Proper Hand Hygiene: No Greater Defense Against the Spread of Germs

With reports related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) dominating the news, perhaps now, more than ever, we stand with restaurants, municipalities, airports and other everyday facilities nationwide in support of a cause that impacts all of us: the protection of public health and wellness.

Helping to 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.

Method matters

The practice of proper handwashing is so important that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have 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 sufficient job—leaving countless germs behind.

To ensure that you are washing your hands properly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends following this step-by-step method:

  1. Wet your hands with water and turn off the tap. (Editor’s note: ideally, auto sensors control the tap and/or soap dispenser.)
  2. Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.
  3. Lather your hands completely. Don’t neglect backs of hands, wrists and under nails.
  4. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Duration is key and where many fall short. A good measure is to hum all of “Happy Birthday” twice.
  5. Rinse hands with clean water.
  6. Once your hands are cleaned, dry them thoroughly with a paper towel or warm air dryer.

As health experts from WHO, the CDC and Johns Hopkins University point out, regardless of what is appearing in social media  – hand dryers alone can’t kill COVID-19, and further, they don’t spread the virus.

On hygienic hand drying

As shown in WHO’s hand-washing recommendations, they do not expressly recommend one hand-drying method over another. This aligns with results of The Mayo Clinic’s study on the topic, which found “no statistically significant differences in the efficiency of 4 different hand-drying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands.”

The “no touch” hand dryers in our high-efficiency product line provide several measures of defense against impurities. By their, hands-under design, the XLERATOR, XLERATOReco® and ThinAir® Hand Dryers eliminate touch points in the hand-drying process. This naturally helps prevent potential cross-contamination between restroom surfaces via wet hands. Many facilities also order their XLERATOR and XLERATOReco dryers with our optional HEPA Filtration System, which removes 99.97% of potentially present bacteria and viruses at 0.3 microns or larger from the air stream.

It is critical for everyone—certainly in times like the current one, but truly, at all times to practice proper hand hygiene. When it comes to protecting the health and wellness of our communities, our families and ourselves, “all hands on deck” makes all the difference.