Objective: To evaluate the effects of 4 different drying methods to remove bacteria from washed hands.
Subjects and methods: One hundred adult volunteers participated in this randomized prospective study. All bacterial counts were determined using a modified glove-juice sampling procedure. The difference was determined between the amounts of bacteria on hands artificially contaminated with the bacterium Micrococcus luteus before washing with a nonantibacterial soap and after drying by 4 different methods (cloth towels accessed by a rotary dispenser, paper towels from a stack on the hand-washing sink, warm forced air from a mechanical hand-activated dryer, and spontaneous room air evaporation). The results were analyzed using a nonparametric analysis (the Friedman test). By this method, changes in bacterial colony-forming unit values for each drying method were ranked for each subject.
Results: The results for 99 subjects were evaluable. No statistically significant differences were noted in the numbers of colony-forming units for each drying method (P = .72).
Conclusion: These data demonstrate no statistically significant differences in the efficiency of 4 different hand-drying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands.