Avoid being blasted with bacteria on your next restroom visit
I swear you could practically strip paint off a house with those jet air hand dryers you find in most restrooms these days.
But most of us happily use them anyway, convinced they’re the best way to get our mitts dry without having to worry about those gross germs lurking on every surface in a public bathroom.
Turns out nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, every single time you press the button on one of those things it’s like shooting germs out of a cannon.
Researchers at UK’s University of Leeds tested bacterial contamination with the use of paper towels, warm air dryers, and jet air dryers. To get a bacteria reading, researchers covered volunteers’ hands with a bacteria called lactobacilli (don’t worry — it’s not harmful).
And once they hit the “on” button, that bacteria was flying everywhere, being breathed in by everyone within a few feet. And this is healthy bacteria, mind you — imagine what these hand dryers are doing with the nasty waste that’s REALLY on your hands.
Bacterial counts were nearly five times higher with the jet dryer compared to the warm air dryer. But the real winner was the humble paper towel. Jet drying bacteria counts were a staggering 27 times higher than drying your hands the old-fashioned way.
The solution here is simple. Wash your hands with plain old soap and warm water. And skip those high-tech hand dryers and towel dry them instead.
Microbiological comparison of hand-drying methods: the potential for contamination of the environment, user, and bystander
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