Is your purse germier than a toilet seat?

Posted at 11:42 AM, May 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-17 11:42:06-04

By Cindy Hsu

(CBS) – Many ladies love their handbags and will spend a lot of money for the latest and greatest, but a new study found what’s inside those bags may be covered in germs and bacteria worse than what you’ll find in the bathroom.

The study, conducted by a hygiene company, found a lot of stuff that we stuff in our bags is covered in germs.

Hand cream tops the list of most germ-covered handbag item. Researchers found it can carry more bacteria than a toilet seat. Also up there are lipstick, mascara, hand-sanitizer bottles and cell phones.

“We don’t want to put it down, it goes into the bathroom with some people, not a good idea,” Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer said about cell phones. “You really need to wipe it down.”

Dr. Segal-Maurer said it is also not a good idea to put fruit in your bag.

“Number one you’re probably not going to wash your hands before you go reaching for it,” she said. “Number two, it’s floating around next to all the other stuff in your bag and then you want to put it in your mouth, it’s not a good idea.”

Dr. Segal-Maurer said it is a good idea to use anti-bacterial wipes to clean the bottom of your bag along with the handles. She added it is unlikely you’ll get sick from the bacteria in your bag, as long as you wash your hands thoroughly and often.

The study also found leather handbags tend to carry the most bacteria because the spongy texture make a perfect breeding ground.