Did any of you see this story last week? Recently, new mom Nichole Ward, of Carlsbad, California, conducted a fun science experiment that not only turned her stomach but set the internet on fire!

She took a petri dish and put it under a public hand dryer for three minutes. Then, with the top on she let it “incubate” for 48 hours. What grew inside, what came OUT of that hand dryer, is posted in the picture above.


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She posted her experiment to Facebook, saying,

“I stuck the open plate in an enclosed hand dryer of a public bathroom for a total of 3 minutes. DO NOT EVER dry your hands in those things again.

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.

This post is simply for awareness, not to instill fear.”1

Now, before anyone gets too up in arms, Nichole has not claimed to be a scientist and we aren’t claiming that either. But this is important and eye-opening news, nonetheless. And it should be noted that there are many studies that back up her experiment.

According to scientists from the University of Leeds, modern hand dryers can indeed spread bacteria in public restrooms. In fact, airborne germ counts were 27 times higher around jet air dryers compared to the air around paper towel dispensers. Yuck. Check out the infographic from the University:

© University of Leeds

As for Nichole, she says, “From now on I just wash and scrub, and dry on my clothes or shake and air dry OUTSIDE of the restroom.”

Sources and References

  1. MSN, February 9, 2018.