Following this year’s Global Handwashing Day, Dyson highlights the critical importance of  a regularly overlooked yet vital step in maintaining hygiene standards

Every year, Global Handwashing Day is dedicated to raising awareness and educating on the critical importance of regular handwashing. It is committed to increasing awareness and understanding on the topic with this year’s theme being “clean hands are within reach”. The message is a simple one: while progress is being made around hand hygiene commitments, more needs to be done to ensure hand washing helps prevent disease transmission.

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It is widely known that handwashing is an effective way to maintain hygiene standards and save lives. However, hand drying is often left out of the conversation despite being a crucial step in the hand hygiene process. This Global Handwashing Day 2023, we want to shed a light on this regularly overlooked yet vital step.

Proper hand drying is essential to maintaining high levels of personal and washroom hygiene. To bolster this, facilities managers should look to alternative hand drying technologies that prioritise effective hygiene and have a reduced impact on the environment.

Equipping the washroom with effective, sustainable hand drying solutions should be a priority for facilities managers. If washroom users are reluctant to use conventional, older hand dryers for hygiene reasons and paper towels for sustainability reasons, the alternative given to them must be innovative and technologically-led. Without this, visitors may be tempted to either dry their hands on their clothes or leave them to dry naturally. This can reverse the hygienic process of washing hands, since damp hands can transfer up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands[1], while wiping hands on clothes can add bacteria to the washed hands if the clothes are not clean.[2]

A key best practice that’s quick and easy to implement is house rules: facilities managers should be setting clear guidance for the use of their washrooms to make sure each user respects the area and keeps it clean. If your facility is in the workplace, all new joiners should be briefed on proper washroom usage and etiquette during their health and safety induction. Signs can then be displayed throughout the facilities to act as continued reminders.

Knowing how damaged perceptions around washroom hygiene already are, regular cleaning should be a top priority, with full and check cleans happening throughout the day. The frequency of these visits will depend on the number of washrooms and the number of staff on site, but should be at least three times a day. Facilities managers should be arranging for specific focus cleans and disinfecting the key touch points, such as sinks, toilets, and door handles.

Even if all of the above guidance is implemented, continuing to use outdated technology solutions in the washroom means that users will likely remain concerned about hygiene and sustainability standards. Instead, installing touch-free, HEPA-filtered hand dryers that effectively capture particles, including bacteria and viruses, from the air, will be the most impactful way to ensure that premises remain clean and user-friendly.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dyson Airblade™ technology could help your business become more sustainable and efficient you can do so here.


[1] Patrick D, Findon G, and Miller T (1997). Residual moisture determines the level of touch-contact-associated bacterial transfer following hand washing. Epidemiol. Infect. 119: 319-325.

[2] Suen LKP, Lung VYT, Boost MV, et al. (2019) Microbiological evaluation of different hand drying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands. Sci. Rep. 9: 13754.