21 August 2009


Mostly I am looking for what's good. Optimism is a far more healthy driving force than pessimism. It is easy to knock, to sneer, to wallow in cynicism. How much nicer to celebrate, to enjoy, to recognise positives. Nevertheless... however... nonetheless... and in spite of myself, I cannot help but be irritated by certain happenings or things I see around me. Today I wish to share a particular pet hate with you. It's the ubiquitous automatic hand dryer that nowadays we find in lavatories everywhere - at least in the western world.It's hard to put my finger on what it is I detest about this invention but I will try. Firstly, I hate the fact that they never dry your hands properly. You end up finishing off on your jeans because no matter how hard you rub your hands under the hot air, the dampness remains and usually there's another lavatory visitor waiting behind you with dripping mitts.

Secondly, I hate the fact that they often don't work - some as yet unfixed malfunction. You look around the "rest room" and find there's no alternative means of drying your digits so you shake them or maybe seek out some lavatory paper from one of the cubicles. Even when they are working, some hand dryers create such a pathetic stream of tepid air that you'd think a dog was breathing on you.

Thirdly, I have strong environmental concerns about hand dryers. They use up precious electricity. They have to be serviced by little men who arrive in vans with spanners and electrical gadgets. How far do these little men drive and how much petroleum do they use up? The offending items themselves have to be manufactured and then transported - sometimes between continents. Surely that can't be right.

Lastly, I think that drying one's hands should be a simple and straightforward process. Grab a towel, rub and then go. I can't help feeling that the millions of hand dryers that now exist in the world have all appeared because of marketing strategies - creating need where there was none. Life should be simple wherever simplicity is possible. The hand dryer reflects a view of life which is different from mine. For me it represents corporate gluttony rather than hygiene and it speaks of an attitude of mind in which society blindly and unquestioningly embraces the fruits of technology and manufacturing without stepping back and saying - actually we don't need them!


  1. I can see that you have thought quite a bit about this subject.

  2. You're absolutely right, we don't need them. I'm all for disposing of them altogether. Unfortunately paper towels are inferior, one sheet does nothing, two just about absorb the water.
    As an aside I heard one woman say to another 'I hate these things, they dry your hands.' She was of course referring to the effect on our skin.

  3. I hate the blasted things and never use them, because I always have about four thousand clean Kleenex in my handbag, along with everything else. Everyone laughs at me for this and then says "Daphne, have you a spare tissue?" HAH!

  4. Three little words: They. Are. Crap!

  5. I agree with you totally, they are a useless replacement for much more sanitary hand towels. The reason they are there is to save money, not for our convenience.

  6. My children hate them. They hate the noise. Hands over ears. So we don't bother. Absolutely agree with you on this one.


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