Are Hand Dryers Hygienic Enough for a Post-Covid World?

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

The world as we know it has changed. The coronavirus pandemic has left us questioning many things, many choices we made up until now.

Hygiene has always been highly important even before the outbreak of the COVID-19. But now in the midst of it, the focus has been placed on hygiene and we’re left wondering if our hygiene practices are good enough.

By now we have learned how to properly wash our hands and for how long. However, are we properly drying them? From that, a new concern has recently been raised – are hand dryers hygienic enough?

Why is it important to properly dry your hands?

You have probably heard that just washing your hands is not enough. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap is just one part of the job. The other part consists of properly drying them.

Drying your hands is equally as important as washing them because some bacteria remain on your hands and they can be spread much easier with your wet hands.

Many people think that it’s better to dry their hands on their clothes or just leave without drying them, simply to avoid touching anything else in a public restroom. But this is a huge mistake. The bacteria on your clothes will easily get on your wet hands and the whole process of handwashing was in vain.

It’s important to remember, the next time you wash your hands, don’t touch anything before thoroughly drying them.

What’s the best way to dry your hands?

Now that we know the importance of drying our hands, another question pops up – what’s the best way to dry your hands? The answer is, whatever option is in front of you.

Some restrooms will have only paper towels, the others will have hand dryers. So, whichever option you have in front of you, use it. Just make sure you thoroughly dry your hands.

However, this is where our main concern lies – are hand dryers hygienic enough?

Are hand dryers hygienic enough?

Wondering whether or not hand dryers are hygienic enough is a legitimate concern, especially in the post-covid world. We have been warned that coronavirus can survive on surfaces such as doorknobs, phone screens, stainless steel, and so on. If we’re not careful we can pick it up from those surfaces and transfer it to our faces, eyes, nose, or wherever we touch with our hands, and in that way contract coronavirus.

When it comes to commercial hand dryers, there is nothing to fear. Long gone are those hand dryers that you had to manually activate. Today water taps and hand dryers are automatic and motion-sensor activated. So, you don’t have to touch them in order to activate them, all you have to do to get them activated is place your hands near them.

This means that hand dryers are hygienic enough and you can rest assured that you won’t pick up any virus or bacteria.

Types of hand dryers and how to properly use them.

There are several types of hand dryers and they are all motion-sensor activated.

The most traditional hand dryer is the one where you place your hands under the dryer. These ‘hands under’ dryers blow warm air in one direction, so you need to keep your hands some 5 mm away from the air vent and rotate your hands to fully dry them. The point is to wait until your hands are completely dry and only then stop using the hand dryer.

‘Hands-in’ is the second most common hand dryer used in public places. As its name suggests, you have to place your hands inside it to activate it. Here, you also don’t need to worry about touching the hand dryer because there’s plenty of room to fit hands without touching the hand dryer. These types of dryers are designed to dry your hands from both sides at the same time.

Hand dryer or paper towels

Image by Martin Slavoljubovski from Pixabay

There really shouldn’t even be a comparison between hand dryers and paper towels because of how different they are. Some people prefer paper towels while others prefer hand dryers. But for the sake of the argument let’s address the topic.

If we’re going to look at both of these options from a hygienic point of view – hand dryers would get a point. Drying hands under a hand dryer leave on your hands some 9% of bacteria, whereas drying them with paper towels leaves behind 13%. This is under the condition that you’re not rubbing your hands together under the hand dryer!

When it comes to an environmentally friendly option, once again the point goes to hand dryers. Why? Well, just imagine how many trees need to be cut to produce a sufficient amount of paper towels that are constantly in use and that generate waste?

Hand dryers are both pretty cost and energy-effective contrary to the popular belief. They use way less energy than you may think. Plus, they don’t create waste and you don’t need to constantly refill them.


Hopefully, we managed to clear up all the concerns you may have had about hand dryers. What you can take from this is that properly drying hands is as important as washing them. Nowadays, commercial hand dryers are automatic and motion-sensor operated – you don’t need to touch them. They are also more effective than paper towels and they are both cost and energy-effective.


I’m Willy Beamen, from Sydney, an avid researcher and editor helping website owners with content marketing.

Published by Willy Beamen

I'm Willy Beamen, contributor for Business with 15 years of experience from Sydney, Australia. My work is mostly focused on helping small business owners and local startups to get off the ground and expand.

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