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Can hot hand dryers kill Covid-19?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says hand dryers are not effective in killing Covid-19.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says hand dryers are not effective in killing Covid-19.
Image: 123RF/phonlamaiphoto

Hand dryers alone are ineffective in killing Covid-19, while using alcohol-based hand sanitisers and washing your hands with soap and water have proven to help protect against Covid-19.

This is according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which said temperatures on a person’s skin or surface have no effect on the virus.

“Hand dryers are not effective in killing the Covid-19 virus. To protect yourself, frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer,” said the organisation.

The organisation also dismissed myths that extreme cold and hot weather can kill the virus, or influence the speed at which it spreads. 

The best way to protect yourself against Covid-19 is by maintaining a physical distance of at least one metre from others and frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.”

It said there is no scientific basis to believe that cold weather and snow “kills” Covid-19 as the human body remains at 36°C or 37°C regardless of outside temperatures.

The organisation recommends mask-wearing, social distancing and avoiding gatherings among other safety protocols to prevent or reduce chances of transmission of Covid-19. 


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