Blowing Away Myths About Hand Dryers and Germs

In a highly trafficked area like a restroom, it’s inevitable that germs are lurking to some extent on the door handles, faucets, and, of course, the toilets. To keep your experience as germ-free as possible, you want to get in and out quickly and with little contamination. Enter: hand dryers. Hand dryers allow users to fully dry their hands with no hands-on manipulation needed in a few seconds. Simply wash hands thoroughly, hold under the nozzle for a few seconds, and move on with your day.

In a society that favors sensational headlines over truth, however, the war between germs and clean hands has been waging on. Users of your restroom deserve to feel safe in the knowledge that they aren’t exposing themselves or spreading germs, which with a hand dryer, is a non-issue. We’re breaking down the myths about hand dryers, germs, and hygiene, so you can feel secure in choosing a hand dryer for your restroom.

Myth #1: Hand Dryers “Blow Around Germs”

Stopping the spread of germs starts and ends with proper handwashing. If hands are washed properly, the spread of germs is no longer a concern. To give guests peace-of-mind, try including a sign above the sink area with directions for proper handwashing:

  1. Wet your hands with running water—either warm or cold.
  2. Apply soap to a cupped hand.
  3. Lather well.
  4. Rub your hands, palm to palm, vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  5. Rinse well.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Myth #2: Paper Towels Are Clean

Paper towels are often incorrectly thought to be a completely clean, sterile product, but that’s just not true. An American Journal of Infection Control study found that unused paper towels made from recycled fibers contained germs including those for the flu virus and E. coli. Paper towels also notoriously cause common maintenance issues, especially when they are improperly disposed of. A clogged toilet that spills toilet water onto the floor creates a lasting germ-ridden environment where significant intervention (and accompanying labor costs) are required. Removing paper towels from the restroom removes this threat.

Myth #3: All Hand Dryers Offer the Same Level of Germ Protection

Not all things are created equal, and that includes hand dryers, too. While proper handwashing is the key to creating a clean, germ-free restroom, there are accessories and features that can aid in your quest to cultivate an even more hygienic space. Consider a HEPA Filtration System—Excel’s offering removes 99.97% of potentially present bacteria at 0.3 microns from the air stream—or an antimicrobial Wall Guard, which fit neatly underneath XLERATOR Hand Dryers and protect walls from water droplets and stop the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. These accessories are the next step to ensuring your restroom stays bacteria-free and can be especially helpful in settings where health is critical, such as hospitals.

When selecting a drying method, remember that the quality of the handwashing is key and consider added air filtration methods if air purification is essential. There’s no reason to fear hand dryers spreading germs—instead, fear the people who skip the sink.