You open doors with handles many other people have touched, push grocery carts that many others have pushed, and then you come to find that there’s no more soap in the public bathroom. Thankfully, hand sanitizer was created for these germy encounters and unlucky moments. But, a new study conducted by Initial Washroom Hygiene says that the purse where you keep that hand sanitizer may have more bacteria than what many people consider to be the height of uncleanliness: a public bathroom.

While the odds of getting sick from the bacteria on a handbag are highly unlikely, prevention couldn’t hurt. Next time you think of popping that lost M&M rolling around in the bottom of your purse into your mouth, do yourself a favor and throw it away!

In between pushing elevator buttons, opening doors, holding onto railings and pulling out chairs, you touch your bag and many of the contents inside. Consider wiping off your cell phone and keys regularly with antibacterial wipes. If your purse isn’t made of leather, you may want to wipe it off too. If you carry a leather bag, your best bet is to keep it as un-touched as possible. Don’t lay your bag on the ground in bathrooms (obviously) or restaurants. Wash your hands as often as possible. If your bag has a cloth interior, try spraying it with an antibacterial spray such as Lysol.

This health concern may also give you an excuse to regularly shop for a new purse.

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