The Problem With Electric Hot Air Hand Dryers
The problem with the electric hot air hand dryers is simple – they are not effective! They don’t dry your hands well and they are slow.
A recent study, “Hand Washing Facts To Know: Paper Towels vs. Hot Air Dryers” showed that:
- Using paper towels after hand washing helps remove bacteria from the hands.
- A paper towel reduces the bacterial counts by an average of 58%.
- Hot air dryers actually increase the bacterial count on the hands – up to a 438% increase in some types bacteria!
- They blow out bacteria from inside the dryer.
- They increase the circulation of bacteria within the restroom.
- The electric dryer takes an average of 43 seconds to achieve 95% dryness.
- A paper towel takes an average of 12 seconds to achieve 95% dryness.
- Few people use the dryer long enough to ensure 55% to 65% dryness.
- Slow drying time results in employees wiping their hands on their aprons, pants or other soiled surfaces.
- This just increases the amount of bacteria on their hands.
- Working with wet hands can contribute to accidents with electric appliances, accidental knife injuries, and increase the chances of dropping glassware or hot food.
An electric hand dryer can actually defeat the good work that was just done by a thorough hand washing!
Washing Your Hands
Using a simple procedure for washing your hands is not difficult and, when done correctly, it will remove a great number of bacteria from your skin.
Doing It Right
- Wet your hands with warm running water.
- Add soap and rub your hands together, making a soapy lather.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do not wash off lather.
- Wash both the front and back of your hands and wash between your fingers and under your nails.
- Rinse your hands well under the warm running water.
- Dry your hands thoroughly with a paper towel.
- You can use the towel to cover the door handle or knob as you open the door.
- Dispose of the paper towel in the trash.
Selecting A Soap
- Any kind of soap will do but some are better than others. Common bar soap can be used but it should be kept in a self-draining holder, which should be kept clean. Water should not puddle around the soap bar as some kinds of germs actually thrive in this environment.
- Small liquid soap containers are easy to use and can be refilled with soap that you purchase in large jugs at the grocery or discount store.
- Commercial grade soap dispensers can be mounted on the wall and come in various sizes. The soap is antibacterial and some dispensers have portion control to limit the waste.