Throwback – I wash (and dry) my hands of it!

I know it’s a little late for a Throwback Thursday post, but I just had to share this sight that awaited me at work today.

hand dryer.png
How long has it been since you’ve seen one of these things?  I asked my coworkers and one person’s reply was, “Gross.  Truck stop maybe 10 years ago”.  Another quickly replied, “I’m gonna go with “never” for 800, Alex.”  Clever coworkers I have.

I remember last (and probably first) seeing one of these older towel dispensers in Italy back in April 2013.  I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it, and I too was grossed out by it.  Yet I’m the same girl who wipes her face in her body towel and doesn’t wash it for close to two weeks.  So maybe I need to rethink my standards of what counts as gross.

This contraption is known as a reusable towel roll.  The idea is that after washing your hands, you can tug on the towel and expose a portion of “fresh” towel with which to dry your hands.  It turns out that these continuous roll systems are (according to some) the most hygienic hand drying tool available.  Apparently, people do not do a good job in general of washing their hands thoroughly, so often it is the hand drying portion that in fact removes more bacteria from the hands by way of either heat or mechanical means (i.e. wiping the hands).  I never thought about it, but according to the hand washing experts, wet hands actually transmit much more bacteria than dry hands.  Some interesting things I learned from this article as to the negative repercussions of other hand-drying systems….

  • Paper towels often do not make it in the trash can.  Guess where some end up.  That’s right – inside the toilet.  The paper towels clog them.  Thus leading to more contaminated restrooms.
  • You know those fancy Dyson dryers with narrow openings you stick your hands in?  Those may get your hands dry quickly, but they might actually be blowing the bacteria off of your hands with those high speed fans but then back into the air or your clothes.  In fact, some FDA regulations require that food establishments with this style of hand dryer actually have other (more hygienic) means of drying hands.  This stuff kind of makes me not want to use those fancy things anymore.
  • And then there’s the regular warm air blower.  Turns out those things might actually be blowing more bacteria onto your skin than you started with because they’re typically just recirculating the icky restroom air.  Ew.

All of this lovely information I learned by reading the article at:  http://www.dberkhoudartchitect.com/2012/03/new-research-proves-cloth-roll-towel-systems-crt-more-hygienic-than-air-dryers/
Read it for yourself, but take it with a grain of salt.  🙂

Sorry that this post was not so much a feel good one.  But some lessons just hit you smack in the face.  This might just cause me to reevaluate my prior choice to put my mouth under the fun jet dryer to see my cheeks puff up.  On a side note, if you haven’t done this or witnessed it, you’ve got to try it.  Never mind the mouth full of bacteria that might be involved!
sky dive

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