standard-Speed-Hand-Dryer-bradley-hand-dryer

Drying time: 25-30 seconds

Air temperature: Heated

Energy efficiency: Low*

Power: Approx. 2,500 watts

Noise level: 60-75 dB

Build material: Vandal proof metals (iron/ stainless steel)**

Warranty: Approx. 10 years

HEPA filters: Sometimes***

Automatic/ Manual activation: Automatic or button****

Cost: $30-$200


Additional information:

* High speed hand dryers without heated air are more energy efficient than standard heated dryers. This has two benefits. Firstly, not having to heat the air saves electicity, while also drying faster due to the extra power. Secondly, 2 or 3 efficient dryers can be installed on one line which reduces installation costs.
** In terms of build material, standard hand dryers are more robust and durable as they usually have a metal case and are considered vandal proof. However, this doesn’t mean that high speed hand dryers cannot take a beating. These machines have polycarbonate plastic which is also extremely durable and will not be damaged easily.
*** HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are more common in modern high speed hand dryers and are strongly recommended. These filters clean the air before the dryer blows it on your hands. This allows for a much more hygenic use of the dryer, which can especially benefit users with allergies. If you want to read more about HEPA filters follow this link to find out more.
**** An old fashioned, standard speed, button activated dryer works with a timer that is activated when the button is pushed. Meanwhile, automatic and fully automatic hand dryers are more hygenic as they don’t require physical contact for activation. Automatic hand dryer have a motion sensor that activates the timer, and fully automatic hand dryers have an infrared sensor which activates and deactivates the dryer as needed.

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Why use a hand dryer? And how to use it?

Why should you get a hand dryer?

There are four main reasons why electric hand dryers are a great solution for washrooms in an office environment or public space.

how-to-use-hand-dryer

It’s a matter of better hygiene, convenience, cost and sustainability.

How to use a hand dryer properly

Hygiene is a common and justified concern when it comes to buying and using a hand dryer in an office environment. If a hand dryer is not used correctly by your employees, it can become a vehicle for spreading bacteria. The image below shows instructions on how to wash your hands properly when using a hand dryer.

how-to-wash-hands
Steps of Handwashing by StateFoodSafety

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and immediately dry them completely with the air dryer.

dial-antibacterial-hand-soap
Dial antibacterial hand soap (check on Amazon)

Using a hand dryer starts with washing your hands. You should always wash your hands with (antibacterial) hand soap to remove germs and bacteria. After your hands are washed thoroughly you can dry them with the hand dryer until your hands are dried fully. It is important that your hands aren’t wet anymore.

Hand dryers are only a hygienic concern if you still have germs on your hands when you use the device. Therefore, it is recommended to not touch anything else (faucet, sink or soap dispencer) prior using the hand dryer. Therefore, it is recommended to make use of automated devices in the restroom, such as touchless faucets and soap dispensers. But also think about a door that can be opened automatically without the need to touch it with your hands.

Automatic faucet and soap dispenser

Installing faucets and soap dispensers with sensors in office restrooms can help keep the office environment clean, professional looking and hygienic. Here are a few examples of automatic faucets and hand soap dispensers with sensors for touchless operation:


sink-faucet-automatic-sensor-touchless
Sink Faucet With Sensor
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automatic-soap-dispenser-touchless-stainless-steel
Soap Dispenser With Sensor
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Video: Dyson Airblade Tap Hand Dryer

Dyson developed a new 2-in-1 faucet and hand dryer. This hand dryer is integrated into the faucet. The main advantage is that the user doesn’t need to touch anything or move around during the process of hand washing because the faucet and the hand dryer both work automatically via motion sensors.

Video: The Truth About Hand Dryers

This is a science based video that Dyson has published as a response to some concerns that were expressed about the hygiene of their hand dryers. They find that key to hygiene when using a hand dryers is washing your hands properly with soap beforehand and using a hand dryer that undergoes the regular recommended cleaning and maintanence.

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Pros and cons of hand dryers

The public opinion on hand dryers varies, while some argue that these machines are the best sustainable solution for hand drying, others argue that they are unhygienic, ineffective and inefficient. In this section we will provide a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of hand dryers.

hand-dryer-or-paper-towels-restroom
Which environment looks more clean and professional?

Pros:

  • Sustainable solution with no waste production.
  • No waste production means less waste collection costs.
  • After device is purchased and installed the only costs are electricity use.
  • Device does not need to be emptied or refilled, only cleaned.
  • No more overflowing trash cans with used paper towels.
  • Less labor for refilling paper or cotton towels in the restrooms.
  • The device is electricity efficient (approx. electricity costs are $28 per year).
  • Quality devices can dry wet hands within a few seconds, just as quick as a paper towel.
  • Devices featuring sensors which automatically starts and stops the hand dryer.
  • The devices rarely have issues.
  • If used correctly it is a hygienic solution as most don’t require physical contact.

Cons:

  • The device is a higher investment than a paper towel dispenser itself.
  • Some models are hard to install, especially recessed hand dryers.
  • Most models are quite noisy during use.
  • If used incorrectly devices are unhygienic.
  • Devices needs to be cleaned regularly.
  • It can be difficult to find the right device for your company.
hand-dryers-in-restrooms-bathrooms-toilet-office-airport-public-examples
Examples of hand dryers in restrooms.

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How much does a hand dryer cost?

The cost of purchasing a hand dryer for your office depends on a few different factors, such as:

  • Build quality – The quality in which the device is built and put together effects the performance, lifespan and price of the device. Most hand dryers are made of plastic but there are also metal ones, mostly stainless steel. The plastic models are cheaper while the stainless steel models cost more.
  • Visible design – The visual appeal of these devices also influences pricing. If you want a designer hand dryer, such as a Dyson dryer, you will end up at the top end of the price range.
  • Brand – As with most products, the brand name represents a certain quality. This goes for hand dryers too, so well-known brands are usually pricier than unbranded or less known products.
  • Power – The power of a hand dryer typically decides how quickly the user’s hands will be dried. Quick drying requires more power and are therefore more costly, but these do not `lway require more electricity.

You can get hand dryers for as cheap as $30, but if you want a high-quality hand dryer prices can go up to $2,000 for a more beautiful designer models. However, on average a quality hand dryer will cost between $150 and $600.

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Specifications and features

Before purchasing an air hand dryer there a few features to concern. This next list will provide you with a number of features you may want to concern in your search for a hand dry and will explain to you why these features matter.

Specifications

Features

hepa-filter-backsplash-noise-reduction-nozzle-hand-dryers

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Installation and repair

The installation of a hand dryer can vary greatly depending on the brand and model. Some hand dryers can be easy to install by tourself, while other hand dryers, especially recessed models demand the assistance of a professional. Generally speaking, installing a non-recessed wall mounted hand dryer does not require the help of a professional and can be done by the following steps:

  1. Mount the included bracket to the wall which will hold up the device. This needs to be done with precision so that the dryer is mounted straight and at the correct height.
  2. When the bracket is installed continue by opening the lid of the dryer and hanging the device on the bracket.
  3. Afterwards an appropriate power supply must be installed, this could be from an electricity socket or directly from cables within the wall. How you can power the device depends on the model of the hand dryer.
  4. Finally, the hand dryer itself should be locked into place on the wall with screws and covered with the supplied lid. Now the hand dryer is ready to use for the first time.

How complicated or simple the installation of your hand dryer is can be found on the manufacture’s websites or in the installation booklet or user manual that comes with the hand dryer if you have already purchased it.

Some hand dryers can be plugged into everyday power sockets, while other require special wiring.

Below you can find a few helpful videos on how to install hand dryers. Please notes that we recommend consulting the installation manual prior to purchasing the device, and if the installation is beyond your abilities choose another model or hire a professional to install the device for you.

Video: Installation of a Dyson Airblade AB07 and AB14

Video: Installation of a Dyson Airblade V AB08 and AB12

Video: Installation of a XLERATOR Excel Dryer

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Maintenance and cleaning

As hand dryers are products that are related to hygiene, which meant to have a long lifespan, it is vital to maintain and clean them properly. How often and how thoroughly you need to clean your hand dryer can vary slightly depending on the model you chose. This is something to research before purchasing a hand dryer.

hand-dryer-cleaning-process
How to clean a hand dryer?

Some hand dryer models only need to be cleaned with a soft towel or microfiber cloth from the outside, which is easily done along with the regular scheduled restroom cleaning. One should note that cleaning a hand dryer also includes paying attention to the surfaces around it, such as the floor and walls. Meanwhile, other hand dryer models require additional maintenance such as the cleaning of filters, vacuuming inside the dryer or emptying water collection containers.

Hand dryers are low maintenance machines, but cleaning is vital.

Vertical hand dryers such as the Dyson Model AB 14 or the Aike AK2005H are very popular at the moment, but they are also strongly criticized for being unhygienic. However, vertical hand dryer are just as hygienic as any other hand dryer model, as long as the water collection container is emptied during the regular cleaning that all hand dryers should get. The image below shows an extreme example of a vertical Dyson hand dryer that was not cleaned as it should be.

dyson-airblade-unhygienic-cleaning-hand-dryer
Unhygienic Dyson due to poor maintenance and cleaning routines

Overall, most hand dryers require only minimal maintenance and don’t break down often, however they do require frequent cleaning to ensure hygienic use. Lastly, it is recommended to give them a routine inspection every 12 months.

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Hand drying and the environment

Hygiene in public bathrooms or large office restrooms is a big concern and part of everyday life. After using the toilet, and throughout the day, it is strongly recommended to wash your hand with water and soap. But what to do with your wet hands? Wipe them on your pants or skirt? In some situation you may actually be forced to do this if the hand or paper towels have run out again.

Hand dryers energy costs average around $28/year while paper towels costs around $900/year.
Source: Constellation.com

There are several hand drying methods that public or office bathroom may provide, namely:

  • Paper towels dispensers
  • Reusable cotton hand towels
  • Hand dryers
  • Cloth towel dispensers
paper-towels-overflowing-trash-cans-contamination-waste
Paper towels causes a lot of trash in the restroom.

Of these options hand dryer are by far the most sustainable and cost efficient in the long run. Paper towels, even recycled or biodegradable ones, produce the most waste and are high cost because they are not reusable. Meanwhile, cloth and cotton towels require regular replacement and frequent laundering which produces water waste. Contrastingly, hand dryers are a reliable one-time investment that produces no waste during use and only has minimal electricity consumption.

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Hand dryer manufacturers

dyson-hand-dryer

Dyson

Founded in 1991 in Britain and manufacturer of hand dryers, vacuum cleaners and heaters.


world-dryer-hand-dryer

World Dryer

Founded in 1951 in Illinois and part of Zurn. World Dryer is manufacturer of hand dryers and hair dryers.


xlerator-excel-hand-dryer

Xlerator

Founded in 1963 and is now based in Massachusetts. and manufacturer of hand dryers. Also known as Excel Dryer.


toto-hand-dryer

Toto

Founded in 1917 in Japan as Toyo Toki K.K. which became TOTO LTD. Specialized in toilets, faucets, baths and hand dryers.


aike-hand-dryer

Aike

Founded in 1992 in China and manufacturer of (high speed) hand dryers and automatic soap dispensers.

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Alternatives to hand dryers

Hand dryer may not be the best solution for everyone or every environment, so what are the alternatives? Here more practical alternatives you may want to concider if hand dryers are not for you.

hand-dryer-alternative-paper-towel-hand-towel-cloth-towel


Paper Towels

paper-towel-dispenser-wall-mount

Paper towels are another popular option that is often even a users preference over hand dryers. Although using a paper towel may be quicker than a hand dryer, they do create a lot of waste and a mess.

Recommended products on Amazon:

Paper towel dispensers:

Biodegrabable paper towels:


Small Washable Cotton Towels

organic-turkish-cotton-hand-towels-salbakos

Small cotton towels are a another, more luxurious option they create a lot of laundry which wastes water and energy.

Recommended products on Amazon:


Cloth Towel Dispenser

cloth-roll-towel-dispenser

Cloth towel dispensers are another good alternative to hand dryers as they do not create any waste and only require the cloth roll to be replaced regularly. However, the towel rools can become breeding grounds for bacteria as they stays damp most of the time.

Recommended products on Amazon:

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Step Up: Recycle, Reuse & Reduce

The three arrows of the recycling symbol represent the three main stages of the recycling process: recycling, reusing and reducing. Together the arrows form a closed loop. Step up and implement eco-friendly replacements in your daily life.

recycling-trilogy

Join the movement! Step Up the waste hierarchy together to a goal of Zero Waste.

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