The War on Germs Just Went Cold

Cold Plasma Technology

American Dryer’s Cold Plasma Clean® (CPC) hand dryer uses breakthrough technology to eliminate, not spread, viruses and bacteria. The air that reaches your hands is warm, but the technology that goes into destroying germs relies on cold plasma technology. This technology has been around since the 1930s, and is used in HVAC systems in schools, hospitals, and other facilities to keep the air clean. Recently, it has been used to treat surgical incisions in the medical industry and in the food processing industry to break down pathogens within food. Today, this technology has been funneled into hand dryers to help battle germs on the front lines.

While many contaminants can be found within undercooked or improperly stored food, some are airborne and can be spread through a lack of sanitation in areas like restaurants, health care facilities, and schools. Bathroom filth and the bacteria can become aerosolized by flushing toilets. This is one of the big concerns with traditional dryers as they’re seen as collecting and redistributing that filth to your hands. The most basic way to avoid this type of pathogen is to wash your hands regularly and to have hand-washing protocols in place for employees. Just what types of disgusting, sick-making, creepy-crawly germs can be spread by your seemingly innocent hands? How about these:

  • Bacteria: Strep, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, C. diff, salmonella, E. coli, staph (including MRSA)
  • Viruses: Common cold, flu, measles, shingles, hepatitis A, noroviruses, rotavirus,
  • Fungi: Athlete’s foot, ringworm
  • Parasites: Giardia (a cause of gastroenteritis)[1]

Although most protocols require employees to wash hands often, hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps may not be enough to guarantee a germ-free environment. This is where American Dryer’s CPC hand dryer comes into play.

How It Works

  • Step One: Water makes contact with the pathogen.
  • Step Two: The dryer turns water vapor into positive and negative ions.
  • Step Three: These ions surround the pathogen in as menacing a way as microscopic particle can.
  • Step Four: This removes the hydrogen from the pathogen, essentially exploding the pathogen like a days-old party balloon.
  • Step Five: The destroyed elements of the virus combine with hydrogen to create water, the only byproduct.
  • Step Six: The force of the air dries the water, leaving nothing else behind


When deciding between a CPC dryer and one with HEPA filtration, you may want to keep in mind that cold plasma technology actually destroys illness and odor-causing germs. While HEPA filters are great for ensuring the air blown onto your hands is clean, they simply trap the little troublemakers, rather than destroying any that might already be on your hands.

Additionally, you should remember that HEPA filters need to be cleaned in order to keep them germ-free. Cold Plasma Clean dryers, however, are relatively maintenance-free. California Air Resource Board (CARB) has certified the CPC, but those with HEPA filters have not passed their rigid standards.

The Proof

Results from two leading microbiology labs have independently tested the CPC, and the technology is proven to be safe and effective. Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) is a CDC-certified lab with AIHA accreditation in industrial hygiene and environmental biology. Advanced Technology Laboratory (ATL) is a GLP-compliant laboratory audited by the FDA and the EPA. These labs tested the kill rate of the following germs and these were the results from EMSL and ATL, respectively:

  • E. coli: 99.6 % and 98.46%
  • Staph: 97.64% and 89.34%
  • MRSA: 96.24% and 96.61%
  • Salmonella: Though EMSL didn’t test for this, ATL indicated a kill rate of 96.43%

When combined with antibacterial soup and hand sanitizers, creating a virtually germ-free zone in your establishment can be simpler than you may have imagined.

CPC Specifications

Adjustable Speed and Sound: Drying time by default is 10 seconds but can be adjusted up to 35 seconds and is monitored by a microprocessor-controlled sensor. The speed of the output air can be adjusted from 19,000-10,000 linear feet per minute. Why would you want to slow down drying time? Because a universal complaint about these high-speed dryers is that they’re quite loud. The sound level can be reduced from 83-60 dB, so it is great from loud spaces like sports arenas to quiet places like libraries.

Universal Voltage: Installing the CPC hand dryer is a simple process. It can be placed anywhere a 120- or 240-volt power source exists. The wattage is adjustable from 1500-800 watts.

Design: The compact design of the CPC dryer is up to 43 percent smaller than the industry standard. Its one-piece cover and the internal components are vandal-resistant. The air intake is also shielded for safety and these units have a virtually indestructible one-piece fixed nozzle.

Air Temperature: The CPC hand dryer maintains an air temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit when the room temperature is 72 degrees.

Green Information

One of the concerns with ionizing devices is the production of ozone. This technology is shown to produce ozone at levels that are 15 times lower than the standard and complies with CARB’s stringent standards.[2]

All of American Dryer’s EXTREMEAIR hand dryers offer efficient energy use. Paper towels cannot be recycled and producing them is costly, both to a producer and to the environment. Both LEED and GreenSpec have granted listings and certifications for EXTREMEAIR hand dryers.

Cost Analysis

An American Dryer hand dryer is, without a doubt, an economical alternative to paper towels. Large facilities like universities and sports arenas tout savings of several thousand dollars a year when implementing hand dryers, those by American Dryer, particularly. Not only can customers save up to 98 percent over paper towels, the hand dryers are safer for the environment.

The fact that American Dryer’s entire EXTREMEAIR line is virtually maintenance-free is an additional cost benefit. The strong, vandal-resistant covers and the long-life, high-performance motors mean that your dryer should last for years, even in high-volume areas like schools, stadiums, and hospitals.

[1]"Pathogen." Wikipedia. January 2015.

[2]Robert, Michael. "High Speed Hand Dryer with Cold Plasma." American Dryer, Inc. March 2014. November 2016.