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1 in 5 purses dirtier than toilet

Kristen Fischer is a writer living at the Jersey Shore. In addition to writing for SheKnows, she has penned articles for Prevention, Health, Woman's Day, BELLA, and New Jersey Monthly. Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, friend...

Leather handbags hold most germs

One in five handbags contains more bacteria than the average toilet, a study says.

Woman looking inside leather handbag

You think toilets are filled with bacteria? Try your beloved Coach bag.

A British company studied bacteria found on handbags and says that it is significant enough to affect human health. In fact, one in five handbags has more bacteria than the average toilet.

Eew.

“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,” says Peter Barratt, technical manager at Initial Washroom Hygiene, which conducted the study.

Which of your favorite bags has the most germs? Leather handbags have the highest levels of bacteria, Medical News Today reported.

The interior of a handbag is also a breeding ground for bacteria, and bottles of hand cream are the dirtiest item women are toting around, the study indicated.

To avoid germs, women should clean the bags regularly—even antibacterial wipes can keep the bag clean. Study authors also suggest that ladies wash or sanitize their hands after they handle their bags.

“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 buildup of contamination," Barratt says.

Next time you scrub your toilet, it's the perfect time to remember to give your purse a little TLC, too.

More on staying healthy

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