The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: 
A Review of the Evidence

Published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings1

The Mayo Clinic Proceedings article, Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: A Review of the Evidence, reviewed a variety of research – 12 studies total – on the hygienic efficacy of different methods of hand drying published between January 1970 and March 2011. Effectiveness was based on the speed of drying, the degree of dryness, the overall effective removal of bacteria, and the prevention of cross-contamination. The article concluded that, overall, most studies suggest that paper towels can dry hands more efficiently, remove bacteria effectively, and cause less contamination within the washroom than jet air dryers. The author also stated that paper towels should be recommended when hygiene is paramount, in locations such as hospitals and clinics. This study maintained that one of the reasons paper towels are thought to be superior is due to the fact that paper towels use friction to dislodge microorganisms from the skin surface. Rubbing hands while using a jet air dryer, however, could potentially lead to higher bacterial numbers and airborne dissemination.

1Huang C, Ma W, Stack S. The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: A Review of the Evidence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87(8):791-798. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2012.02.019.


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Check out the rest of the research.

Journal of<br>Hospital Infection

Journal of
Hospital Infection

Comparison of Different Hand-Drying
Methods: The Potential for Airborne
Microbe Dispersal and Contamination

Journal of <br />Hospital Infection

Journal of
Hospital Infection

Microbiological Comparison of Hand-
Drying Methods: The Potential for
Contamination of the Environment, User,
and Bystander

Journal of  <br />Applied Microbiology

Journal of
Applied Microbiology

Evaluation of the Potential for Virus
Dispersal during Hand Drying: A
Comparison of Three Methods

European Tissue <br />Symposium

European Tissue

9 out of 10 people prefer Paper Towels to
jet air dryers in washrooms

World Health <br />Organization

World Health

WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in
Health Care


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