Many of us rejoiced when Dyson jet dryers began to pop up in every public bathroom — they dry your hands way faster than older models.
But more and more research supports the idea that they're actually less sanitary than traditional dryers, and even paper towels.
A recent study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology found that jet dryers spread, on average, 20 times more germs than warm air dryers, and 190 times more than paper towels at distances up to three metres.
Study participants washed gloved hands with a virus solution and then dried their hands with one of the three items. The researchers then collected samples from plates at different heights and distances from the dryers and towels.
The virus, called MS2, imitates the spread of human viruses like norovirus, Ars Technica reported.
The virus mocked a type found in feces from people infected with illnesses like norovirus or rotavirus. The amount of virus on the gloves is what could end up on a person's hands.
"The choice of hand-drying device should be considered carefully in areas where infection prevention concerns are paramount, such as healthcare settings and the food industry," the study's authors wrote.
The first step, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is to wet your hands using clean, running water.
It can be liquid, bar or powder, as long as you lather well, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, your wrists and under your nails.
Rinse well under the clean, running water. Whether you go for a warm or cool wash is up to personal preference -- the water temp doesn't make a difference when it comes to removing germs, according to the CDC.
Dry your hands completely using a disposable (or clean and washable) towel or air dryer.
The results mirror 2014 research that found jet dryers spread far more germs than warm air ones or towels.
So while we're all in a rush to get out of the bathroom, maybe it's best to use paper towels for the time being — let's just hope fewer end up in the landfill in future.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that paper towels in bathrooms weren't biodegradable — when the towels actually are. This version has been corrected.