Proper Hand Hygiene Unlocks the Key to Germ Control
Reports related to COVID-19 have been dominating the news since early 2020. Perhaps now more than ever, we stand together in support of a cause that impacts us all: the protection of public health and wellness.
Helping create healthier environments has always been a critical piece of Excel Dryer’s mission. It’s something the original, patented XLERATOR® and all of our high-speed, energy-efficient, hygienic hand dryers do for commercial restrooms across the globe every day.
Individuals are called to do their part as well. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), proper handwashing and hand drying are the most effective ways to control the spread of germs that lead to illness.
Proper handwashing is so important that the CDC has dubbed it a “do-it-yourself vaccine.” Though washing your hands may seem like a simple, intuitive task, an estimated 95 percent of Americans (per a 2013 “undercover” study by Michigan University researchers) are not doing a good job—leaving countless germs behind.
To ensure that you are washing your hands properly, WHO recommends following this step-by-step method:
- Wet your hands with water and turn off the tap.
- Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.
- Lather your hands thoroughly. Don’t neglect the backs of hands, wrists, and under nails.
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Duration is critical and where many fall short. A good measure is to hum all of “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Rinse hands with clean water.
- Once your hands are clean, dry them thoroughly with a paper towel or warm air dryer.
When Should I Wash My Hands?
During an outbreak like COVID-19, handwashing should be done often – potentially multiple times an hour if you’re interacting with many people or any time you’ve coughed, sneezed, or touched your face.
In general, though, follow the CDC’s guidelines for handwashing:
- While preparing food or eating
- After using the bathroom
- After treating someone medically (specifically for a cut/wound, vomiting, and/or diarrhea)
- After coming into contact with animals
- After handling garbage
Should I Use Hand Sanitizers or Water and Soap?
Hand sanitizers can be helpful, but the CDC recommends using them only when handwashing and drying are not available. This is due to hand sanitizers not killing all kinds of germs and only working best in ideal conditions (i.e., when hands are visibly clean; most hand sanitizers won’t cut through visible dirt or grime).
If you do not have access to clean running water and soap, reach for a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol and rub hands vigorously until dry.
How Excel Dryer Can Help
Even though hand dryers alone can’t kill COVID-19, you can rest assured that they don’t spread the virus. Quite the opposite!
The “no-touch” hand dryers in our high-efficiency product line provide several defense measures against impurities. Because of their hands-under design, the XLERATOR, XLERATOReco®, and ThinAir® Hand Dryers eliminate touchpoints in the hand-drying process, which helps prevent potential cross-contamination between restroom surfaces via wet hands.
An option we recommend is to consider ordering XLERATOR and XLERATOReco dryers with our HEPA Filtration System for your restroom. This system removes 99.97% of potentially present bacteria and viruses at 0.3 microns or larger from the air stream.
As germs can be transferred easier with wet hands, a high-heat, fast dry-time hand dryer, like the XLERATOR Hand Dryer, can help get users’ hands completely dry in as little as 8 seconds, helping impede the spread of germs.
We should practice proper hand hygiene all year round, regardless of the pandemic’s status, and hand dryers can be your restroom best friend. When it comes to protecting the health and wellness of our communities, our families, and ourselves, “all hands on deck” makes all the difference.