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Women’s handbags contaminated with more bacteria than average toilet, test finds

The essential accessory could be making you sick

Sarah Young
Saturday 09 September 2017 11:30 BST
Images of women which have been dramatically altered have been banned
Images of women which have been dramatically altered have been banned (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Women carry their bags just about everywhere they go, but it turns out that they could be toting more than just their everyday essentials.

Instead, handbags have been listed as one of the worst places for germs by household experts and could be making you sick.

According to a new guide by the domestic gurus of the Good Housekeeping Institute, there are eight germ hotspots in a typical household that harbour more germs than the average toilet including toothbrushes, remote controls and bathroom towels.

But, as handbags tend to travel almost everywhere and are often placed on floors, they have been listed the worst offender.

While toilets, kitchen worktops and other notoriously ‘dirty’ areas regularly get cleaned during household chores, it is actually less obvious places that require a thorough clean, the report revealed.

“Few of us have time to clean everything we should every week but ignore these everyday items at your peril,” it said.

Other breeding grounds include toothbrush bristles which allow bacteria to accumulate from the owners mouth and airborne germs from the nearby toilet.

Similarly, remote controls and other electronics like keyboards and laptop screens can be a magnet for bacteria as are towels, dishcloths, pet beds, carpets and kitchen sponges.

To prevent the spreading of germs, experts recommend that instead of putting your handbag on the floor in restaurants, toilet cubicles or train floors, you hang it on a hook or door handle.

Likewise, you should always close the toilet seat before flushing and can soak toothbrush heads in mouthwash for a maximum of 15 minutes to keep them clean.

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