The Best (and Worst) Ways to Dry Your Hands
They're guaranteed to dry your hands—and fast—but Wilcox's study found that jet-air dryers spread more than four times as many microbes through the air as regular warm-air dryers. "Due to the design, high-velocity air blows bacteria upward—which may hit your face," says Wilcox.
Dry With Caution
Because these machines blow air with less intensity than jet dryers, fewer airborne germs will circulate. But there's often a bigger problem, says Wilcox: "A lot of people get impatient waiting for their hands to dry and end up wiping them on their pants—which only moves bacteria to their clothes."
While paper towels are not the most environmentally friendly solution, they spread 27 times fewer microbes than a jet-air dryer. Until the design flaws in electric dryers are remedied, paper towels are the cleanest option we have.
Photos: Mile Atanasov/Stock, Johnny Jones/Almay, Voyargerix/Shuttershock