20.08.2020 - Products & services

Dry hands hygienically


What everyone should know, but nobody asks: answers and facts about drying your hands


You don't have to make a science out of everything, but sometimes science can help enormously in everyday life - even with an actually unspectacular process like drying your hands. The most important questions and answers on this topic.


Do I even have to dry my hands after washing?

If there is a hygienic possibility to do so: absolutely! Because if after washing your hands with soap there are still a few microorganisms - e.g. bacteria or viruses - on your hands after all, they can easily survive and multiply in this moist environment. 


And what if I use disinfectants?

Disinfectants are useful to interrupt existing chains of infection. They are usually based on alcohol, so only bacteria and very specific viruses (so-called enveloped viruses) can be combated with them. By the way, this is as quick as washing your hands: a disinfectant should be applied very thoroughly to all hand and finger surfaces for about 30 seconds; it only works where it is needed and must not be rinsed or dried off.


Bacteria or viruses are also transmitted by touch. Surely contactless electric hand dryers are the best solution?

Electric airflow dryers are a practical solution for hands. They not only dry - as the name suggests - but also remove bacteria or viruses that are still on the skin. But that is exactly where the problem lies. Because they spread and swirl these germs with the air in the room and possibly on the people in it. At the University of Bonn, for example, electric hand dryers are currently not allowed to be used for reasons of infection protection. Paper towels, on the other hand, have an abrasive effect, i.e. viruses and bacteria are virtually rubbed off by the hand and end up in the trash can directly after use. 


So what is the most hygienic way to dry your hands?

Welcome home at WEPA: Paper towels are the best solution. This has been confirmed time and again by science in various international studies - not only in the laboratory, but also under everyday conditions. The paper towel comes out of its dispenser clean and is only used by yourself. Germs that may still be sticking to damp hands are removed by the friction when drying, but are not blown into the room like in a hand dryer. And finally the paper towel ends up in the trash and is disposed of professionally. Moreover, thanks to the dispensers, paper towels are quickly at hand and you don't have to stand in line like so often with the dryer. And because the dispensers function purely mechanically, they consume neither electricity nor batteries.


Paper towels are therefore way ahead of the rest. Any other tips?

Absolutely. Because the paper towel is also ideal for turning off the water tap - and last but not least, for opening the washroom door, protected from germs on the door handle. 


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