You Should Re-Wash Your Hands if You Use a Hand Dryer

You Should Re-Wash Your Hands if You Use a Hand Dryer

Sarah Rothman, Writer

Washing hands is a crucial part of avoiding illness and maintaining proper hygiene. Through Covid-19, and even prior, contactless technology has improved hygiene greatly. Now, in a lot of public restrooms, chances are you will see a hot-air hand dryer mounted on the wall, usually activated by movement. Initially, these seem like very sanitary instruments, as you can dry your hands without touching anything. Additionally, it does not produce paper waste like paper towels do. Someone in a bathroom with a choice between a paper towel and a hand dryer may pick the hand dryer for these seemingly obvious benefits. In spite of all of this, you are drastically less likely to catch a malady by using a paper towel in place of a hand dryer. 

Unisan confirms the rumors that hand dryers reverse the act of washing your hands. certifies, “According to research from Mayo Clinic, electric air hand dryers actually have the potential to spread bacteria by blowing the pathogens right back onto your hands after washing,” The research further explains that it’s not only your hands that the germs are projected back onto, but using the hand dryer disperses harmful bacteria up to five feet away, making areas of the bathroom unsanitary. 

For being a follow-up to cleaning the germs off of your hands, the hot-air hand dryer is especially counteractive. The buildup of bacteria occurs after many uses, and it spreads from person to person. Paper towels, the better alternative, are single-use, which means cross-contamination is not a worry. And even though paper towels do produce waste, they still outweigh the vast unfavorable effects that hand dryers bring. 

Although the truth about this common appliance is rather unpleasant, taking measures to ensure the hygiene and safety of yourself and those around you is very important. To make sure you are not spraying germs back onto your hands after washing, steer clear of those germ fests.



“Why You Should Stop Using Hand Dryers Immediately.” Unisan, 9 Apr. 2020,,contaminated%2C%E2%80%9D%20Professor%20Wilcox%20said. Accessed 26 Apr. 2023.

Photo: Journal of Hospital Infection