You’ve got to hand it to school hand dryers

School hand dryers are often forgotten, but very important. They can keep your school clean and healthy, so make sure you have the right one!

Published: January 20, 2017


School hand dryers are an important cost and energy-saver that also help to reduce the risk of infection among pupils.

There’s been much debate about whether paper towels or hand dryers were best for schools in the past, but the new generation of ‘hands-under’ and blade dryers has settled the debate once and for all.

Read on to find out what the school hand dryers of today could do for you.

How do new school hand dryers stack up against the alternatives?


Even when logistical costs (such as delivery, installation and disposal) are ignored, average spend on paper towels at a medium-sized business is £2,000pa.

This is compared to just £60pa after initial purchase for hand dryers.

Dyson’s Airblade – a leader in the hand dryer field – is up to 80% cheaper than old-style hand dryers, and 98% less costly than paper towels.

You should also consider maintenance costs. New school hand dryers need replacing less frequently than old hand dryers or paper towel dispensers thanks to brushless motors and vandal-resistant features.

Hand dryers also remove the requirement to restock and dispose of used paper towels.


Old hand dryers could blow bacteria stored internally onto users’ hands, some of it from faecal matter.

However, bacteria are primarily spread by direct contact, which posed a problem for old hand dryers (now operated by remote sensors) and paper towel dispensers.

An empty paper towel dispenser – an all-too-frequent occurrence – is the most unhygienic scenario, as pupils will leave with moisture on their hands that enables bacteria to grow.

The NSF-approved Dyson Airblade dries 95% of moisture within 13 seconds and uses a HEPA filter to remove 99.9% of airborne bacteria.

Other hygiene features on new hand dryers include:

  • Internal self-cleaning
  • Antibacterial plastics
  • Cold plasma generator (kills bacteria caused by heated airflow)
  • ‘Sterilisation field’ (almost negates the risk posed by E. coli, staph and MRSA)


Hand dryers use around three times less CO2 than hand towels, and generate no additional waste.

Standard hand dryers use approximately 1.5kW per hour of use, with eco-friendly models using as little as 0.35kWh1. Dyson’s Airblade combines the fastest drying speeds with a 1.6kW power rating to ensure energy consumption of 4.4 – 6W per use, compared to 25+ for old-school warm air hand dryers.

With hand dryers, no energy need be expended on manufacturing hand towels, or processing waste towels and transporting them to landfill. Hand towels comprise approximately 2% of total landfill in the US.

In fact, studies have shown that one hand dryer could save the equivalent of 24 trees’ worth of paper over its lifespan.

Fear factor

Younger pupils, and those with conditions including autism and hyperacusis, might well be scared by the noise of a hand dryer (which can be as loud as a lawnmower).

This can make children reluctant to dry their hands properly, which increases the risk of bacterial infection.

But, new models like ‘Puff the Magic Dryer’ help pupils overcome this fear, with brightly coloured graphics and a low noise level of just 70dB (the same as ambient street noise).

Call on Utility Rentals and gain access to a huge selection of school hand dryers that can help you save money.