Hand Dryers And The Coronavirus

Some news outlets have reported on matters surrounding hand dryer efficacy, but CDC, WHO, and scientists from Johns Hopkins University have reported hand dryers do not spread the coronavirus.

Handwashing and hand hygiene has been at the top the news during the past several weeks, as experts at CDC and at other agencies point to proper hand washing as a leading way to protect yourself and others against transmission of COVID-19. This content is contributed by William Gagnon of Excel Dryer, manufacturer of hand dryers including the XLERATOR®Hand Dryer. The company is headquartered in East Longmeadow, MA.

With reports to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) dominating the news, we stand united with facilities nationwide in support of a cause that impacts us all: the protection of human health. While washing hands with soap and water is an important part of the equation, germs and causes of infection are more easily transferred to and from wet hands, making drying your hands completely critical to the hand washing process as a means to prevent the spread — and contraction — of illnesses.

hand dryers
The hand dryers installed at Grand Central Terminal in New York City are sensor-activated, which reduces touch points for patrons and improves hand hygiene. (Photo: Excel Dryer)

Hygiene and specifically hand hygiene are inherent to all we do. Our hands-under, touch-free XLERATOR® Hand Dryer is a perfect complement to proper hand washing and a means to achieve proper hand hygiene.

Let’s dispel the myths: Some news outlets have erroneously reported on matters surrounding the efficacy of hand dryers, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and scientists from Johns Hopkins University, today reported that hand dryers do not spread the coronavirus. In these unprecedented times, it is imperative that truths be shared to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.

On Handwashing

The practice of proper handwashing is so important that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have dubbed it a “do-it-yourself vaccine.” Recommended is washing with soap and water, or an antiseptic with a minimum of 60% alcohol concentration as an alternate. What the organization does not expressly recommend, however, is one hand drying method over another. This aligns with results of The Mayo Clinic’s study on the topic, which found “no statistically significant differences in the efficiency of four different hand-drying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands.”

The World Health Organization likewise lists proper hand hygiene among the best practices against spreading infection and cites warm air dryers as a solution to accomplish the second part of the hand hygiene equation — hand drying.

hand dryers
(Source: Excel Dryer)

On Hand Drying

Germs are more easily transferred to and from wet skin, so selecting a hand drying method that dries hands completely is paramount. But what is dry? According to the guidelines outlined in the international PCR (Product Category Rules) for hand dryers, published by UL Environment (a business division of Underwriters Laboratories) “dry” is defined as residual moisture of 0.25 grams or less. With that said, not all hand dryers on the market are tested to such stringent measures, and not all dryers can accomplish this compete level of “dry”, so this should be a consideration of the consumer when it comes to product selection. Our XLERATOR® Hand Dryer have undergone such testing and were proven to dry hands completely in eight seconds*.

*Dry time and energy use testing performed by SGS International on standard XLERATOR Hand Dryer with 0.8″ nozzle to 0.25g or less of residual moisture, pursuant to the UL Environment Global Product Category Rules (PCR) for Hand Dryers.

On Product Considerations

When selecting a hand drying solution, there are several factors to consider, not the least of which is hygiene. Certainly, a hand dryer with touch-free operation is preferred as a hygienic means of accomplishing the task.

Likewise, a dryer that can accomplish complete dryness should be a consideration, especially in facilities with special healthcare concerns, like senior living facilities, health care settings, or other venues where large populations gather, particularly in today’s day and age.

Looking for a dryer that has tested and documented dry times, particularly with a global standard such as the PCR for hand dryers, like our XLERATOR, validates claims of an organization and product.

The takeaway: Hand hygiene is critical to prevent the spread of germs and ultimately illness. We must be vigilant in our handwashing and drying practices, following the guidelines of trusted, federal organizations, to weather this storm. Our company is committed to producing products that are hygienic, and sharing information on how best to achieve proper hand hygiene.

Here are several places to find more information…
• Additional information on hygiene and the hygienic efficacy of our dryers is available on the hygiene resource page of our website.
• For more general public health information, consult the World Health Organization website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Want to read more about facility management and COVID-19?

Check out all the latest facility management news here and here related to battling the COVID-19 pandemic.



  1. This so an impressive and valuable article. I read your whole post. I have a XLERATOR hand dryer in my home. During the COVID-19 pandemic time, its really help full and safe our family. Thanks for sharing this amazing post. Keep it up more shares and stay safe.

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