First off, the good news? If you wash your hands properly with soap, almost all traces of bacteria will be removed, regardless of how you dry them afterwards. The worst thing you could do is not wash your hands thoroughly enough, or forego the soap, in which case you're more likely to spread whatever nasties are still on your hands.
But it doesn't stop there. If you don't dry them properly afterwards, you're putting those around you at even more risk of catching whatever you've picked up because bacteria travel more easily across wet skin.
So what's the most hygienic way to dry your hands? In recent studies into methods of drying hands, the paper towel came out victorious. This is because the average air dryer needs nearly 45 seconds to reduce hand moisture by 97 percent - whereas paper towel users achieve the same effect in just 10 seconds - and participants in the studies who opted for the air dryer were only using them for around 22 seconds.
Friction is also something that paper towels have going for them - the physical movement of the paper across our skin helps to further remove bacteria, plus studies have also revealed that air dryers can actually transfer new bacteria onto your hands because of the contaminated air in their surroundings.
But sometimes, air dryers are your only option. Watch the latest episode of AsapSCIENCE above to find out how to get the most out of your air drying experience.