(Meredith/CNN) -- Washing your grubby mitts is one of the best ways to cut your chances of getting sick and spreading harmful germs to others, but a new study may make you think twice before you use air hand dryers in public restrooms.
As many as 60 different bacterial colonies can be blown out of the machines in just one 30-second drying. Several of the samples contained Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacteria found in the body and sometimes linked to serious infections, according to the report.
The study showed that bathrooms without hand dryers had just six pathogens compared to 254 in bathrooms with hand dryers.
University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Chuck Gerba told CNN that the study shows places like healthcare facilities may just want to ditch the dryers and turn to trusty towels.
For those at home who are looking for ways to keep their hands clean, Dr. Gerba says hand sanitizer is just as effective.
University of Connecticut School of Medicine has already begun to trade in the bacteria-spreading dryers for regular paper towels and scientists recommend always closing the lid before flushing any toilet.