Are Hand Dryers Hygienic?

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hygiene levels of hand dryers has come into question. Hand dryers are a government backed and recommended drying method, right alongside paper towels (Ministry of Housing, Community & Local Government 2021). The transfer of bacteria is more likely through wet hands, making effective drying methods such as using a clean towel or air drying imperative following the washing of hands (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020). Washroom Hub has done some research to affirm the safety of hand dryers and how they compare to other drying methods.

A popular query that people are asking with the continuing pandemic is whether hand dryers are full of bacteria and are hand dryers hygienic? This comes from the understanding that hand dryers blow air around when they are drying hands and cause germs to fly through the air. While there is some truth in this, the movement of air particles cannot be avoided in the washroom, whether a hand dryer is used or not. Flushing toilets, opening and closing doors, ventilation and just moving about will cause air to travel and carry around bacteria. It is unavoidable, and installing paper towels will not prevent this. Paper towels additionally cause build up of waste and carry a higher running cost than hand dryers. They additionally cannot be recycled making them a poor choice environmentally and can cause maintenance issues if someone attempts to flush them. 

Hand dryers are thought to carry bacteria and germs, however touchless designs means that once you finish washing your hands thoroughly, there will be no need to make contact with appliances within the washroom. Paper towels on the other hand, whilst disposable and fresh out of the dispenser, will have a higher chance of contact from a previous user. Some hand dryers such as the Biodrier Blade Executive additionally carry antimicrobial technology which discourages the growth of bacteria on the actual hand dryer. This same hand dryer additionally offers a HEPA filter. Hand dryers that incorporate HEPA filters ensure that 99.99% of germs and bacteria are captured and clean air is used to dry hands. This hand dryer is additionally automatic, removing the chance of picking up bacteria and germs after hands have been washed.

The key to ensuring hands are kept clean and germ free is by washing them thoroughly with soap and clean running water to begin with (Washroom Hub recommends using automatic soap dispensers and taps to avoid unnecessary contact), then ensuring they are dried completely and finally applying hand sanitizer. 

Hand dryers, particularly modern, fast drying hand dryers are safe and hygienic options. To further minimize risk of bacteria and germs spreading, hand dryers with HEPA filters and antimicrobial technology is recommended. Washroom Hub has the equipment required for all scales of washrooms, from hand dryers to automatic taps and dispensers, enabling you to provide safe and hygienic facilities.

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James Williams
James is our Lead Content Publisher here at Feeds Portal. He has worked with many top websites over the years, including BuzzFeed.

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