Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed the importance of maintaining good hand hygiene to prevent COVID-19 being spread via our hands.
But with everyone singing happy birthday twice and washing their hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap every time we use the toilet or before and after we have a meal, it’s been revealed that not everyone wipes their hands properly.
In an article published by the European Cleaning Journal, it stated that “less than half of us recognise the importance of drying our hands after washing them”
Tissue Company Cascades PRO polled for then 1,000 US citizens in July to discover how COVID-19 has changed their hand hygiene perceptions. A total of 73 percent of respondents said they were now washing their hand more frequently due to the pandemic, with 84% believing handwashing to be extremely important after using a public washroom. However, only 48% of respondents thought it was important to dry their hands afterwards.
Results from a second study by air dryer manufacturer Dyson revealed that 42% of people feel more concerned about visiting a public washroom than they did a year ago. And a quarter of respondent claimed they would let their hands dry naturally in a washroom where no working hand dryer or paper towels were supplied, with 15% saying they would use their own clothes to dry their hands on instead.
But why is it important to dry our hand thoroughly after we’ve washed them?
Bacteria and viruses like to live and grow in moist damp conditions and can thrive in any amount of moisture (even microscopic). So not thoroughly drying your hands after washing them is defeating the object of keep viruses at bay as you’re creating a perfect environment for bacteria and viruses not only on your hands but on any surface you touch.
Dyson’s Senior Microbiologist and scientist Dr Salome Giao said “These results need further education on Hand Hygiene” “ We know damp hands can transfer up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands – and wiping the hands-on clothes can jeopardise the handwashing process because they can add bacteria to washed hands if they are not clean”
However, different drying methods have different levels of effectiveness and it is recommended to use paper towels over air & jet hand dryers. You can read more about the best hand drying methods on our blog here.
A&R Contract cleaning services have over 40 years of experience in the cleaning industry – providing tailored cleaning solutions from general cleaning to janitorial and washroom services. If you would like to know more about our services contact us on 01656 713950 or visit our website