One of the most valuable lessons of the past few years has been the importance of hand washing in helping to stop the spread of germs.  Reducing the opportunities for germs to spread from person to person in a workplace or school protects the health of everyone and reduces time lost to sickness.  Choosing the right hand dryer for your bathrooms can help to improve hygiene.

How different kinds of hand dryer work

There are two main types of hand dryer, and they work in different ways:

  • Warm air (evaporative) hand dryers
  • Jet hand dryers

Most people are familiar with warm air hand dryers – and the noise they make.  The traditional hand dryer works by blowing air over a heating element to warm it while the user rubs their hands together in the stream of air.  The combination of spreading moisture across the skin and the effect of the warm air helps the residual water left after hand washing to evaporate leaving the hands dry.

Jet hand dryers are a relatively new innovation that was pioneered by Mitsubishi Electric.  Rather than using slow moving air, jet hand dryers force air through a narrow nozzle at high speed.  This fast-moving air blows the water off the surface of the skin much more quickly than a traditional dryer.

What hand dryer is the most hygienic

How clean someone’s hands are after washing has a lot to do with the correct cleaning technique, but you should also think about the other factors that can are present in a washroom.

The first of these is the various points of contact where germs can be transferred from one person to another.  One of the most obvious of these contact points is the hand dryer switch.  While most modern hand dryers such as the Mitsubishi Electric Wave i01 and u02 dryers feature a proximity sensor, older models will often require the user to push a button to start them.  

Similarly, the surfaces of the hand dryer itself can be a source of contamination.  All surfaces in a bathroom should be regularly wiped down during normal cleaning procedures, but in the periods between these washes, germs can build up.  Bacterial and viral growth on surfaces can be prevented by the types of material used.  The use antibacterial materials on the exterior of Mitsubishi Electric Wave hand dryers means coupled with their automatic operation prevents contact and stops any germs from growing.

A key problem with warm air hand dryers is that as the water evaporates from the skin, it can leave behind a residue of soap and any remaining dirt.  While the hands will be somewhat cleaner after washing this residue can mean that bathroom users will still carry many germs back out with them.

Comparison with paper towels

Paper towels are often considered as an alternative to hand dryers in washrooms.  Unfortunately, they have two main disadvantages when it comes to hygiene.  The first is that any dispenser where they are held will create a point of contact between people, and the second is that they need to be disposed of to landfill rather than being recycled.  Dirty paper towels will also remain in the bathroom bin after use, which means that germs have the opportunity to spread into other areas.

Find out more

Good hygiene in workplaces, schools and other public places is a key factor in preventing the spread of germs that cause illnesses such as flu and COVID.  Find out more about installing Mitsubishi Electric Wave hand dryers in your bathrooms.  Contact us today to request a demonstration.

01707 288780