Germs spread from surfaces to people when our hands come in contact with an external surface, and when we touch our face with the same unwashed, grimy hands.
Hand washing refers to washing hands with plain or antimicrobial soap and water. In actual practice, it can vary considerably from a brief rinse of the hands to extensive scrubbing.
With the Covid-19 pandemic on the rise, proper handwashing is the best way to protect yourself and others from being exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Washing your hands properly with soap and running water can stave off illnesses that affect healthy people, as well as those with weakened immune systems.
Most disease control authorities advise us to wash our hands with soap and water in an exhaustive, step-wise manner. While this method is the first requisite to combat disease-causing bacteria and viruses, it is incomplete.
The next step that is equally crucial in tackling these lethal viruses is to dry your hands.
The transmission of bacteria is more likely to occur from wet skin than from dry skin. Damp hands are capable of spreading 1000 times more germs than dry hands.
Therefore, the proper drying of hands after washing should be an integral part of the hand hygiene process in health care.
Research shows that washing hands with either soap and water or water alone combined with drying on paper towels can effectively remove bacteria from the hands. To put it in numbers for a better perspective, hand drying can:
- Fend off over 200 million bacteria per square inch on each hand
- Eliminate bacteria like E.Coli that can multiply its population every 20 minutes and stay alive on your hands for up to 3 hours.
- Reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%.
Here is where automatic hand dryers and paper/cloth towels dive into the picture. Hand dryers are nifty electrical devices found in most modern public bathrooms, malls, and restaurants that generate heat when turned on.
The daily use of a hand dryer has many advantages and benefits. A hand dryer can be said to be energy efficient, easy to maintain, and cost-effective.
We often see mainly two varieties of hand dryers when we visit a public bathroom, or a mall. One that dries the hands by virtue of blowing high pressure air, and the other that utilizes low pressure, hot air in order to evaporate the droplets of water remaining on the hands.
Although it can be confirmed that electronic hand dryers are effective in drying clean, washed hands, most studies suggest that paper towels can dry hands efficiently, remove bacteria effectively, and cause less contamination of the washroom environment.
From a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers. Paper towels should be recommended in locations where hygiene is paramount, such as hospitals and clinics.
That being said, using paper towels comes with some caveats, the most critical of which is the extensive expenditure of our natural resources, which could have detrimental effects on our fragile environment in the long run.
Cloth/paper towels come in handy only in limited scenarios, for example, at homes and small scale offices with not more than 10-15 employees working inside. In such cases, each person can use his/her personal cloth towel, with a suitable place to hang/store the towel.
In any other scenario, usage of cloth/paper towels will only negatively impact people’s health by being a prime carrier of germs.
Usage of automatic hand dryers comes with a plethora of short term as well as long term advantages:
Speed – The majority of hand dryers have unbelievably fast drying times. You can usually be good to go in less than 10 seconds which is the most ideal solution for highly populated areas.
Noise – Long gone are the times when public areas used loud, gushy hand dryers. Modern machines are built with technologically advanced equipment and are committed to producing very minimal noise, which is especially useful in places such as school bathrooms
Sterility – Hand dryers help eliminate up to 99% of the dirt and mess caused by used paper towels. Dryers provide a hygienic alternative to paper towels as there is little risk of cross-infection from used towels.
This also nullifies alarming consequences such as clogged toilets, foul-smelling bathrooms and the bathrooms are kept substantially cleaner.
Cost – The last, but the most obvious advantage of using hand dryers is this. Although the initial price tag on a hand dryer is quite high, it clearly dominates over paper towels in terms of long-term efficiency and lower costs per dry.
When selecting a hand dryer, you need to compare the cost performance against various criteria such as power consumption, ease of maintenance and longevity.
Having shone a light on the numerous benefits that they can offer, hand dryers are the safest, most cost-effective long-term solution towards a hygienic, healthy lifestyle.
What are you still waiting for? Buy yours NOW!!!