One of the best ways to prevent bacteria related illnesses and other infectious disease is to wash your hands with soap and water. However, washing your hands alone is not enough to prevent the spread of bacteria. You must also dry your hands thoroughly after washing to prevent the transfer of germs. This does not include wiping your hands on your clothes to dry them. Learning good hand-hygiene habits is essential to reducing the spread of bacteria.
A study conducted at the University of Bradford analyzed the different methods of hand drying in public settings and determined which was most effective at reducing germs. The researchers found that drying your hands with paper towels or using a hand dryer without rubbing your hands together were most effective at keeping bacteria counts low. Rubbing your hands together while drying them under a hand dryer offsets the benefits of hand washing by bringing bacteria within the skin to the surface. These bacteria, along with any that were not removed by washing, can then be transferred to other surfaces.
Learn more about this study:
- Is Hand Washing Enough to Stop the Spread of Disease? Science Daily