Hand drying is the last, but indispensable, step towards good hand hygiene. And hygiene remains the most effective means of preventing the spread of germs and viruses, such as Corona, flu, or colds. But is the use of cotton towel rolls hygienic? We address these and the following questions in this article:
What does WHO recommend regarding hand drying?
The WHO has published guidelines for good hand hygiene. It is recommended that you always thoroughly dry your hands after washing, using a clean, dry single-use towel. This may be a paper towel or a single-use cotton towel. Your hands must be thoroughly dry because wet hands accelerate the transfer of bacteria.
Therefore, also pay attention when using a blower, because when using it, the hands often remain wet. It is better to use a clean, dry towel.
Will I not come into contact with a used piece of cotton?
When operating the CWS towel dispenser correctly, you will not come into contact with a piece of cotton towel roll that has already been used. And thanks to the 2-chamber system, clean and used parts of the towel roll remain physically separated and transmission of germs is prevented.
At CWS, we distinguish between two types of cotton towel roll dispensers. One variant is based on a retractable system and the other on manual operation.
A clean portion of cotton towel roll
To ensure that no piece of towel is used more than once, the CWS dispenser with the retractable system automatically retracts each portion after use. This ensures that no one comes into contact with a piece of the cotton towel roll that has already been used, and that each new user receives a clean piece of cotton towel. Cotton towel roll dispensers, when used correctly, are therefore a very safe way to dry your hands.
What happens to the used cotton towel rolls?
Used cotton towel rolls are picked up by CWS service employees and washed according to a germicidal and disinfectant washing process. All our laundries comply with the RABC certificate EN 14065:2016 and are inspected for this annually.
RABC stands for Risk Analysis Biocontamination Control and with this, we guarantee the microbiological quality of the laundry. When collecting the used rolls from the customer, the service employee also refills the freshly washed rolls, so that there is always a sufficient supply for hand drying.
Separation of used and clean towel rolls during transport
During transport, we ensure strict separation of used and clean cotton towel rolls. We have also provided personal protective equipment (PPE) for our laundry and service employees to reduce the potential impact of bacterial and viral transmission. The safety of employees and customers is our top priority.
What is the advantage of cotton over paper?
We mentioned at the beginning of this article that both the use of paper and a cotton towel roll, provided each user receives a clean portion, meet the hygiene guidelines regarding hand drying of the WHO.
The use of cotton has several advantages over paper. For example, it prevents waste in the washroom: no paper towels lying around and the need to place waste bins. In addition, the use of cotton in hand drying is:
- Better for the environment
- Better for the skin
1. Cotton is more environmentally friendly
The environment benefits from this multi-use hand drying solution. Cotton is 100% natural and for that reason 100% biodegradable.
By recycling, a cotton hand towel roll has considerably less environmental impact compared to paper hand towel rolls.
Standard cotton hand towel rolls of 35 m:
- Provide approximately 110 towel portions per use
- Can be washed an average of 100 times
(without loss of quality)
A cotton towel roll replaces approximately 11,000 paper towels during its life cycle.
And 90% of discarded old cotton towel rolls are reused as raw material for cleaning cloths and mops.
2. Cotton is more skin-friendly
Compared to paper, hand drying with cotton is more skin-friendly. The soft cotton ensures a pleasant feeling on the skin and less skin irritation.
Another advantage is the high absorption capacity (better moisture absorption) and thus an optimal hand drying effect.