Assessment of the effect of hand dryers used in shopping malls on hand hygiene

Am J Infect Control. 2022 Oct;50(10):1098-1102. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2022.01.002. Epub 2022 Jan 25.


Background: Hand drying is one of the most important factors affect hand hygiene. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of hand dryers used in the restrooms located on the food court floors in shopping malls in Turkey on hand hygiene.

Methods: Hands were washed for at least 20 seconds by following hygienic hand washing procedures of the World Health Organization. Swab samples were taken from the wet hands after hand washing, then from the dry hands, which were dried under the hand dryers and from the air blowing part of the hand dryers. Samples were cultured on agar plates that were directly exposed to the air-blowing part of the hand dryers.

Results: It was found that total coliform bacteria were 0.000 colony-forming unit (CFU)/petri in wet and dried hand, 3.437 CFU/petri in blown air and 5.250 CFU/petri in swab samples. Staphylococcus aureus was found to be 0.125, 64.125, 26.375, and 388.750 CFU/petri, respectively. Total bacteria count was found to be 0.687, 48.750, 35.625, and 595.000 CFU/petri, respectively. S. aureus and the total bacterial load were higher in the blower outlet of the hand dryers than washed hand, blown air and dried hand (P < .05). The bacteria count in the unfiltered hand dryers was higher than that in the filtered hand dryers (P < .05).

Conclusions: Using hand dryers would negatively affect hand hygiene even if hands were washed following hygienic hand washing procedures.

Keywords: Coliform bacteria; Hand drying; Staphylococcus aureus; Total bacterial load.

MeSH terms

  • Agar
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Hand / microbiology
  • Hand Disinfection / methods
  • Hand Hygiene*
  • Humans
  • Staphylococcus aureus


  • Agar