In most public lavatories there is a facility to dry your hands. The three most common mechanisms for this are: paper towels, fabric towels on a roll and the aforementioned electric hand dryer.
For many reasons; primarily the prohibitive expense, environmental impact and mess of the paper towel, and the need to replace both paper and fabric towels regularly, the electric hand dryer has become the most commonly-seen hand drying device in public toilets.
The electric hand dryer will usually be a stainless steel or white enamel box on the wall, with a vent or funnel pointing downwards, sometimes with an 'out of order' sign on the front. However, when the device is in working order, it can be activated by either hitting a button on the front which can be easily identified by the dirty fingerprints of other users (thus proving the lack of handwashing abilities of many people) or alternatively may be activated by a sensor under the funnel which turns the machine on when your hands are in the drying position.
Assuming that the machine is functioning, of course, and that the 'out of order' sign hasn't simply fallen off.
To Ensure Maximum Quickness in the Drying of Hands
- Shake hands free of drips.
- Place hands in appropriate place for drying, ensuring any relevant buttons have been pressed, preferably with something that you don't mind contaminating, like the end of an umbrella.
- Rub hands together briskly with the palms facing each other.
- Rub the front of each hand over the back of the other, spreading the moisture as evenly as possible.
- Hold the backs of the hands in the air stream for a short length of time.
- Hold the fronts of the hands in the air stream for a time.
- Repeat the last three steps until your hands are dry, bearing in mind that a button-operated machine will require the button to be pressed more than once during this operation.
On leaving the public lavatory do not on any account touch anything, especially the door handle. If the door is not one that can be opened with a strategic bump from your posterior, then try to time your exit so someone else has to open the door for you.
It is actually quicker and more hygienic to dry one's hands on one's trousers... but where's the challenge in that?.