Restrooms, whether in an office, restaurant, or business, can never be spotless. It’s always likely that there are germs around the sinks, toilets, and floor. But what about hand dryers? Since there is no contact between one’s hands and the dryer, there should be no chance of the restroom’s bacteria or germs spreading, right?
Studies have found that these touch-free hand dryers are actually sucking in the air around them while also blowing hot air out. What does that mean for patrons using them? Follow along to learn the skinny on bacteria in hand dryers, and what your business can do to combat it.
So, is there bacteria in hand dryers?
Long story short, yes. Each time a lidless toilet is flushed, the bacteria enters the air. From there, hand dryers suck up the bathroom air, which includes the bacteria. Lastly, that air is, you guessed it, blown back onto the hands of those using the dryer. Since the hand dryer is blowing hot air back, the bacteria can multiply.
Before you begin to worry, it is very important to note most microbes found within the dryers will probably not affect healthy people. On the other hand, some bacteria found would cause infections to those in hospitals, or with lower immune systems, but healthcare facilities almost always use paper towels instead, avoiding them altogether.
What should you do about this?
First off, it is always safer and more hygienic to continue to use hand dryers as opposed to air drying, since the bacteria can grow on wet hands. And, as we mentioned, the bacteria are likely not harmful.
With all this said, there are a couple of ways to improve the restroom’s cleanliness.
- Instead, purchase paper towels with hands-free paper towel dispensers. Paper towels are proven to be the most hygienic option for hand drying.
- Install lids to the toilets and encourage employees to lower them before flushing to decrease the number of bacteria being released into the air.