During the COVID-19 pandemic, regular hand washing has been one of the keys (along with wearing a mask) to control infection.
But while many of us are still wary about using soap and sanitizer to keep our hands clean, the majority don’t think much about how to dry our hands. In light of this grim thinking, Dr. D. L. Weber insisted that not drying your hands properly after using the bathroom could be as bad as not washing them at all.
“Bacteria thrive on wet surfaces. Including hands. Research indicates that 85% of microbes are transmitted through wet hands, compared to 0.06% via dry hands – a potential source of bacteria and virus contamination for other people, clothing and contact surfaces.”
“Wet hands are more susceptible to contamination when surfaces colonized by pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes come into contact with, especially when using the toilet. This shows that not drying your hands properly can be less clean than not washing them at all. Research has shown that bacterial transmission is directly related Time and efficiency of drying hands, with bacterial transmission gradually decreasing as the water is removed.”
Dr. Webber has teamed up with hand dryer manufacturer Airdri to identify the “types” of superheroes when drying your hands. Among them are the “surgeon,” who is very meticulous, and the “paper waster,” who takes a huge pile of paper towels and wipes his hands on about 10% of them. There is also the “wet pants owner”, who is guilty of partially drying his hands under the dryer and then patting them on his pants/pants.
Thinking about the best and worst hand-washing practices, Dr. Webber concluded that the ultimate goal is to always leave the bathroom with clean, dry hands. “It is important to put in time and effort to achieve this result – which is likely to irritate other toilet users who are waiting to use the sink and drying racks. Leaving the toilet with clean, dry hands helps prevent bacterial contamination through skin transfer to infected surfaces,” he added.
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