A green and nostalgic way to dry hands


I was in a restaurant last week (not a local one) and encountered something I hadn’t seen since I was a kid: a rolling hand towel in the restroom. You know, the kind where there’s one long cloth towel in the shape of a loop, and after you dry your hands you pull it down so the next person has a dry section.

I was glad to see it in a way, for nostalgia’s sake and also because this seems like a greener option than either blow-dryers or paper towels. However, I also felt more reluctant to use the communal towel than I remember feeling as a kid. Must be those years of conditioning, always having my own brand-new paper towel, that have made me more germophobic.

Presumably that’s silly, because somebody comes along at some point to launder the towel. And, one hopes, folks are drying only their just-washed hands, not their sweaty faces. (Also, Martha Stewart approves!)

Anyway, it’s largely a moot point since those rolling towels are now about as common as cars with fins. Mostly, if we can choose at all, we choose between paper and blow-drying. (There’s always the option of using one’s own clothes.) I tend to go for paper, because machines that use electricity just feel more wasteful to me, but I have no scientific backing for that choice.

How do you dry your hands? Anyone want to fess up to owning one of these?