It's not pleasant to think about, but only 15% of people correctly wash their hands after using the restroom. (10% of women don't do it at all, while 25% of men don't, according to a recent survey.)
That can sure make a restroom germy. American Dryer is determined to change all that. Pioneering one of the most high-tech dryers in the world, the company manufactures a product that not only dries your hands — it can do it in a quieter, softer way. And, best of all, it kills germs.
That's because the company, originally founded in 1952, has a technology it calls Cold Plasma Clean (cPc®) that dries your hands while killing germs. “Cold plasma is something that occurs in nature,” says Mike Robert, American Dryer Vice President of Sales and Technology. “You know how you walk on the beach after a storm and the breeze off the ocean is so fresh and clean? That's literally the cold plasma experience. It's nature's way of killing germs. We took something that occurs in nature and packaged it in a small, energy-efficient solid-state device® and called it our eXtremeAir cPc dryer.”
American Dryer got into the business at a time when electric motor technology was such that electric hand dryers became possible, according to Robert. “It was revolutionary and new. For the first time, you could dry your hands without needing some sort of towel, which might spread germs,” he says.
But it's not just germs that concern the company.
“Until recently, all hand dryers used to be the same,” says Robert. “They simply dried your hands. It took forever to dry your hands. Ours are very fast. They dry hands in 10 seconds. We were pioneers in that technology. Now many companies make similar types of hand dryers, but we've evolved to an even more attractive, unique feature: adjustable sound and speed.
“Most high-speed hand dryers are known to be too loud. They work great, they're energy-efficient and environmentally friendly but the user experience was not always what we wanted it to be. Most have one setting – the too-loud setting! We have adjustable sound and speed. You can adjust the sound level to match the environment in which the dryer is being installed,” he says. “A cafeteria at a college at certain times can get very, very busy, so those dryers can be turned on high and move people out of the restrooms very quickly and no one minds the noise.
“But you can put those same dryers in a five-star restaurant, where the ambiance is very important and you can't tolerate a lot of noise. The same dryer could be toned down for that application. Our technology allows us to make one high-speed hand dryer that's suitable for all different applications in the foodservice industry.”
Jim Fisher, American Dryer Vice President of Sales and Marketing says foodservice is a big part of the company's business. “We serve a lot of large- and small-scale restaurants, and we can make recommendations based on the size and type of your restaurant,” Fisher added.
But what's truly revolutionary, Fisher claims, is the company's patented eXtremeAir hand dryer with cPc. “This is like nothing else out there,” he says. “Why should a hand dryer just dry your hands? You're in the restroom, and the #1 concern right now is germs, especially if you're processing or serving food. We really care about germs in the restroom. Why just dry your hands when you can use our Cold Plasma Clean technology to actually kill the germs?”
Fisher says most people know the best thing you can do after using a restroom is wash your hands. “But unfortunately, many studies have found that only a small percentage of people actually do that. And most don't wash their hands per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of 20 seconds. We agree the correct answer is to properly wash your hands, but it's important to dry them properly, too. Why not use a hand dryer that's capable of killing germs?”
Typically, sanitizing is accomplished with chemicals or soaps. “That's not practical in a hand dryer application,” he says. “We invented something new and revolutionary for the market, that’s also maintenance free. If it had containers of chemicals, people wouldn't want to put chemicals on their hands and restaurants wouldn't want to take the time to refill the bottle. So we use electronics, which don't need maintenance, to create cold plasma. It's the fourth state of matter. We create plasma with our electronics. There are no chemicals, nothing to change or replace. Our electronics are solid state and maintenance free.”
Robert says the plasma has equal numbers of positive and negative ions that attach themselves to germs like E.coli, Salmonella, Influenza, Staph, C.diff, and MRSA*. “When these ions attach themselves to germs, they immediately blow them up into pieces. And what you're left with is pure water vapor that's always in the air in the first place, a simple natural process that kills germs through creation of this plasma,” he explains.
American Dryer even has a calculator on its website that can help restaurants figure out how much they might save if they switched over from paper dispensers. “Paper towels are used in roughly 85% of public restrooms. It used to be over 95% but it's steadily declining. The way paper towels work is great but producing them is very energy-intensive. You have to start out by cutting down some nice trees, then haul those trees away and process them into paper, so it's an environmentally impactful process. It also takes a lot of water — at least 7,000 gallons of water have to be polluted to produce a ton of paper towels. A lot of oil and gas resources are also used to create and distribute the paper towels. And as if that's not bad enough, once you use a paper towel, it can't be recycled or made into paper again. It has to be put in a landfill, and that's an environmental issue and very expensive. It takes a lot of energy to create and transport and dispose of paper towels,” says Robert.
In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, foodservice companies' cost savings can be huge. “We're talking about a cafeteria with the experience of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Even a small restaurant will save at least $2,000 a year,” he says.
In schools and restaurants where American Dryer products are used, posters on the restroom walls tell students or patrons that the establishment cares about the cleanliness of their restrooms as well as paper towels’ environmental impact. “It gives them a great marketing opportunity,” he adds. “It makes a statement to customers that they care about hygiene and are an environmentally friendly business.”
And in terms of recouping the cost, the eXtremeAir cPc and dryers sell for around $500, Fisher says. “But if you're spending $2,000 a year, you break even in just a few months and then save a couple thousand a year. These dryers last 12 to 15 years, so that's an enormous amount of savings over a product's lifetime.”
The company distributes its dryers in Canada, South and Central America, Europe, the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, and Asia.
“Everyone else is just figuring out how to dry your hands. We're providing a complete hygiene solution,” says Fisher. “You're not just going green with hand dryers. You do it in a very profitable manner.”
For more information, go to:
www.americandryer.com, call 800-485-7003, or email Jim Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*EPA Est. No. 091022MI001. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease.