How important is it to dry my hands after I wash them?

Answer From Jean Barth, R.N., M.P.H

Wet hands spread germs more easily than dry hands do. So it's important to thoroughly dry your hands after washing.

Some people prefer paper towels, others prefer hand dryers. Two types of hand dryers are commonly found in public restrooms: jet air dryers that blow air forcefully and warm air dryers that blow air more slowly.

Both types work by pulling in room air and concentrating its flow. Jet air dryers use room temperature air; warm air dryers heat the air before blowing it. These dryers can be effective in drying hands, and they likely use fewer natural resources than paper towels.

Whether you use paper towels or a hand dryer, be sure to make sure your hands are completely dry. Then use a paper towel, your forearm, elbow or shoulder to open the door so you don't re-contaminate your hands.

With

Jean Barth, R.N., M.P.H

Feb. 08, 2019 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. 3 ways to get closer to achieving your goals
  2. Make healthy habits stick
  3. 5 do's and don'ts for staying motivated
  4. 5 ways to avoid secondhand smoke
  5. 7 signs and symptoms not to ignore
  6. Energy management
  7. Animal bites: Do you need a tetanus shot?
  8. Are you doing everything you can to stay healthy?
  9. Belching, intestinal gas, gas pains and bloating
  10. Bone health tips
  11. Cancer-prevention strategies
  12. Cellphones and cancer
  13. Colon cancer screening
  14. Plastic surgery
  15. Do adults need shots?
  16. Don't save leftover pain pills
  17. Exercise: Check with your doctor
  18. Find meaning in the small things
  19. Flu Shot Prevents Heart Attack
  20. Functional fitness training
  21. Overcome obstacles to your goals
  22. Healthy holiday habits: How to get back on track
  23. Hand-washing tips
  24. Healthy habits that boost happiness
  25. Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
  26. Heart attack prevention: Should I avoid secondhand smoke?
  27. Home Health Hazards
  28. Brown fat
  29. How social support spurs you
  30. Break the busy cycle
  31. How well do you wash your hands?
  32. Injury Season for Snow Blowers
  33. Investing in yourself
  34. Is antibacterial soap a do or a don't?
  35. Keep the focus on your long-term vision
  36. Liposuction alternatives
  37. Lost in Space
  38. Making progress towards your goals
  39. Mammogram guidelines: What are they?
  40. Make over your mindset to make time for your health
  41. Measles vaccine: Can I get the measles if I've already been vaccinated?
  42. Medical family tree
  43. Infographic: Organ Donation Donate Life
  44. Infographic: Paired Donation Chain
  45. Personal health records
  46. Personalize your wellness journey
  47. Stick to healthy-eating goals at social gatherings
  48. Posture: Align yourself for good health
  49. Posture check: Do you stand up straight?
  50. Reach your goals, track your habits
  51. New Year's resolutions
  52. Secondhand smoke
  53. Creating a wellness vision
  54. Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting?
  55. Good posture tips
  56. Back exercises
  57. Proper lifting techniques
  58. Stop multitasking and focus
  59. Thirdhand smoke: What are the dangers?
  60. Want good health? Build a solid base
  61. The benefits of gratitude
  62. Travel Safety
  63. Triclosan
  64. Using if-then statements
  65. Vaccines for adults
  66. What are superbugs?
  67. What are superbugs and how can I protect myself from infection?
  68. Air purifiers and smoke