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13. Bright Idea: Hands-free Paper Towel Dispensers November 2, 2006

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Product.

DispenserSpeaking of public bathroom hygiene, why aren’t handsfree dispensers in every public bathroom? Ok, perhaps most of the time the dispenser handle is one of the cleanest surfaces in the bathroom you may end up touching, but why touch it at all if you don’t have to? Maybe the last time you did, the previous person to touch it was the drunk guy needing a paper towel to dry all the urine off his hands and pants.

You can read about and buy this one here (Amazon).

DispenserTo the right is another elbow-use version. You can find it here (Amazon).

Now, all that is needed is a hands-free bathroom door opener, since they all seem to require pulling the door open to leave, and not pushing (which would simply require an elbow pad). Until then, I will just keep using a paper towel to open the door, then throwing the towel on the floor corner near the door (unless the establishment was bright enough to figure out to put a waste basket right there).

P.S. I only feel a little guilty throwing the towel on the floor. My hope is that this sign will encourage the establishment to put a waste basket there. This is a similar logic I use in not giving beggars change: I figure that not giving them money will encourage them to get a job. (This logic conveniently supports my laziness and stinginess).


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