Drying your hands 101
Why is single use paper towel the preferred method?
A recent study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology compared the potential for 3 common hand drying methods to disperse viruses and contaminate the immediate area. The 3 methods reviewed were paper towels, warm air dryer and jet air dryer.
As noted by the authors, consistent studies show that multiple viruses can survive on the hands from 10 minutes up to 60 days! This, coupled with inadequate hand washing technique means "virus dispersal in the washroom has the potential to contaminate persons and surfaces".p479
Paper towel is king! The jet air dryer consistently produced greater virus dispersal than either the warm air dryer or the paper towel. Much more in fact, the jet air dryer produced 60 x more viral plaques than the warm air dryer, and over 1300 x more viral plaques than the paper towel! This wasnt surprising given the physics of how each method works, ie paper towel's remove water via absorption, warm air dryers via evaporation and jet air dryers via shearing force into the air.
Why does this matter?
The authors suggest that in locations where hygiene and cross-infection are vital, such as Healthcare and the Food industry, hand drying methods should be carefully considered. You'll be happy to know all of our Portable Sinks and Self-contained Hand Wash Stations use single use paper towel only!