Brief history of hand dryers

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There is one of these in a public loo in Malvern. Must be late 50s/early 60s at least. Not very effective compared to the modern ones!

  1. Turn on dryer
  2. Rub hands together vigourously under dryer
  3. Wipe hands on pants and leave the bathroom

Oldie but a goodie:


What I recall always seeing

The dip-style Airblades pictured in the article have got to be the least sanitary option. It’s like playing Operation, trying not to touch the sides of the thing that everyone else in front of you definitely touched after only cursorily rinsing their hands. They do make a model you don’t have to dip your hands into but they’re much less common, so far, despite being less expensive. (And what’s the point of a HEPA filter in a hand dryer anyway?)

If the bathroom has a door you’re probably going to have to touch the same surface their hand just touched anyway. It’s going to catch up to you sooner or later unless you adopt a Howard Hughes-esque approach to touching things handled by other humans.

Have you actually used one? Just about every family restaurant (pretty much the only type of restaurant we frequent with two small children) around here has those Airblades. I’ve probably used them hundreds of times by now, and never actually touched the sides. It’s honestly something that never even occurred to me as a possibility.

But yes, as @Brainspore says as well - I’d be much more concerned about the not-insignificant portion of the population that don’t even give their hands a cursory rinse before opening the door.

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