CDC’s updated handwashing guidance highlights the critical step of drying hands

by Brianna Crandall — April 16, 2021 — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated handwashing guidelines, standardizing language and updating visuals. Although hand dryers have always been recommended by the organization, language around the topic of hand drying was inconsistent across industries and materials, points out Excel Dryer, a US-based manufacturer of hand dryers. Now, with the latest updates, CDC’s stance is unequivocally clear: hand dryers are a supported hand-drying solution.

CDC graphic of drying hands

CDC guidelines recommend using either hand dryers or clean towels to dry hands after washing them. Image courtesy CDC

CDC has shared that “germs spread more easily when hands are wet” and recommends thorough hand drying with clean towels or hand dryers to mitigate germ transfer and the spread of viruses such as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

The organization’s robust hand hygiene media library now visually depicts both towels and hand dryers as a means to complete hygienic hand drying in materials supporting the Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands campaign, which provides fact sheets, posters and other downloadable assets such as stickers.

Additionally, CDC hand-drying FAQs and reopening guidelines across industries, including schools, make specific mention of hand dryers among recommended supplies to have on hand.

William Gagnon, vice president of Marketing and Sales at Excel Dryer, stated:

Hand drying is a critical step of proper hand hygiene but has not received the same media attention that handwashing has throughout the pandemic. Ask most anyone how long you should wash your hands, and they’re likely to respond with “20 seconds” or “the amount of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.” I don’t believe they realize how important hand drying is to the process and am hopeful the updated materials will help to mitigate confusion and, in turn, the virus’ spread.

Excel Dryer’s line of sensor-activated, touchless hand dryers have long been trusted to achieve proper hand hygiene by retail stores, airports, restaurants, schools and universities, stadiums and arenas, hospitals and healthcare facilities, public safety complexes — and any commercial facility with public and/or employee restrooms.

The CDC’s updated guidelines provide peace of mind to facilities managers and members of the public who will interact with hand dryers as these sites reopen, says the company.

Gagnon continued:

We encourage policy makers, owners, operators and any decision makers or organizations responsible for commercial facilities to consult the updated CDC hygiene resources when reopening guidelines are formulated. In some instances, these guidelines will need to be updated to correct incorrect guidance on the use of hand dryers. The CDC has made this point clear: hand dryers are recommended.

Review CDC’s handwashing recommendations and learn more about Excel Dryer’s hygienic hand dryers.

Operating for over 50 years, family-owned and -operated Excel Dryer invented the patented XLERATOR technology said to create the high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryer category. The company’s expanded product line features adjustable speed and sound, HEPA Filtration System, adjustable heat settings, multi-voltage options and more. Excel Dryer products are available through an established network of sales representatives who call on more than 5,000 distributors globally.

For FM-specific information, see Excel’s FMLink ad.