Washing our hands thoroughly is a very important part of good hygiene. Most infectious diseases are transmitted via our hands. But what if we do not dry our hands properly?
Hands that are not properly dried are more likely to transmit micro-organisms than properly dried hands. In a study conducted by Hong Kong Polytechnic University and published in Nature, six different methods of hand drying were examined and compared, with the aim of determining which was the most effective method of removing bacteria from washed hands:
- Drying hands on one’s own clothing
- Drying hands with 1 sheet of paper towel
- Drying hands with 2 sheets of paper towel
- Drying hands with a hot-air hand dryer for 20 seconds without moving the hands
- Drying hands with a hot-air hand dryer for 20 seconds while moving the hands
- Drying hands with a jet hand dryer
The results of the study showed that the use of jet hand dryers is the most effective means of eliminating bacteria from the hands. Unsurprisingly, drying your hands on your own clothes is the least effective.
The fact that jet hand dryers are more effective than hot air hand dryers is interesting. The authors suggest that this may be because hot air dryers have a significantly lower drying efficiency – it takes much longer to dry your hands with a hot air dryer than with a jet hand dryer – and so people are left with a greater amount of water remaining on their hands and so greater potential for the transmission of micro organisms.
The study participants only used the warm air dryer for 20 seconds but adequate hand dryness could not be achieved in this time. Typically, hot air dryers require 45 seconds to reduce the residual water on hands to 3%. The shorter drying time of jet dryers is a significant advantage over warm air dryers and increases the chances that users will achieve complete dryness, critical to cutting the chances of transmission of microorganisms.
For maximum hygiene and safety for you, your employees and your customers, we recommend the following steps:
Talk to us today about how we can help with make your washrooms safer and more hygienic.