The Great Debate: Air Dryer or Paper Towel?
Most of us will agree that washing our hands after using the washroom is a must! Not only is hand washing easy, it’s also an inexpensive and effective way to prevent the spread of germs. So that means everyone’s doing it right? Wrong. A recent study showed that only 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using a public restroom. Gross!
For those of us NOT washing our hands regularly here’s a quick lesson. For the people who already are (thank you), you can scroll ahead to the next part.
5 Simple Steps to Properly Wash Hands
What you need to know to be a hand washing pro
2. Add soap
3. Scrub hands for at least 30 seconds
4. Rinse off
5. Dry hands
Let’s talk a little bit more about the final step of the hand washing process- drying your hands, something only 20% of us do. At this point we have three options to choose from: a towel, air dryer, or paper towel. Wiping wet hands on clothing, or worse, shaking them are NOT hygienic drying options! When we’re at home the choice is usually pretty simple- use a towel. But what option should you pick when you’re using a public restroom? That decision may not be as obvious.
We all know how paper towel dries our hands, but do you know how an air dryer works? Air dryers blow air onto our hands to evaporate the water. As you probably know from experience there are several types of air dryers, some more effective than others. From a business perspective they’re less expensive than paper towel and better for the environment. Air dryers that don’t heat the air have a lower carbon footprint, and produce less waste. So does that mean air dryers are the clear choice?
Did you know....
80% of Communicable Diseases are transferred by touch
The answer is no, it’s not that simple. When it comes to effectiveness and hygiene (i.e. what we really care about) the winner is paper towel. Paper towel effectively removes bacteria and causes less contamination in the washroom. Because paper towel dries hands faster than air dryers people are more likely to actually dry their hands. Using paper towel made from recycled products and properly disposing it can help reduce its impact on the environment.
Bottom line- it’s your choice! Both options work; just remember with whatever option you decide to go with to completely dry your hands. Harmful bacteria can remain on hands even after washing, and germs on wet skin are 1,000 times more likely to spread than on dry skin. Do your part to reduce the spread of infection by properly washing and drying your hands. Everyone will thank you 🙂