There’s been an ongoing controversy about the most hygienic way to dry your hands-especially in public restrooms.
Should you use paper towels or those high-speed air-dryers that send gale force winds across the room?
Experts say that how you dry your hands is as important as hand washing to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. In public places, using paper towels to dry your hands is the clear winner over air-dryers, according to health experts.
According to Huffpost, while some health experts say that air-dryers are contactless and therefore superior, others argue that all they do is send pathogens into the air. Many paper towel dispensers also offer contactless access. All you do is wave your hands underneath the dispenser, and the towel appears.
“I’d say the best way to dry your hands is with a paper towel that you discard afterwards,” said Sandra Kesh, a deputy medical director and infectious disease expert at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, New York.
Kesh added should also use paper towels as tools to safely navigate public restrooms by using them to grab door handles and knobs.
Miryam Wahrman, a biology professor at William Patterson University and the author of “The Handbook: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World,” told Business Insider that drying hands is crucial to proper COVID-19 hygiene. “You do not want to undo the good of handwashing in the process of drying hands,” she said.
She recommended using paper or cloth towels and ensuring that you dry your hands thoroughly because germs thrive on moisture.
“Research shows that drying with paper towels or cloth towels removes even more germs than washing alone, as the friction of drying reduces the germ count even further,” she said, according to Business Insider. Cloth towels should only be used in the home, where each person has their own assigned towel.
As far as using warm air or even jet air dryers, Wahrman said:
“They can spew germs back on your hands, and into the air where you can breathe them.”
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