Hand Dryers and Germs in 2022

It’s no surprise, hand washing is one of the easiest and more effective ways to fight germs and prevent sickness. 

During COVID-19, many businesses turned to touchless and digital options to help stop the spread of germs and bacteria. However, many businesses neglected to fully adjust their restrooms in this movement.

Many don’t realize that hand dryers actually recycle the air particles in the restroom,  spraying clean hands with hundreds of bacteria, even some commonly found in feces. 

In 2018, Harvard Health reported on a study done by researchers from the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University. Here’s what they found:

 “Scientists exposed petri dishes to bathroom air under different conditions and took them back to the microbiology laboratory to look for bacterial growth. Petri dishes exposed to bathroom air for two minutes with the hand dryers off only grew one colony of bacteria, or none at all. However, petri dishes exposed to hot air from a bathroom hand dryer for 30 seconds grew up to 254 colonies of bacteria (though most had from 18 to 60 colonies of bacteria).”

The biggest discovery from this study was that the constant movement of “fresh” air and heat from the fans created a breeding farm for bacteria that was then forcibly blown on the user’s hands. In addition, hand dryers may spray your clothes with germs, leading to more contamination being transferred to other services. 

Stopping the spread of germs in the workplace (especially the restroom!) is easier than you think. 

  • Encourage proper hand-washing techniques. How we chose to dry our hands is less important than proper hand-washing techniques. 
  • If your toilets have a lid on them, close them before flushing! Use a small piece of toilet paper (or your shoe) to close the lid before flushing to stop the spread of germs that are launched into the air when you flush. 
  • Have hand sanitizer readily available throughout your workplace. According to the CDC, when washing your hands with soap and water is not readily available, 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a great alternative.

Our sales and service teams are trained to understand what the best option is for your business and what placement locations work best for employees and customers alike.

Questions about which paper solution is best for your business? Let’s talk!

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