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Is E. coli and Salmonella Lurking in Your Purse or Backpack?

Audrey's passion for connecting with nature is magnified in her articles about mother earth."Going to nature is like going home."

Purses can harbor E. coli. Yuck!

Purses can harbor E. coli. Yuck!

Spreading Germs From Purses to Family

Your purse can be making you sick. It has only been recently that studies on dangerous E. coli and bacteria found on purses have been of concern. These germs are spreading like wildfire and most of us are completely in the dark about it.

The purpose of this article is to bring an awareness to others and generate a change. I have little doubt that after reading this eye-opening news there will be new habits formed as we learn how to protect ourselves and loved ones from germs.

It's time to start thinking about where we put our handbags, shopping bags, back-packs and even money both paper and coins. It's time to realize that setting our purses and other items on the table that we eat off is a sure way of spreading bacteria which could make our families very sick. And laying our purses on the kitchen counter where we prepare food is...well, think about it.

These actions have become such a habit we don't give it a second thought..We carelessly place our purse on the floor of a public restroom or in a shopping cart. We've done it for years. And even if we do pick up a few germs here and there what harm can it do?

Microscopic image of E.Coli, a very dangerous germ.

Microscopic image of E.Coli, a very dangerous germ.

Some Varieties Are More Dangerous Than Others

The Mayo Clinic based in Rochester, Minnesota devotes over 40% of their resources to research. In 2011, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, was ranked as the #1 overall hospital in the United States. This is what the Mayo Clinic says about E. coli.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most varieties of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few particularly nasty strains, such as E.Coli O157:H7, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

You may be exposed to E. coli from contaminated water or food — especially raw vegetables and undercooked ground beef. Healthy adults usually recover from infection with E. coli O157:H7 within a week, but young children and older adults can develop a life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

In a recent study done on purses E. coli was found predominantly on the bottom of the purse.

Spreading E.Coli Through Public Restrooms and Shopping Carts

Super market sanitizing wipes contain  benzalkonium chloride. It's recommended you leave the surfaces wet for up to four minutes.

Super market sanitizing wipes contain benzalkonium chloride. It's recommended you leave the surfaces wet for up to four minutes.

Tips to Help Avoid E. coli, Salmonella and Other Germs

Here are a few tips to remember when carrying your purse with you:

  • Never set your purse on the floor of a public restroom.
  • Avoid the car floor. Remember your feet are in contact with that area.
  • Do not place your purse on a public counter.
  • Sanitize the shopping cart area before putting your purse down
  • Never place your purse on a table or kitchen counter where you eat or prepare food.
  • Keep your purse off of the movie theater floor.
  • Do not set your purse or back-pack on a restaurant floor.
  • Wash your hands before you un-pack your groceries.

How To Sanitize Your Purse and Backpack

Microbiologists found that 4 out of 5 women's purses that were tested contained Salmonella on the bottom of the purse. Both Salmonella and E. coli can cause food poisoning and gastrointestinal problems as well as pseudomonas, which causes eye infections.

Keep your handbags bacteria free. Remember germs can be moved from one place to the other. Make it a habit to clean your purse once a week. The best way to do this is to:

  1. Empty everything out of your purse.
  2. Using an anti-bacterial wipe, clean the lining first.
  3. Then wipe everything that was in your purse with a fresh anti-bacterial wipe. Include your cell phone, make-up (a real breeding ground for germs) and things like pens and such.
  4. Wipe off the outside of your purse with a mild detergent and then clean the bottom. You can also use Clorox wipes.
  5. Keep food out of your purse.
  6. Never carry your shoes in your purse.

Keeping Your Home Germ Free

Wash your hands every time you handle your pet.

Wash your hands every time you handle your pet.

Keeping Your Home Germ Free

It's impossible to live in a germ-free home but there are some things you can do to keep germs from spreading. The following suggestions can help and please leave some of your own tips in the comment section below:

  • Always carry sanitizer in your car, purse, backpack or pocket. You never know when you'll need it. And even though you personally may not always need it, a friend, partner and especially children will.

Sanitize the following to prevent germs from spreading:

  • Door knobs (inside and out)
  • Computer keyboards and mouse
  • Cell phones
  • Washable shopping bags
  • Kitchen counters
  • Piano keyboards
  • Gasoline pump handles
  • Your hands after handling money
  • Your hands after using public toilets (and doors.)
  • Remote controls
  • Light switches
  • Refrigerator door handles
  • Microwave buttons
  • Faucets
  • Soap dispensers
  • Lipstick and makeup testers (loaded with germs.)
  • Elevator buttons
  • Car door handles
  • Steering wheels
  • Toilet handles
  • Phones

Always change the filters in your home regularly. The rule of thumb is to change them every 3 months but it depends on several factors, one being the quality of the filter. Cheaper filters may need to be replaced once a month. If the vents become dirty, the filter needs to be replaced immediately.

What about pets? Our pets become part of our family. We love them, pet them, clean them and play with them. They lower our blood pressure and heart rate and even help us to live longer. But what happens when our best friend plants a big old slobbery kiss on us?

Consider the way one dog greets another or how a canine licks himself all over. If this visualization doesn't cause you to avoid a kiss on the cheek from Fido then read on.

Our canine cuties carry a bacteria round the mouth that you wouldn't want on your face. And if you end up with a bad case of diahrrea and fever, it could be from the salmonella bacteria lurking on your dog.

There's also a bacteria found on the tail end of cats and dogs called "campylobacter" which causes more than 200,000 Americans to get a nasty stomach flu. So enjoy your pet as much as you like, but remember to wash your hands.


We don't have to be fanatic about keeping germs at bay, but at the same time taking a few precautions here and there just might protect us and our loved ones from needlessly getting sick.

And at least you know now, how E. coli, Salmonella and other germs can spread to purses and backpacks.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Audrey Hunt


Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on May 03, 2015:

Besarien - OMG! You really hit the nail on the head about money being the dirtiest thing ever. So many people don't think about this. Love your comments. Thanks for the vote.

Besarien from South Florida on April 29, 2015:

What a great article! I probably don't clean out my purse often enough. I am going to try to make it a weekly habit now instead of when I can't find anything or when I can't lift it because there are twenty dollars worth of pennies in the bottom. Money! There is nothing dirtier than money. Voted up!

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on April 20, 2015:

Sadly Hubpages seems to have lost its punch lately. Nice to hear from old friends.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 20, 2015:

Hello Gypsy Willow - So nice to see you here again and thanks for coming back for another visit. I started carrying Lysol Wipes in my purse for cleaning the bottom of it when coming in contact with shopping carts and such. Thanks so much!

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on March 29, 2015:

Just re read your hub. Such sensible advice. It had never crossed my mind that bags and purses could become so dirty. Thank you.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on March 28, 2015:

Yes - it's a bit of a shock at how many germs our purses pick up. And then we lay them on the kitchen counter!

Missy from The Midwest on March 26, 2015:

Ugh, this is disgusting! I'll definitely be cleaning out my bags more often.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on January 29, 2015:


That's my girl! Hopefully you taught her a lesson.

Thanks Linda for taking time out of your busy schedule to read and comment.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 28, 2015:

A friend was over this past weekend for a visit...she placed her purse on my kitchen counter, well...I'll just say that she will never do that again. Or on any counter. Excellent hub and I hope many others benefit from it.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on January 28, 2015:


Thank you for reading my hub and leaving your comments. I appreciate the vote up and useful rating as well as the sharing.

Enjoy your day!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 28, 2015:

This is a good reminder to keep our purse, backpacks etc. clean and sanitized.

Very informative hub, spreading awareness about e-coli and other germs, truly an eye opener.

Thanks for sharing and voted up as useful!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on January 27, 2015:


No kidding - it's a scary thing. Thanks.

Audrey Howitt from California on January 27, 2015:

Oh Yikes!! It never occurred to me! I am off to sanitize my purse now!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 18, 2014:

precy anza - It's surprising what our purse's can pick up. I've also been diligent in using sanitizer after using a menu when I eat out. Ewww!

precy anza from USA on April 18, 2014:

Always have the sanitizer in my bag/purse but don't do the cleaning once a week, which now I know I have to do. I only clean my purse when I think it needs cleaning. Thanks for the information. Up and shared!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on March 28, 2014:

Hello dear acaetnna - How wonderful to see you. I've really missed you. Thanks for being here once again. ~ Audrey

acaetnna from Guildford on December 20, 2013:

This is a brilliant piece of information and I have just popped back for a reminder. Thank you.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on December 11, 2013:

bravewarrior - I rarely take a large purse into the market anymore. I tuck my credit card and keys into a pocket or wear a fanny pack. You made me laugh at the lady wiping down her cart.

Thanks, dear friend for being here.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 10, 2013:

Audrey, this is a real eye opener. It never even dawned on me that my purse could be harboring bacteria, but it makes perfect sense. My grocery store keeps a sanitation wipes stand located near the grocery carts outside the store. The other day I saw a lady wiping down her cart and thought she was going to extremes. Now I know she's a helluva lot smarter than I am!

Great hub. Thanx for the heads up!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 06, 2013:

Hi Linda - Good habit for keeping purses off the kitchen counters. I'm so careful about that and I see red when someone carelessly plops their purse right down on the counter. Ugggggh!

Maybe we should hang a sign up in the kitchen? :)

Thanks and stay well.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 06, 2013:

I never allow a purse on my kitchen counters. Ewww! If one should happen to appear on there I give the owner the "germ speech" so that way they'll know about the freeloading germs they are toting around :)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

Dear Stephanie - Thank you for sharing your excellent thoughts on this subject. For me, old habits die hard and I constantly revert back to some really bad ones. Another thing to be careful of are restaurant menus. I rarely eat out but have noticed how "sticky" they can get. Ewwwww! I always carry extra wipes for that reason. I don't want to be "anal" about germs but I guess maybe I am :)

Stephanie Henkel from USA on April 07, 2013:

I've never been a germophobe, but do try to be careful about where I put my purse and always use one with a shoulder strap so that I don't have to put it down in a bathroom or store. But then I never think twice about putting it down on the car floor or in a grocery cart basket. Guess I will now! I'm also guilty of putting my purse on the kitchen table or counter. You've certainly given us a lot to consider when it comes to germs on our purses! Voted up and shared!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 05, 2013:

Faith Reaper - Really? Even clean towels? Have you discovered the "Kleenex" brand of disposable hand towels? They pop right out of the box. I just love them and have replaced my regular towels with these. And my guests really appreciate having fresh towels. Thanks my friend.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 05, 2013:

Oh Lord! - You gave me a chuckle with your last line :) I can't think of anything that doesn't need to be sanitized in order to fight germs and build our immune system. I even worry about my toothbrush. Thanks so much you sweetie you!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 05, 2013:

girishpuri - Thank you for your helpful comments. I appreciate your sharing.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on December 13, 2012:

jenbeach21 - I'm so sorry your baby boy got salmonella. How awful for you both! Sometimes I think it's near impossible to keep from being contagious.

Docmo - I have to agree with you about the media hype. I have noticed that washing my hands frequently has helped me lately. I appreciate your comments so much Docmo. And thanks for the vote up:)

Mohan Kumar from UK on November 21, 2012:

Great hub. sound advice on keeping our belongings contagion free. I have had salmonella myself as a child and it was a pretty horrible few weeks. I do find that sometimes the media does hype up germ content all around us forgetting that we have been living in harmony with billions of microbes for eons and only a small subsection of them are harmful to us while many help us as commensals. Voted up!

jenbeach21 from Orlando, FL on October 17, 2012:

Such a useful hub. My son got salmonella when he was 3 months old and strictly breast fed. We never knew where it came from but there are many possibilities.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 06, 2012:

Vinaya - Thank you for finding this useful and for leaving your comment. I appreciate your sharing this as well. Take care.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 06, 2012:

Ruchira - I recently dumped the contents out of my purse and was shocked by what I found :) I not only cleaned it from the inside out, but cleaned off everything in it (except for gum wrappers and tissue. Thanks for the great votes and for sharing.

sueswan - I like the idea of carrying a shoulder bag. I'm going to start doing that myself. Thanks so much for the generous vote and sharing. But most of all, thanks for being here:)

JenCary from Texas on October 06, 2012:

Oh no. I am a total germaphobe and I never thought to sanitize my purses. Looks like I know what I'm doing tomorrow afternoon. I'm so glad you wrote this hub! Although, now that I know this information, it'll probably drive my husband crazy. He can't seem to get on the germaphobe bandwagon.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 19, 2012:

Peggy - Most of us don't even think about where our purses have been. And I'm now being extra careful with my cloth shopping bags as well. So glad to see you Peggy. Thanks for the vote up, useful interesting and sharing.

Rochelle - Thanks for taking time to read my hub. I may follow your lead and do away with purses also :)

RTalloni - I hope everyone that reads this hub will also read your comments as you confirm how important this is. As you have pointed out, the connection between contacting germs and illness is a point we all need to be more aggressive about. Thank you so much for coming back and reading this. I, too read all comments when I visit a hub and I'm off to visit yours right now!

toknowinfo on August 19, 2012:

Well done hub. I rarely clean the outside of my pocketbook, but I will start and am going to tell my daughters too also. Thanks for the insight and education. Voted up and useful.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 07, 2012:

Dear Hyphenbird - I'm like you...constantly aware of germs and always trying to be one step ahead. I really don't think we can be too careful. There's nothing fun about being sick. Thank you and take good care.

vox vocis - I always love to read your comments because they are filled with humour. I just love to laugh. Your term "germ nest" is very funny and I'm going to use it :) I, too wash my hands all day long. I know it pays off. Thanks so much!

acaetnna - Hello you sweet thing you. Just want to say how much I love your poetry. It's so nice to sit down at my computer with a hot cup of herbal tea and take my sweet time reading your poems. Thank you for your comments. Really appreciate it!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 05, 2012:

fpher48 - Isn't this the truth? Kind of makes you wonder what else is out there that we should be aware of. Well, this is a start. Thanks so much for taking time to read this and to leave your comments.

drbj - I've been thinking about a purse "hanger" so I'm pleased to hear that you use one and it works. How did we ever survive as children? :)

rajan jolly - I am very glad to see you here as I have the greatest respect for your hubs on health. I believe we can improve our resistance to illness such as the flu by being conscientious about cleanliness and washing our hands often. Thank you for the vote up, ratings and for sharing.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 05, 2012:

tillsontiton - Love your comments. I couldn't help but giggle as I was once as guilty as you. :) The difficult no-no for me is kissing the dog. Well's the only kisses I ever get! Thanks my friend for the votes and sharing.

tamron - Isn't this an "eye-opener?" It's just something we don't think about. We begin carrying a purse when we're barely out of grade school and it just becomes a habit. So - now we know. Thanks.

AliciaC. - Thank you for taking time to read this. Glad you found it useful and mentioned that others will find this helpful.

breakfastpop - Hahahaha! You are too funny and I just love it!

teaches12345 - Very smart of you to carry those wipes with you when you are out and about. I do the same. Recently, I was in the doctors waiting room where a little child was coughing and sneezing all over an empty chair. After the mother grabbed him up and left, I used my entire package of handy wipes to clean that chair. Ewwwwe! Thanks.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 04, 2012:

I saw on the news last night, that the towels you have hanging in your bathroom to dry your hands on after you wash them, are just filled with billions of bacteria and other unmentionables.. Best to just use a throw away paper towel, I guess.

Joseph De Cross from New York on August 04, 2012:

Thanks for the important info. I was already afraid of some areas at work. Sanitizers do a great job. but we need to be ready to fight this germs to the tiniest scale. Thanks Again Vocal Coach! Gee! Gotta wash my hands after this comment...sorry!

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on July 31, 2012:

Very useful read and yes i agree these bacteria not only spread on purses, they are on car handles , toilet seats , glasses etc, etc. So the need is to clean all important places on regular basis and of course we also must concentrate on our body immune system as well. useful hub, thanks.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on July 30, 2012:

Usefully and informative. Sharing the information socially.

Sueswan on July 28, 2012:

Hi Audrey,

I carry a nylon shoulder bag. At home I keep it on the floor in the front closet. After reading your hub, I have moved it to a shelf.

Thank you for sharing these invaluable tips with us.

Voted up and awesome.

Take care :)

Ruchira from United States on July 26, 2012:

Great tips. I am particular about where to place my bag but cleaning it inside out is terrific. Should try to do that.

Many votes as useful and interesting.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 23, 2012:

Glimmer Twin Fan - I'm glad to see you here and want to thank you for reading this and for leaving comments. I'm going to visit your area in about 5 minutes and introduce myself to one of your hubs. Thank you!

kelleyward - I keep hand sanitizer in my purse, car, shopping bag and anywhere else I think of including the garage. You are so nice to share this on twitter. Thank you!

JayeWisdom - Hi there. I have the same pet peeve, with people placing purses and backpacks on my dining room table and kitchen counter top. I am constantly sanitizing these areas. Thank you for your comments. So glad to see you here!

Sashenikainderby - This is an excellent reminder for those of us that have pets. (Love the name Boris:) Thank you so much for mentioning this important tip!

RTalloni on July 23, 2012:

I saw this earlier and wanted to get back to it when I had time to read it. Now I'm glad it took so long because the comments are interesting.

Being in hospitals and nursing homes/rehab centers over the last few years due to helping elderly parents has made me more of a germaphobe than ever. I've learned too much, seen too much. When I see a purse on the floor in a ladies room I want to scream, "What is wrong with you?" -- but I don't, of course. The reply would probably be, "What is wrong with YOU?" anyway. :)

It's good to see this posted. People aren't connecting the dots between contact and illness. Quality health care workers are extremely frustrated by what they have to deal with in both patients and careless co-workers. Keeping the topic highlighted is important--thanks for doing a good job of it!

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on July 23, 2012:

Another reason I don't carry a purse.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 23, 2012:

I knew better than to put purses on the kitchen table or counter and never put them on public restroom floors, but have been putting them on car floors. Another habit to change. Never thought about cleaning the purses regularly inside and out as you suggested. Up, interesting and useful votes and plan to share. Thanks for raising awareness!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 21, 2012:

missolive - I'm right there with you! I swear, I think I sanitize everything. I probably over-due it but it does make me feel like I'm protecting myself somewhat. And here you are teaching school where it all begins:) I think it's just great that you wipe everything down including the desks. How do you stay well during school year?

Thank you missolive for sharing your comments, voting up and tweeting this!

Gypsy Willow (love your name) - Well, of course you are right and I do admit to over-doing it at times:) I'm old enough to remember when gloves were in fashion. Loved 'em then and love them now. I'd welcome them back anytime. Thanks Gypsy Willow!

Stephanie Henkel - Hello dear lady! Well it's a bit of a bother to clean out and sanitize our purses but for me it works. I was surprised to learn about the bacteria that is transferred to our purses from the car floor. That really is something isn't it? Keep those sanitizer wipes handy! Thank you so much.

acaetnna from Guildford on July 21, 2012:

Scary isn't it but I guess that is the story of our lives. As long as we are aware and take to necessary precautions we are in the lap of the gods!!! Brilliant as always, thankyou.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 19, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy - While living in Hawaii, all I used was a fannie pack. You're right about the convenience of not having to carry a purse around. And thank you for mentioning this: "the more 'germophobic' we are, and the less we allow exposure, the less immunity we build, and the sicker we will become if a 'bug' does get through. (I even wrote a hub about that.)

I'm heading for your hub as I'm quite interested in reading more about this. Thank you for reading my hub and for your very good comments.

mcbirdbks - Awwwe - and you still came to pay me a visit and give me support. You're the best!

Jasmine on July 19, 2012:

Oh, boy! I was in the dark, that's for sure. I'm disgusted by my purse at this moment. It's too late now, but the first thing in the morning, I'll throw my "germ nest" inside the washing machine. Ugh! Thanks for sharing this; I'll definitely clean my purse more often. One thing comforts me, though - I do watch where i put my purse and wash my hands a 100 times a day!

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on July 17, 2012:

My friends have laughed at me because I refuse to put down my purse in a public place. I am very "germ aware", some say phobic. In the nasty world in which we live your advice can literally save lives.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 16, 2012:

jsovermyer - That's pretty funny and I totally understand. Thanks for coming by.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 16, 2012:

Lisa Koski - Thank you for voting up, useful and interesting. Your comments are helpful to us all and I'm so glad you came by. I will visit you soon!

WillStarr - Yeaaaah...look at this ladies...we have a gentleman in the group. And he's not just any man - this guy can write the best western stories around. Just pay him a visit and see for yourself.

And about carrying a purse - of course...we have to. It's not only a fashion statement but we absolutely do need everything that fills the purse Honestly Will.

And though you're treading on dangerous ground - we ladies all love you for your bravery!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 16, 2012:

moonlake - What a terrible thing to have happen. And to think that bacteria from the coins or the slots could d0 this. We certainly all need to be sure and keep those handy wipes with us at all times.

I'm glad you have shared your story to help educate others but I'm sorry it happened. Thank you so much!

thoughtforce - There is so much to think about when it comes to protecting ourselves from germs and no one knows that better than you. I must admit that I have been neglegent with taking precautions where money is concerned - but now I always use a sanitizer after handling the stuff :) I thank you for paying me a nice visit Tina, and thanks for voting up and useful. Here's to clean purses :)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 16, 2012:

Excellent stuff. It is very important to keep the germ count in the house, and especially on our hands, low. For this very reason I'm scared to use the public restrooms and especially using the door handles. I try to use a tissue if possible.

A good point raised about the need to wash hand after handling pets too.

Thanks for sharing this interesting information Audrey.

Voted up, useful interesting and shared.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 16, 2012:

Thanks for reminding us, Audrey, about the dangerous bacteria lurking in our purses and handbags. In a restaurant I usually hang my bag over the back of my chair but that isn't the safest solution cause someone could easily lift it off if I was distracted. So I bought one of those little thingies - a metal whatzit shaped like an L - that you hang over the edge of the table next to you and your handbag hangs on the other end. Very clever.

Thanks for linking my hub, "How to Protect Yourself from Germs in Public" at the end of your hub.

Suzie from Carson City on July 16, 2012:

I am shocked and amazed...and also very grateful you have shared this info with us. Honestly, the things we just do not think of until brought to our attenion!! UP+++

Dianna Mendez on July 16, 2012:

Once again, this is great reading and I am so glad I carry wipes with me when I am out and about. Voted up!

breakfastpop on July 16, 2012:

I have to go. I have a lot to take care of. Thank you!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 16, 2012:

Thanks for all the great suggestions for keeping a purse free of germs, vocalcoach. Some of them I do follow, but not all of them! Your hub will be very useful to me and a lot of other people.

tamron on July 16, 2012:

I never though I could be carrying germs around in my purse. I constantly wash my hands and never put my hands on any part of my face. Great info. here!

Mary Craig from New York on July 16, 2012:

The only good thing I do is not put my purse on the kitchen counter, as for the rest I'm as guilty as sin! You can bet after reading this I'll be cleaning my purse inside and out!!! I have an Ameribag leather pocketbook (it's too big to be called a purse) that I've had for about four years and it probably hasn't been cleaned for three of those four years!

I won't even talk about the dog 'kissing'.

Great information and advice vocalcoach!

Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing so others can be aware too.

sashenikainderby on July 16, 2012:

Thank you very much for this article. I clean my cooking and dining areas every time before using because we have Boris (our family pet) and this hub gives me another reason to do it.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 15, 2012:

This is a very important hub! I'm pretty careful about where I put my own handbag, but it drives me bananas when someone else places a handbag (which has been I-know-not-where) on my table, kitchen countertops or island. I keep a bottle of spray kitchen disinfectant handy for daily use, but that situation is guaranteed to cause extra cleaning!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 15, 2012:

RealHousewife - Gosh, with your parents being in the medical field you really are well informed when it comes to germs. I'm really, really glad you read this Kelly and confirmed that this information is needed.

As I began researching this topic I couldn't stop. I got so caught up in all the ways to avoid germs. :) And you mentioned money. Just imagine how many hands money passes through before it reaches our own. Eeeewwwwww!

Thanks for sharing your tips on hanging your purse on the hook of a bathroom door and also placing your bag on the seat in a restaurant.

You're the best Kelly!

kelleyward on July 15, 2012:

Oh now Audra now I know what I need to do tomorrow. Yuck! I carry around hand sanitizer because I have diabetes and kids so I always need to have them handy. I'll use them to clean the bottom of my purse now. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up, useful, and shared on Twitter. Kelley

Claudia Porter on July 15, 2012:

Oh boy...something to ponder. Although I never put my purse on a bathroom floor. Definitely in the shopping cart. Interesting.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on July 15, 2012:

I'm pretty careful about not putting my purse on the floor in public places, but I am guilty of putting it on the floor in my car...and on my kitchen table! Thanks for pointing out the bacteria lurking in our purses! I'll be much more careful in the future! Great hub, voted up and useful!

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on July 15, 2012:

Excellent advice but we have to live in the real world with coins and such. May be gloves should be back in fashion.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on July 15, 2012:

I can be a bit of a germaphobe. I try not to touch public door handles unless necessary - especially bathroom doors. I can't help but think what baby might have put their mouths on the shopping cart bar as I push it or what they had in their possibly leaky diapers when they sat in the cart. Yes, these things cross my mind and I can easily gross myself out. Even sliding into a restaurant booth. I don't like to have to push myself along by placing my hand on the seat cuz I know someone's bottom was just there. I keep plenty of disinfectant spray in my classroom. I'll spritz the desks and door handle a couple of times during the day. Plus, sniffles usually start the 2nd week of school.

You've raised some excellent points here. I do have a tendency of placing my purse on the kitchen table. I'll have to change that habit. Thanks for a wonderfully informative hub.

voted up and tweeted

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 15, 2012:

Finally something I don't have to worry about!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 15, 2012:

There is nothing I detest more than purses or the need to carry them! I grew up as a tomboy, and even when my kids were little, I traveled "guy style." If it didn't fit in my jeans pockets, it stayed home!

Later on, when working briefly outside the home, I was forced into that convention of carrying a purse. But I NEVER set it on a restroom floor! Nope--that's what those hooks are for--and some places even have fold-down shelves!

Many years later, I had a purse stolen, and that was it! Now, I use a "fanny pack" or belt pouch. It stays attached around my waist at all times! Germs were never my main concern--I simply don't like to be encumbered--I want my hands free!

I agree there are some nasty 'bugs' out there...but on the other hand, the more 'germophobic' we are, and the less we allow exposure, the less immunity we build, and the sicker we will become if a 'bug' does get through. (I even wrote a hub about that.)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 15, 2012:

Just Ask Susan - I's almost unbelievable how our purses can be the big culprit for spreading bacteria. So pleased that you are more aware now. Thanks, Susan, for the great voting!

jsovermyer from Hitchcock, TX on July 15, 2012:

This was really interesting. Makes me want to go wash my hands now.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on July 15, 2012:

As a man, I'm women really need all the stuff in their purse all the time? Couldn't they leave it in the trunk in most instances, and just carry a wallet like men do?

I realize that I am in dangerous territory here!


Lisa from WA on July 15, 2012:

Interesting article. I never really think too much about my purse when I'm out as long as it's just where I can keep my eye on it. I think I'm going to start cleaning it more regularly and being more aware of where I put it from now on! I never put it on bathroom floors but I'm guilty of a few of the other things you listed there. Voted up, useful and interesting :)

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on July 15, 2012:

I never set my purse on the floor and especially not in public restrooms! But I am afraid I do many of the other mistakes listed above. And the money! It is obvious now after reading this but I have never thought about it before. I wash my hands often as a habit I got during my years in healthcare so I hope I am safe anyway. Thanks for all the great information, I have to clean my purse now! Fantastic hub! Voted up, useful


moonlake from America on July 15, 2012:

I know how dirty money can be. When we were just married we went to Vegas. Our friends were there getting married. I played the slots, I would pull the handle and rest my face on my hands while waiting for the slot to stop. I broke out in a terrible rash from doing that. It could have been I was allergic to the coin or the filth that was on it. The doctor said it could be either one. He said coins are the dirtest thing there is.

I hate the little pens that you have to use to sign your name. How many people touch those things.

At least many stores are putting in wipes for carts.

Voted Up.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 15, 2012:

This is truly GREAT info! I'm already paranoid about these things - my parents are both in the medical field so I hear about every germ known to man! Sheesh!

I always hang my purse on the hook on the back of the RR door or my chair in restaurants. I did not think about the dirty money though! Ew! Yeah I guess I should keep it in a coin purse rather than spread out all over!

Excellent and yeah I've never heard anyone talk about this - and it's very important!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 15, 2012:

Wow this was sure an eye opener regarding purses. Never considered it before now. Thanks for making me and others aware of this. Sharing and voting +++