DALLAS, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to keep germs from spreading but there is no best way to dry hands, a U.S. infectious disease expert says.
Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says there's little scientific data to support whether one method of drying is better than another.
"The most important issue is to focus on the hand washing," Kahn says in a statement. "Few people consider all of the things that we touch every day that are also touched by other people including door knobs, railings and elevator buttons. This is particularly important during the flu season, when these surfaces can easily become contaminated and the virus can spread readily through the population."
Kahn says the best way to wash hands is to use warm, soapy water and rub hands together vigorously for at least 30 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer gel with at least 60 percent alcohol, Kahn says.