Your Purse Is One Of The Germiest Things You Own

how dirty is my purse


From public restroom handles to equipment at the gym to your own cell phone, it seems virtually impossible to avoid cesspools of germs throughout the day. They’re lurking everywhere and, often times, in places you wouldn’t even think to look… like your favorite handbag.

That’s right — that purse you use to schlep your stuff to work and around on weekend adventures is one of the worst breeding grounds for bacteria you own, both inside and out. One study from the United Kingdom even found that our totes are dirtier than your average toilet seat. But it makes sense when you think about it. After all, where do all of those dirty tissues, handfuls of spare change and overly handled customer receipts go? Down into the depths of your bag, where they remain until you decide to declutter a bit. (And for many of us, that cleaning routine literally never happens.)

The worst offender is the bottom of a bag because women often place their purses on the floor in bathrooms when doors don’t offer hooks. (Yep, we’re talking fecal bacteria here. Yummy.) Next in line are a bag’s handles since your hands are some of the most frequent germ spreaders out there. Finally, we take a peek inside the bag, which is full of dead skill cells, mucus-borne bacteria and more. Your cosmetics and hand creams are the germiest purse contents, by the way.

how dirty is my purse
Unsplash/Lee Campbell

How To Clean Your Purse

The obvious solution to this icky problem is to give your favorite purse a good cleaning at least once a month. If you carry around a simple cotton tote, toss that bad boy in the washing machine. If your bag is made with synthetic materials, vacuum the inside and run an antibacterial wipe or two along the outer surface.

And if you prefer leather, know that your material of choice does safeguard you from excess bacteria buildup better than other options. (Yay!) The only downside is that you can’t use a lot of antibacterial cleaning solvents on the purse without stripping its finish or color. So wipe down its fabric lining with hot, soapy water, use your leather conditioner to keep it pretty on the outside and, whatever you do, don’t ever rest the bag on a bathroom floor.

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