The importance of hand drying in maintaining hand hygiene

hand hygiene

If we want to keep our health in good condition we need to take utmost care of our hygiene, and that includes hand hygiene too. Here’s why drying your hands after washing them is important for your health and what drying methods you can use.

It prevents the spread of germs

We all know that good hygiene helps us to prevent germs from spreading around. That’s why washing our hands and washing them properly is so important. However, simply washing your hands with soap is not enough to stop the stubborn germs. When we talk about good hygiene and fighting germs, we also need to talk about how to dry our hands properly. If we wash our hands and then dry them properly, we are reducing the risk of cross-contamination.

The fact that hand hygiene is important for our overall health can be seen from the healthcare itself and what kind of methods they use to combat viruses. Everyone in the hospital, both the staff and the patients have to regularly wash their hands and disinfect the areas that they touch most frequently. This approach prevents germs from spreading all around the hospital.

After washing our hands, the next step is to dry them. This has been especially important ever since the coronavirus has showed up. One of the most common ways in which you can get infected with the coronavirus, or even just a common flu or a cold, includes contact via hands. Now, it’s even more important than ever before to properly dry our hands after washing them to prevent the spread of disease-causing pathogens.

To prevent recontamination of the hands

Speaking of germs, there’s a possibility of recontamination of the hands if we don’t wash and dry them properly. A lot of people make a clumsy mistake of not drying their hands fully. They either shake their hands around hoping to dry them even just a little bit or they use their own clothes to dry their hands. Then, with the slightly wet hands they will touch surfaces such as door handles, they will even touch their faces, and shake their hands with other people. With slightly wet hands, it becomes even easier to pick up even more microorganisms and cause recontamination of the hands.

According to a study about hand hygiene behaviour that was conducted in Hong Kong, approximately 40% of the general public uses their clothes to dry their hands some of the time. Since our clothes also pick up a lot of dirt and microorganisms along the way, this doesn’t really make our clothes the best hand-drying option we can pick. It’s even worse if people who handle food since they can end up contaminating the food as well. Healthcare workers have to be even more careful since their clothes can be contaminated from them getting in contact with patients.

Personal comfort

We can all agree that having wet hands is uncomfortable. So, we naturally want to dry them after washing them. While there are many methods for hand drying, we can’t help but fin some more suitable and comfortable than the others. Some may prefer to use towels or paper towels. While that’s okay for when it comes to drying your hands in your own home, public restrooms should be able to afford a few options that people can choose from. For instance, there should be a paper towel available as well as hand dryers.

The older, hot air dryers you may need to wait for a little longer to dry your hands. This can be annoying at times and not very convenient for those who are in a rush. However, with high-speed hand dryers, drying your hands becomes quick, easy and efficient.

Removing more dirt

Lastly, washing your hands with soap properly for about 20 seconds will help you remove most of the germs and dirt stuck on your skin. However, if you don’t wash your hands well enough, there’s a chance your hands still have some dirt on them. With the friction you cause from rubbing your hands in a towel and air blowing at your hands if you use a hand dryer, you will make sure that all dirt is off your hands for good.

How to choose the best hand drying solution

Additionally, it’s good to know what kinds of hand drying solutions exist. This is especially important when it comes to institutions and businesses equipping their public toilets. Among the options such as cloth rollers, paper towels, jet blade dryers, and hot air dryers, there are many advantages and disadvantages to take a look at. These are some of the deciding factors that may help you:

  • The cost of installation and maintenance
  • Hand drying efficiency
  • Comfort
  • Preference
  • Sustainability
  • Dispersal of microorganisms during use


In conclusion, drying our hand properly is just as important as washing them. This helps us prevent germ spreading and recontamination. It also helps us remove the remaining dirt from our hands and ensures comfort.


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