A new study led by a researcher at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia has indicated that paper towels might be a better option for hand hygiene than electric dryers.
The study by biomedical scientist Cunrui Huang was a meta-analysis of 12 other studies that compared paper towels, cloth towels, hot air dryers and jet air dryers in terms of removal of bacteria and efficiency of drying.
The results indicated that paper towels were much better than dryers for hand hygiene as they removed bacteria and also dried hands more efficiently. Furthermore, paper towels dried hands more quickly, which prevented bacterial transmission.
One study found that paper towels leave hands 90% dry within 10 seconds and 99% dry in 15 seconds. The details of the study appear in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.