By this point, there’s no doubt that washing your hands, and doing so properly, is essential for stopping the spread of COVID-19. But did you know that it’s just as important to dry your hands properly? Wet hands are more likely to spread germs than dry hands. In fact, if you put a wet hand on the doorknob on your way out of the bathroom, you’re immediately back to where you started contamination-wise. So how can you dry your hands properly?
Use paper towels
Paper towels, while maybe not the most environmentally friendly option, may be the best one for outside the home. Paper towels are effective at drying your hands and doing so quickly. They can suck up excess moisture that can create a risk for recontamination. Paper towels can perform the extra duty of helping you get out of the bathroom safer because you can use them to shut off faucets and open doors. Just remember that if you decide to keep that paper towel in your hand or pocket, you’re still doing no better than using your bare hand to shut off faucets and open doors.
Be careful with cloth towels
Cloth towels aren’t inherently bad, but there are specific rules you should follow, according to Business Insider. For instance, you should only use cloth towels in your own home. Everyone should have their own towel for their own use, and these towels should be washed regularly. This means every few days if you’re using those towels frequently.
Be thorough if using an air dryer
There are some conflicting ideas about if you should use an air dryer in order to dry your hands. Some experts say that these dryers can help spread germs, while others say that isn’t really a concern. There is some consensus that warm air dryers, which work through evaporation, are better than high-speed jet dryers, which are more likely to blow around bacteria. However, you can air dry your hands, just as long as you take the time to make sure your hands are actually dry.
The CDC recommends using a towel to dry your hands or air drying them. In general, according to an article by Heathline, if you’ve properly washed your hands, then how you choose to dry them isn’t very important. The most important thing is that you dry them thoroughly, so you’re not transferring germs through wet hands. We hope this helps you be more conscious during this mid-pandemic era and during flu season.