One in Five Purses Contain more Bacteria than a Toilet

Purse Bacteria Study

While most women know that purses are not exactly the cleanest thing, inside or out, a new study conducted by the company Initial Washroom Hygiene found that one in five handbag handles had bacteria-related contamination, which pose significant risk of cross-contamination.

The company conducted swab tests on the dirtiest parts of a woman’s purse and the contents, such as makeup, mobile devices and even the linings of the bags.

Could you guess what the dirtiest item(s) in the handbag was? The dirtiest item in a handbag was found to be face or hand cream, with more bacteria on it than the average toilet seat, closely followed by lipstick and mascara.

“Handbags come into regular contact with our hands and a variety of surfaces, so the risk of transferring different germs onto them is very high – especially as bags are rarely cleaned,” said Peter Barratt, technical manager at Initial Hygiene. “Once these germs get on the bags, they can easily be transferred via hands onto other surfaces. Regular hand sanitization is essential to prevent the presence of bacteria in the first place and thorough cleaning of bags is recommended to prevent the build-up of contamination.”

If you think having a leather purse is better verses a material like cloth, think again. “Sought-after leather bags provide the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and spread, due to their spongy texture,” Initial said in a statement. “Hand hygiene is a crucial part of preventing bacteria from spreading and causing illness, and Initial recommends regularly cleaning hands and personal items like bags with antibacterial wipes or gel to prevent against cross-contamination.”

Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer, an infectious disease specialist with New York Hospital-Queens, told CBS News to not place purses on bathroom floors and use anti-bacteria wipes to make sure that the bag’s handles and bottom are cleaned and disinfected. She also said not to carry fruit in your handbag, because it is unlikely that you would wash your hands before searching for it at the bottom of your handbag, while it’s sitting next to other bacteria-coated purse items before being placed into your mouth when you eat it.

So even though most of us knew that the bottom of our purses were very gross and dirty, other parts are just as bad. Thousands of germs can spread from our purses to one location to another. Almost makes you want to ditch your purse if you’re a germaphobe.

Handbags May Have More Bacteria Than A Toilet Seat

A new study by Initial Washroom Hygiene Solutions said a lot of the stuff we stuff in our bags is covered in germs. Topping the list is hand cream, which can carry more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Dirty Purses: All ladies must see this video about your purse and bacteria!

A CBS Investigative Report about the dangers of leaving your purse in unsanitary places… The research they conducted is shocking and with have you holding on to your purse or using a hanging device to keep it away from the contamination all around us.

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About the Author

Jay Castillo
Environmentalist. Consumer Tech Journalist. Science Explorer. And, a dreamer. I've been contributing informative news content since 2010. Follow me on all socials!

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