Use paper towels! Shocking video shows how much bacteria is lurking inside electric hand dryers

PROVO, Utah — A recent video shows the shocking amount of bacteria hiding inside hand dryers — suggesting that air-drying or just using paper towels could be more hygienic.

Dallin Lewis, 33, decided to run his own experiment after seeing multiple articles online debating just how hygienic electric hand dryers actually are.

He wanted to see for himself how much bacteria would come out of hand dryers. Using the equipment he already had at his disposal, the digital content creator visited multiple public toilets in stores, gas stations, and movie theatres. Each time, he held Petri dishes under various hand dryers.

Dallin then compared this to a control test, where he simulated what it would be like if someone let their hands air dry. He placed the labeled Petri dishes into an incubator for three days to allow the bacteria to grow.

YouTube video

Dallin notes that, despite his previous research, he was incredibly surprised by his results. The control test didn’t show any noticeable bacteria growth, but every single one of the hand dryer tests showed a considerable number of white spots, indicating a high level of bacteria.

RELATED: Here’s why paper towels are 10 TIMES better than air dryers after washing hands

“I knew they would be bad but I was in no way expecting the level I saw,” Dallin says in a statement to SWNS.

“I have done many similar bacteria growth tests on a variety of surfaces – phones and gas pumps are probably some of the worst, but the hand dryer was so bad though!”

Dallin’s research suggests that hand dryers could re-contaminate freshly-washed hands with bacteria, making the entire hand washing process useless. The 33-year-old filmed these clips in June 2022.

Report by Jessica Hehir-Smith, South West News Service

YouTube video