Skip Nav

Are Public Restroom Hand Dryers Clean?

You'll Never Use a Public Restroom Hand Dryer Again After Seeing What Grew in This Petri Dish

Washing your hands a million times a day seems like one of the only things we can do to prevent ourselves from getting sick. You use mountains of soap, sing the ABCs, wash every millimeter of your hands including your wrists, finish up with the hand dryer, and walk away, feeling like you smacked germs in the face. But it seems our hands aren't as clean as we thought. They may even be covered in the very germs and bacteria that cause the stomach bug or flu.

How do we know? Nichole Ward, a new mom from Carlsbad, CA, decided to put a petri dish underneath a public restroom's hand dryer. She held it there for three minutes, and what grew within a few days will shock and disgust you. Like, forever. You can't unsee this level of grossness.

She captioned the photo, "This is the several strains of possible pathogenic fungi and bacteria that you're swirling around your hands, and you think you're walking out with clean hands. You're welcome."

Ew. So much ew. Nichole added, "DO NOT EVER dry your hands in those things again." She shared this photo to bring awareness to the germs around us, but "not to instill fear." I'm pretty sure it's too late for that. We're all very freaked out.

If a hand dryer is the only option, air-drying may be a safer choice, but then again, the germs and bacteria are probably swirling around in the air. If you want to be super anal really safe, keep hand sanitizer in your purse so you can be sure you're zapping those germs to smithereens.

Latest Health & Fitness