Rising Importance of Hygiene in Public Restrooms

20 May 2021

Over the last decade more and more companies have replaced paper towels with air driers in their public washrooms. Claiming a more environmentally friendly approach in combination with cost savings and the need for less maintenance have been some of the strongest arguments. The debate about air dryers being hygienic or not is not new. And despite pros and cons, most people probably have their own opinion whether they decide to use the dryers or not when visiting a public washroom.

When the corona pandemic struck the world with force in the beginning of 2020 the focus on personal hygiene suddenly skyrocketed. Never before have we focused so much on washing our hands. And never before have we felt so reluctant to using public bathrooms.

To better understand our behavior when visiting public washrooms Metsä Tissue, one of the leading tissue paper suppliers in Europe, is every year conducting their Washroom Survey using independent researchers, Kantar. This year’s results were not a surprise; users of public washrooms declined with 12% and 68% of all who responded described a fear of picking up an infection when visiting a public toilet.

But what about the air dryers? As many as 55% of the responders said that air dryers are unhygienic. Using a paper towel is the most preferred way of drying hands. Although similar preference was reported previous years, the numbers have since risen.

As a result of the broad awareness of personal hygiene the availability of tissue paper and sanitizers in public washrooms will be increasingly important

Lila Paper