Hand drying plays an important role in getting clean hands and preventing recontamination. In high income settings paper towels or electric air dryers can be used to effectively dry hands. However, these are not available or feasible in many low- and middle- income settings so often people recommend just shaking hands dry. However, if people go straight back to their day-to-day activities after handwashing, this can be problematic because wet hands tend to pick up more pathogens from the surfaces they touch. The good news is that a study in Zimbabwe found that drying hands on clean towels or even on dirty clothes can be more effective at removing any remaining bacteria from hands than simply air drying (shaking hands dry).
Want to know more about COVID-19 and handwashing?
- Why does handwashing with soap work so well to prevent COVID-19?
- Can ash be used for handwashing?
- Are some types of soap more effective than others?
- Should we be promoting handwashing with chlorinated water?
- What can we do where soap is scarce?
- Can soapy water be used?
- Is alcohol-based hand rub better than soap?
- Should we be promoting handwashing at different times during the COVID-19 outbreak?
- What can we do in areas with real water scarcity?
- Can I use greywater or water that is not clean for handwashing?
- Is it safe for people to share handwashing water?
- Do public handwashing facilities pose a risk?
- Can bar soap spread COVID-19?
- What kinds of handwashing facilities should we construct?