How we dry our hands matters

Systems Engineering (May 2020)

By Ricardo Valerdi

In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, the rate of handwashing increased exponentially. Fortunately, this led to better hygiene practices intended to reduce the spread of disease. There is nothing better than soap, water and 20 to 30 seconds of handwashing. However, systems engineers know optimizing one part of a system is not enough - hand drying is important, too, because wet hands have been shown to transmit more bacteria. Additionally, proper hand drying provides an additional step in the removal of bacteria.


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