Why hand drying matters as much as hand washing

In this blog, we look at the role of hand drying in hand hygiene. With damp hands spreading up to 1,000 times more bacteria, drying is super-important!

Dan Tyler
Dan Tyler
Published: May 26, 2021

Never before has there been such an emphasis on hand washing. We’re all surely more conscious of washing our hands thoroughly than we were 18 months ago. However, although there’s no shortage of information on hand washing, hand drying doesn’t get quite the same level of attention! In this article, we look at why hand drying is just as important as hand washing.

Why does hand drying matter?

Throughout the pandemic, leading public health bodies have emphasised the importance of washing and drying hands. For example, The World Health Organisation (WHO) released the following advice in March of last year:

“To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.”

In a recent study on worldwide hygiene, Dyson found that this message is largely getting through. Despite this, 11% of people still admit to leaving a washroom without washing their hands correctly (with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds).

The study also showed a general lack of awareness of the importance of hand drying, with many unaware of the risks of leaving a washroom with damp hands. Senior microbiologist at Dyson, Dr Salome Giao, spelled out the dangers of failing to dry hands properly after washing them:

“We know damp hands can transfer up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands, while wiping hands on clothes can jeopardize the handwashing process, as they can add bacteria to the washed hands if they are not clean.”

How to encourage effective hand drying

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study also highlighted public concerns about the condition of washrooms, with 48% of respondents expressing frustration over “unclean washroom common areas”. It also showed 40% being worried about “having to press physical buttons” on hand dryers.

To get around these concerns, make sure your school washrooms are clean and tidy, with full soap dispensers! As older warm-air dryers aren’t always touch-free, switch to touch-free models, such as the Dyson Airblade™, in your washrooms. This will avoid students having to push buttons, thereby reducing the transmission of bacteria through this route.

Dyson Airblades™ also contain a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. This device removes and traps an impressive 99.95% of particles (including bacteria, viruses, pollutants and allergens). This means your staff and students can dry their hands with purified air, rather than stale air that’s been circulating in your washrooms.

At Utility Rentals, we can kit out your school washrooms with Dyson Airblades™ with no upfront expense. Our flexible leasing agreements include professional installation, a 5-year parts and labour warranty, and fused spur installation (if you need fused electrical points).

To upgrade your school washroom equipment, contact the Utility Rentals team!


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