The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods

Hand drying is more important than you think. Whether you’re talking about the COV-19 strain of coronavirus or the common cold, everybody knows the importance of washing your hands regularly.

Since our hands are the part of our bodies that most commonly come into contact with other people and objects, they are also the primary location for the spreading of bacteria, viruses and other forms of infection.

What you might not know, is that using the appropriate hand drying methods is just as important, and in many ways more so.

Why? For the same reason that dampness in your home can cause mould - bacteria love moisture. 

Wet hands are more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands, it really is that simple - even if they are clean! Luckily, hot air hand drying systems are somewhat of a breakthrough in this area and allow you to dry your hands rapidly and thoroughly without coming into contact with other objects.

But there are many other hand drying methods out there, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each:


Hygienic Efficacy of Hand Drying Methods

Hand drying with timer

Disposable Paper Towels



Removes most bacteria and moisture (one of the most effective drying methods)

Potential for spreading of bacteria if towels aren’t disposed of correctly


Very harmful for the environment, especially if towels aren’t recyclable


Warm Air Dryer (like our Airstream Series)



Research has been conflicting regarding the removal of bacteria and moisture. Some dryers seem to be much more effective than paper towels while others are less so. Temperature is likely a major factor.

Most need regular maintenance (which is why we made sure ours doesn’t)

Much better than towels for the environment



Hands-Free Air Dryers (like our Whisper XL)



As effective as paper towels in removing bacteria and moisture. Much more effective than regular hand dryers.


No hand contact necessary meaning much lower contamination on the device itself


The best option for the environment



The solution you should choose of course depends on your business, it’s size, and your goals, but hopefully the above list helps to make the decision a little more simple.


Hand Dryer Drying Time

Another important factor when washing and drying your hands is to ensure that you dry them thoroughly and for long enough. This means at least 30 seconds, whether you’re using a towel or a hand dryer. But more importantly, you should be careful to remove all noticeable moisture from your hands, however long that takes.


Hand Dryer Commercial Services

Maintaining hygienic facilities for staff and customers to clean and dry their hands is crucial for any business. Failure to do so can lead to higher staff turnover, loss of customers, staff sickness, loss of productivity and more.

This is without going into the higher slip risk, poor first impressions, and many other potential issues that arise. Despite this, it can be difficult for executive staff and business owners to focus time on this issue. As a result, we offer the UK’s leading hand dryer services. phs is the UK’s leading commercial supplier of cleaning and hand drying products and services. We have operations centres in every town and city in the UK, meaning we’re your local provider, no matter where you are.

Our staff are trained to enter your building, carry out the necessary maintenance, and leave without any interruption to your daily business.Why not get in touch now to see what we can offer? We can take care of all your workplace cleaning and hygiene-related needs, leaving you to focus on what you should focus on - growing your business!

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