How many of us wash our hands after touching our handbags? I know you all must be thinking that this is such a ridiculous question! Why should we wash our hands after handling our handbag?!?
But you must actually, at least wipe your hands with antibacterial wipes or liquid.
According to a study from Initial Washroom Hygiene, a hygiene and washroom services company in the U.K., the handbag is contaminated with tons of bacteria and it gets cross contaminated with whichever surface it touches.
Peter Barratt, technical Manager at Initial Hygiene, in a press release said that -“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, they can easily be transferred via hands onto other surfaces. Regular hand sanitisation 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.”
It seems that the filthiest items in your bag are your bottle of face cream and hand cream followed by your lipstick and mascara. Apparently they are dirtier than the average toilet!
The thing is most of us do not really regularly clean our bags. Inside or the outside. Even if we end up clearing out the mess from the inside on a regular basis but we forget to clean them from the outside. Infact our favourite and prized leather bags are the worst! Leather handbags, due to their spongy texture are more susceptible to bacterial contamination than bags of any other material.
Your bag can pick up bacteria from a variety of surfaces. Our bags travel all over the world. From public transportation, to shopping centers. From offices to even the floor of the bathroom. If you consider all of these places, the contamination is inevitable. There are very few places that have specific provisions to place your handbag. We are usually forced to keep them on the floor and when we get back home, that very bag finds its way to our sofas and beds.
You should always be aware of where you place your handbag. Do not place them on the floor of the loo, floor of the car or even workplace kitchens, it seems these places are contaminated by dangerously high levels of coliforms – the bacteria present in faeces which can lead to outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease.
What you need to do is, firstly get into a habit of washing your hands. This is good in the general sense and also in terms of all the bacteria that you have been exposed to in your bag. Secondly, make it a habit to clean your purse and its contents on a regular basis. Use disinfectant wipes for the outside and handles and the bottom. If you use a cloth bag then wash it with a mild baby soap.
Thirdly, watch what you carry. Don’t carry items that tend to be moist or wet in any sense, such as used wet wipes, shoes, your gym wear etc. These are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.