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Press button, wipe hands on pants ... NOT!
July 16, 2004 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Press button, wipe hands on pants ... NOT! FINALLY someone has done something about those crappy hand driers that never really worked in the first place. I encountered my first XLERATOR in the men's room of my local pool hall the other night. For a moment I feared it would blow the flesh off my tender hands. But no flesh-tearing was to occur; it performed its intended function flawlessly in about 10 seconds. My profound and everlasting gratitude to its inventor. Best news ever? Do I need to get a life?
posted by ZenMasterThis (38 comments total)

 
Saving 10 seconds in the bathroom while saving the planet is priceless.
posted by stbalbach at 2:33 PM on July 16, 2004


I've seen driers in Japan based on a pair thin strong streams of hot air at the top of a wide slot you poke your hands into. Super quick and it worked great. Haven't seem them elsewhere.
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 2:47 PM on July 16, 2004


I've seen driers in Japan based on a pair thin strong streams of hot air at the top of a wide slot you poke your hands into. Super quick and it worked great. Haven't seem them elsewhere.

That's because everyone else has read Dune and don't think they can pass the test.
posted by raygun21 at 2:52 PM on July 16, 2004


Picture of legendary awesome Japanese hand dryer.
posted by jjray at 2:54 PM on July 16, 2004


I'm pro-hand dryer in theory, but in practice... not so much. It's cheaper sure, and they (the dryer manufacturers) say it's more sanitary to not have soiled paper towels strewn about the bathroom, but I need a paper towel prophylactic to open the bathroom door on my way out. If everyone washed their hands it'd be one thing, but a hell of a lotta people don't. They don't even pretend to wash their hands after touching their junk at the urinal, or worse- emerging from the stall.
posted by crank at 2:56 PM on July 16, 2004


i once was in the toilets of a pub and the button ws missing from the hand dryer so i stuck my wet finger into the hole to press the stick thing that looked like a switch. the shock through me across room. luckily (pub toilet floor) i didn't fall over.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:32 PM on July 16, 2004


Brit's (site of the next minneapolis meetup?) has driers like these... ever see 1950s era footage of high g-force test subjects? Yeah, your hands kinda look like that.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:46 PM on July 16, 2004


I once heard a man from a hand-dryer company say, on the radio, that "Yes hand-dryers were a little unhygienic" because they blew the germs all over the place. A quick google gave me handwashingforlife.com which backs up my man - albeit with a different reason.
posted by meech at 3:50 PM on July 16, 2004


I'll take recycled paper towels over electricity-wasting-inefficient hand "dryers" any day.
posted by dabitch at 4:11 PM on July 16, 2004


...was just going to post about the japan hand dryers. Everytime I wash my hands in a public restroom I wonder why I have to whipe my hands on my pants. ..unlike my trip to japan.
posted by tomplus2 at 4:14 PM on July 16, 2004


Much better for environment NOTY to wash your hands (don't yhou clean your privates in the morning in batroom? Do you pee on your hand in men's room?)...or use your pants for quick wipe
posted by Postroad at 4:28 PM on July 16, 2004


Not to derail, but I saw once, on a hand dryer with no words but the pictograms of a finger pressing and red waves of hot air coming out of the nozzel, the graffiti "PUSH BUTTON, GET BACON".
posted by sohcahtoa at 5:34 PM on July 16, 2004


Yeah, I use that justification for not washing my hands too Postroad ;-)
posted by dg at 6:01 PM on July 16, 2004


I've always liked the somewhat old-fashioned big-captive-loop-of-cotton-towel style of hand dryer.
posted by hattifattener at 6:02 PM on July 16, 2004


I actually like those hand dryers. They leave my hands feeling soft and not dried out like paper towels.

So a 10 sec one would be great. Those Japenese ones look really great.

By the time we get anything like that in Vermont I'll be old and have forgotten about this thread. But then again, there are a lot of hippies in Burlington.
posted by evening at 6:25 PM on July 16, 2004


I hear you, crank. I'm a take-a-towel-to-the-door type myself.

I once saw a guy feeding out paper towels and then washing his hands, presumably because of the lever. Made sense, but I'm not there yet. If I did that, some dude would cruise up and rip them off, and then I'd have to get my ass kicked.

To my experience, your average Tokyo resident likely carries around a tissue or two expressly for the purpose of touching things like door knobs, clip boards, human flesh.

The war against cooties has been fortified by Excel!
posted by squirrel at 6:40 PM on July 16, 2004


Do you pee on your hand in men's room?
Urine is antiseptic. Every man should pee on his hands before leaving the men's room.

But you know, the best hand dryer I've come across was in a rest area in Kansas, somewhere just past the Chisolm Trail. There was an air compressor outside the door, and they had snaked a hose through the men's room walls. These were hooked up to two or three nozzles opposite the sinks—which offered no soap, I might add. There were no buttons or—ughh—hand sensors, just a constant high-pressured blast. (Speaking of hand sensors, have you seen those sensor-activated paper towel dispensers? What decadence.)

The damn things tossed the water straight off your hands better than any nancified dryer. That's the sort of utilitarian ingenuity that won the West, my boy. And a plain kinda comfort too: You could stick your wet palm on the nozzle and make the absolute loudest farting noises.
posted by eatitlive at 6:59 PM on July 16, 2004


Am I the only person who finds the standard hand dryer not at all ineffectual nor particularly in need of improvement?
posted by majick at 7:09 PM on July 16, 2004


Every man should pee on his hands before leaving the men's room.

Ahahhaha. I want to post this on theback of the door at work, where the knob is perpetually moist.
posted by Hackworth at 7:54 PM on July 16, 2004


al gore invented the internet

and i have dsl in my home

precisely for these sorts of threads.

thank you, God.
posted by tsarfan at 9:05 PM on July 16, 2004


ten seconds? are you people actually realizing how long that is? Not much better than regular hand dryers. Paper towels are two seconds, tops. Just count to ten slowly. In today's urban, high-paced go-go lifestyle, who's got ten seconds to spare?
posted by ac at 10:24 PM on July 16, 2004


There is an Xlerator drier in a McDonald's that recently opened near me. Maybe other new McDonaldses will get them, too. But the flapping-skin effect unnerves me.

Raygun21: classic!
posted by halonine at 10:27 PM on July 16, 2004


I saw once at Disney's Animal Kingdom, was so amazed I washed my hands twice.

More hand dryer graffiti: I saw a hand dryer at an amusement park in Ohio that had a little sticker on the button saying "Press for a message from your local Congressman."
posted by ALongDecember at 12:09 AM on July 17, 2004


Much better for environment NOTY to wash your hands (don't yhou clean your privates in the morning in batroom? Do you pee on your hand in men's room?)...or use your pants for quick wipe

"I wash my hands before I touch my dick."
posted by stavrogin at 8:32 AM on July 17, 2004


There are XLERATORs in the new Eaton Centre bathrooms in Montreal. When I visited, I was blown away (har har). It's a truly exciting, almost revivifying experience. I went home and talked to my roommates about it. A week later, my girlfriend - whom I had not talked to about this - calls me to tell me about her "hand-drying experience." A worthy FPP!
posted by Marquis at 9:28 AM on July 17, 2004


And a plain kinda comfort too: You could stick your wet palm on the nozzle and make the absolute loudest farting noises.

And could quite possibly give yourself an injected air embolism, too! High-pressure air and human contact are a very, very poor combination. Please don't do it.

I don't understand why bathroom doors don't open outward. It'd solve all the need-a-towel door handle problems.

And, finally, the towels I tend to like best are the endless-length cloth ones. Hygenic, afaik, and they dry better than paper or hot air.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 AM on July 17, 2004


Just curious - all you folks who use a paper towel to open the bathroom door: do you think the horrible germs on people's hands suddenly die once they leave the pathroom environment? Or do you open ALL doors with paper towels? I've never understood that. What's worse is when the door-opening towel ends up behind the door, on the floor. At least take it with you and toss it.
posted by icetaco at 10:34 AM on July 17, 2004


I see your point, icetaco (although the web site on your profile page I cannot see). Speaking for myself, I try to use my backhand or foot or shoulder for most public doors, if possible. I think most cootiephobes are particularly careful to use a towel in restrooms when they're at a restaurant and are going to be eating straight away. Regarding the taper towels around the door, I'm a take-and-toss type as a rule, but business owners should ideally have the foresight to put the trash can near the door.
posted by squirrel at 11:27 AM on July 17, 2004


This is why airport lavatories have IR-activated everything and doorless entries and exits. If they could just figure out the stall door problem you could get in and out without ever touching anything. Which is good because I don't want the dirty nasty foreign diseases that you pervy sonsabitches are swapping in your state, I only want the good, decent god-fearin' diseases that my local good people are dyin' of.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:51 PM on July 17, 2004


>I don't understand why bathroom doors don't open outward.

Because then it'd be easier for members of the opposite sex to peek in. Also, for a locked door, in an emergency, it's easier to beat a door in than pull it out. Just my guess.

Hey, look, they came up with the design when "member of the opposite sex" was a perfectly common phrase.

Everyone, QUIT WORRYING ABOUT DOOR HANDLES AND STUFF! Good lord, they're usually made of stainless steel. It doesn't carry germs. Germs have half-lives of like 2 seconds on stainless steel. Bunch of hypochindriacs! :-D

Oh, and I hate infrared anything. That shit just don't work.

Thank you for posting something that disproves something I had always thought was true -- that electric hand dryers used more electricity than paper towels used energy. Clearly, I'm wrong!
posted by shepd at 3:32 PM on July 17, 2004


You just know some miscreant teenager with anger issues has given his asshole a good scratching, and then made sure to handle the washroom doorhandle. Damn near guaranteed, especially in shitholes like McDonalds or your typical family-style restaurant.

Which is a mighty fine reason to use a paper towel when handling the doorknob.

And over in the pub, chances are some syphilis-dripping cockwringer has forgone handwashing just a minute ago. Again, a great place to use a paper towel.
Separate issue: why oh why is it that most of North America, in my experience, hasn't learned that the only decent men'sroom design includes courtesy dividers between urinals?

"Shy kidneys" isn't an exactly uncommon trait. Lot more men would benefit by the courtesy divider than will ever benefit from those huge wheelchair-friendly toilet stalls. Yet, despite being cheap and reasonably effective, damn near no washroom has 'em. Bizarro.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:56 PM on July 17, 2004


To hell with hand dryers. There's a bloke here who must let off what amounts to an arse hand grenade every morning just after the cleaners have left, and is incapable of picking up the brush to clean up after himself. The ideal bathroom machine imho would be the one that grabbed him round the throat and forced his ignorant head into the bowl to clean it up as best he can.
posted by biffa at 12:57 PM on July 18, 2004


Majick: Yes, apparently you are.
posted by ramakrishna at 1:29 PM on July 18, 2004


Also, for a locked door, in an emergency, it's easier to beat a door in than pull it out. Just my guess.
Here, toilet doors have to either open outward or have "lift-off" hinges so that the door can be easily removed should someone collapse in there. With a room that small, it is almost impossible for anyone to get in to help with an unconscious body slumped against an inward-opening door. Public toilets are only exempt from that if they have sufficient space at top or bottom for someone to climb over or under the door.
posted by dg at 3:26 PM on July 18, 2004


"And could quite possibly give yourself an injected air embolism, too! High-pressure air and human contact are a very, very poor combination. Please don't do it."

More on this please? I've never heard of the phenomenon. Sounds interesting.
posted by Tubes at 11:30 PM on July 18, 2004


Much better for environment NOTY to wash your hands (don't yhou clean your privates in the morning in batroom? Do you pee on your hand in men's room?)...or use your pants for quick wipe

uncle cecil says to wash your hands anyway.
posted by xmattxfx at 6:46 AM on July 19, 2004


Tubes: here.

Back in the days when the telco monopoly cared about its employees, it held regular safety training courses. When running wire through conduit a "mouse" (spool of what's basically dental floss) is blown through the line using compressed air, then a feeder rope drawn through, and then the wire drawn through.

One of the safety courses emphasized the hazard of directly the compressed-air stream at one's skin; danger of embolism.

While searching up a relevant link, I noticed a message about a guy with a small skin cut. He tried blowing the dust out. Instead, he forced air between the layers of skin, both shredding the outer layer and creating a huge air pocket. ICK!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 AM on July 19, 2004


You just know some miscreant teenager with anger issues has given his asshole a good scratching, and then made sure to handle the washroom doorhandle.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:56 PM PST on July 17


You don't 'just know' anything. Realize that this is all in your mind. relax. Don't sweat the small stuff.

or, as my significant other (who is a doctor) likes to say: "what's your immune system for?"
posted by Miles Long at 1:05 PM on July 19, 2004


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