New comparative study on hand drying reveals: cotton and paper towels have advantages with respect to hygiene
14 March 2014 - The new comparative study of the University of Helsinki commissioned by the European Textile Services Association (ETSA) proves that, when looking at the drying procedure only, the cotton and paper towels tested eliminated more bacteria from hands than the jet air or warm air dryers included in the study. Furthermore, the highest number of bacteria in the air was found within a range of one meter from the air drying systems.
Hand washing is important for the prevention of infections. Since the transmission of bacteria is more likely to occur from wet skin than dry skin, the proper drying of hands plays a significant role in hand hygiene. Thus, the right drying device can help remove bacteria from hands and prevent cross-contamination in the washroom.
The objective of the study was to compare the hygienic result of four different hand drying methods: cotton hand towels, disposable paper towels, an automatic warm air dryer and a jet air dryer. For that reason, the reduction of microbes after the drying of hands was examined as well as the hygiene of the surfaces of the dryers and dispensers and the surrounding air.
The ETSA press release is available in:
A four-page brochure on the conclusions of the study may be downloaded in: