We all know 80% of common infectious illnesses are spread by our hands, and effective hand washing is our best defence – but what about hand drying? Are all the methods equally hygienic?
Hand drying after all is an essential part of the hand washing process, this is because wet hands are better at passing on germs than dry ones. Hand drying effectiveness includes – the speed of drying, degree of dryness, effective removal of bacteria, and prevention of cross-contamination.
There have been many debates and studies on what is actually more hygienic when drying your hands. One study found that paper towels leave hands 96% dry after 10 seconds, whereas hand dryers take at least 45 seconds. This was an important revelation as many people admitted to only spending a few seconds drying their hands.
A further study found that hand dryers are often contaminated by bacteria on the outlet nozzle, and the heat that comes from the dryer is the perfect temperature to encourage bacteria growth. With this in mind, paper towels are generally the preferred method of hand drying. This is also because the rubbing motion can physically remove the germs, which are then thrown in the bin – while hand dryers are being accused of blowing bacteria back onto the body, and around the room that they are situated in. It has been said that this can increase the number of germs by an outstanding 255%!
Aren’t hand dryers better for the environment?
Technically, yes. As paper towels can’t be recycled because of concerns that the bacteria would then contaminate the clean paper. However, most paper towels have already been recycled from clean paper!
For the futuristic people who still prefer to have their hands warmed, the Dyson Airblade Hand Dryer was invented! Unlike other hand dryers, the Dyson Airblade filters bacteria and viruses from the washroom air, using HEPA filters. 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in the washroom air are captured. So hands are dried using clean and not dirty air.
It’s decision time!
Have a look around and let us know which one you chose!
Article compiled by: Laura Pay-Savage