Ladies: your handbag might be germier than your toilet seat. That’s according to research from Initial Washroom Hygiene, a washroom services company based in the UK. The company discovered that bacteria thrive on handles and inside your purse. According to the research, one in five handbag handles contained dangerous levels of bacteria that can cause diseases. And it’s not just the bag itself: the items inside of it, including your makeup, hand cream and cellphone, also harbor bacteria. The reasons relate to your hand hygiene.
We touch a lot of things throughout the day, many of which contain bacteria. No matter how well you wash your hands, you’ll still have at least some bacteria on them, which can then get transferred to surfaces including your purse and its contents. Experts say handbags are great sources of bacteria because they can be closed, remain dark, are used to carry food and aren’t cleaned frequently. Additionally, many women put their bags on the floor, so the bottoms can pick up germs.
The good news is that experts say the bacteria are unlikely to make you sick. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of germs in your purse.
1. Keep your bag open whenever possible. This will help let light in and eliminate the moisture that bacteria love.
2. Empty your bag often. Dump out everything and clean the contents. Antibacterial/sanitizing wipes work well for this.
3. Make sure to get the crumbs out. While it’s impossible to eliminate all bacteria, you can reduce their food sources: dirt, dust and crumbs. Wipe down the handles, inside and outside of your bag with an antibacterial wipe.