The most necessary thing we tote with us on a daily basis is our purse. No contest. What would we do without it? We throw our wallets, sunglasses, makeup, hand sanitizer, cell phone, and even food into the deepest depths of our handbags and think nothing about what actually goes on in that bottomless pit.
According to a study reported on by the UK’s Daily Mail, all of those loose crumbs, sweat, drops of foundation, loose hairs, spare change, and whatever else finds its way to the bottom of our bags contributes to and becomes covered in some ofthe nastiest germs imaginable. It all amounts to a dirtier environment than a public toilet seat, if you can imagine that!
Research by Initial Washroom Hygiene has shown that one in five handbag handles is actually so riddled with bacteria that it could pose a significant health risk.
Peter Barratt, Technical Manager at Initial Hygiene, said, “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. Once these germs are on the bags,” he continued, “they can easily be transferred via hands onto other surfaces.” And vice versa, it sounds like.
IWH concluded with several interesting (albeit very disturbing) specifics about which items were the germiest. First of all, leather bags were the worst offenders since their spongy texture was perfect for growing that clinging bacteria.
“Regular hand sanitization is essential to prevent the presence of bacteria in the first place,” Barratt said, “and thorough cleaning of bags is recommended to prevent the build-up of contamination.” Try running a wet wipe over your bag’s handles and around the mouth where you constantly grab the material to reach in.
Lipstick, mascara, and the mouth of the hand sanitizer bottle were other popular locations where germs liked to grow. It’s pretty disturbing that such gross germs come in such close contact with your mouth, eyes, and hands so often and you don’t even realize it!
The worst offender, though, is definitely a shocker: hand cream. Those little tubes were found to harbor more bacteria than a public toilet seat, and that just totally grosses us out. Needless to say, we threw out most of our bag’s contents just now. Yuck!