How should I dry my hands after I washed them to prevent the spread of germs?

I'd like to ask your advice on hand washing. I have heard that one shouldn't use the air dryers in public bathrooms, and definitely not the hand towels (as everyone else has touched them too), as they can spread germs. Is there any truth in this? How is the best way to wash and dry one's hands to limit germs?

Answer

Hi reader, hand washing remains one of the most important and effective methods at combating transmission of common infections, including colds and flu. However the process of drying the hands afterwards can lead to contact with germs once more. For this reason cloth toweling for drying hands was mostly discontinued and replaced with warm air driers. Unfortunately warm air driers can become breeding grounds for bacteria if they are not serviced regularly. Companies also prevent this problem now by including ultraviolet lighting in the driers to destroy bacteria. The safest techniques remain paper towels and air drying or to use a hand sanitizer spray after using one of these devices.

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