17 August 2007

The Dirty Truth

Aha! Finally, research backs me up. Hand dryers suck.

Manufacturer estimates are typically optimistic — most hot-air units operate on cycles ranging from 20 to 40 seconds, and some newer cool-air models like the Dyson Airblade claim to require only 10 seconds. I've tried them all, and I say bunk — drying my hands almost always takes two or more cycles, and researchers at the University of Westminster back me up. They studied the drying efficiency of paper towels, cotton towels, and hot-air dryers and found that (a) it typically took 43 seconds under a dryer to dry as well as 12 seconds with a paper towel, but (b) most dryer users lose patience well before then, and (c) about 40 percent end up wiping their hands on their pants.

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