Dr Oz: Hand Dryers Vs Paper Towels
When they debuted in bathrooms around the world, we were promised that Hand Dryers would be more efficient, less wasteful, and cleaner than paper towels. But Dr Oz asked public health expert Peter DeLucia to find out whether the popular theory is true that hand dryers are healthier than paper towels.
Peter shared one study that pointed the finger at Hand Dryers for spreading germs, pushing bacteria all over public restrooms. That is in part due to our failure to properly wash our hands. Apparently, only 5% of people are washing their hands as long as they need to, and only 33% of people use soap to wash their hands.
Dr Oz: Hand Dryer Germs
Peter did an experiment using paint to represent germs. When a Hand Dryer turned on, the paint went everywhere, getting on his pants, the wall, and the floor. Though we may think that jet dryers are more efficient and effective, DeLucia said they can be worse, shooting germs six feet away. According to one study, bacteria around hand dryers was 27 times higher than bacteria around a paper towel dispenser.
Since most of us are too impatient to wait for our hands to finish drying, we are not helping matters. The moisture on our hands actually creates a breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why he recommended keeping clean with paper towels, which can wipe away leftover germs and other unwanted surprises. Don’t forget to use the paper towel to open the germy restroom door on your way out.
Dr Oz: Fecal Cloud & Bathroom Germs
When you flush the toilet, Peter DeLucia said what happens is a “fecal cloud,” because the toilet bacteria can shoot all around the room in a cloud. Some of that bacteria could be on anything you touch in the bathroom, including Hand Dryers, which means you are shooting fecal waste at your hands using hot air.
Dr Oz pointed out that 80% of germs are passed via contact. To illustrate this, he had DeLucia put a special powder on his hands that was formulated to simulate germs. He went through his daily routine, and later Dr Oz shared the results. Germs got everywhere, even on the coffee pot and the button in the elevator.
Dr Oz: Best Way To Wash Your Hands
How can you prevent coming in contact with more germs? The first step is to properly wash and dry your hands after using the restroom and as needed throughout the day. Rub your hands back and forth under running water with soap for 15-20 seconds, about as long as it will take you to make it through the song “Happy Birthday” twice. (Check to make sure the bathroom is empty before singing out loud.)
Make sure to completely dry your hands, and use a paper towel to do so if it’s available. Peter DeLucia said not to dry your hands on your pants, because then you are just taking the bacteria with you.