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Utah company goes viral on TikTok after revealing how unhygienic this hand drying method really is

Bathroom hand dryers may be leaving your hands dirtier than before

SHARE Utah company goes viral on TikTok after revealing how unhygienic this hand drying method really is
Eagles Landing Flying J in Scipio is well known for its powerful hand dryers, like this one.

Bathroom hand dryers may be leaving your hands dirtier than before.

Alex Cabrero, Deseret News

The Utah-based UV sanitizer company PhoneSoap just went viral for a gut-churning video about the cleanliness of bathroom hand dryers.

Driving the news: The company recently posted a video to its TikTok account, asking just how “germy” hand dryers are. The video has racked up nearly 7 million views.

  • The video shows someone collecting samples from various dryers and putting them in a petri dish to see what bacteria grows on them after three days.
  • The end of the video reveals the petri dishes to be covered in different colonies of bacteria, supporting the idea that hand dryers are not very hygienic and in fact “waving your hands dry is the best option,” as the TikToker states.

What they’re saying: TikTok users are simultaneously horrified and grateful to have witnessed this discovery, with one user saying, “Ohhhh. I wish I didn’t see this … I’m glad I did … but oh my.”

  • Another user commented how they’ve always preferred using paper towels anyway, “... so i can turn off the sink & open the door w/o touching.”

The science behind it: Researchers at the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University conducted a similar experiment in 2018 that unfortunately yielded the same disturbing results.

  • “Petri dishes exposed to bathroom air for two minutes with the hand dryers off only grew one colony of bacteria, or none at all. However, petri dishes exposed to hot air from a bathroom hand dryer for 30 seconds grew up to 254 colonies of bacteria,” Harvard Health reported.
  • Another study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found hand dryers to have significantly more germs after scientists spent several months gathering hospital bathroom samples from three different cities in Europe.
  • “Cultures from these samples revealed that the total amount of bacteria in the air and on surfaces was consistently much higher in all restrooms when jet dryers were being used. The most dramatic differences were seen between the surface of the jet dryer itself and the surface of the paper towel dispenser: In Udine, the dryer was covered in 100 times more bacteria, in Paris it was 33-fold higher, and in Leeds it was 22-fold,” IFL Science reported.

Details: PhoneSoap was founded in 2011 by BYU alums and cousins Dan Barnes and Wes LaPorte, per its official site.

  • The company appeared on Shark Tank in 2015 and closed a $300,000 deal with Lori Greiner in exchange for a 10% equity stake in their company, per the Deseret News.