Which is more sanitary, electric hand dryers that blow hot air to dry your hands, or paper towels?
A new study published in the journal Applied and Enviromental Microbiology looked at this issue.
When a toilet is flushed with the lid off, the particles from the toilet are sent into the air. That is called “toilet plume”. This sprays bacteria throughout the bathroom.
In a normal bathroom, without a hand dryer, the researchers put test plates down to measure bacteria. There were only a few bacteria on the test plates of the normal bathrooms.
But in bathrooms with a hand dryer, the plates had 18-60 colonies of bacteria each! Why does that happen?
The hand dryers suck up the particles from the toilet plume, and spray the particles out in the air when the dryers are turned on.
So it may be better just to use plain old towels to dry your hands, and avoid the hand dryer!