Which Gets Hands Cleaner: Paper Towels or Air Dryers?

By

It is not a great time to be a germaphobe. But there is one very minor thing you can do to drastically reduce your chances of getting sick: Wash your gross hands! And, as the guys at ASAPScience point out in a new video, the way you dry your hands matters, too, because bacteria is more likely to spread when your skin is wet. (Shudder.) 

Overall, paper towels seem to win. The trouble with hand dryers is that most people don’t use them long enough for their hands to get fully dry. Plus, a few studies have suggested that hand dryers — both standard and the fancy new jet dryers — may be spewing out bacteria owing to the contaminated air droplets in the restroom. (Double shudder.) And yet, who wants to contribute to the billions of pounds of paper towels Americans use each year?

Your best bet may be to memorize the contents of this video from 2012, which teaches how to dry your hands using just one paper towel. That, or never use another public restroom ever again. Your choice.