Tips for Cleaning Purses

Woman placing hand sanitizer in purse.

Easy tips for cleaning purses - a task we often overlook because we simply can't figure out how to safely sanitize our daily wardrobe staple.

Yet we are all guilty of putting our purses and handbags down in some rather unsavory places from time to time. Sometimes when we're in small spaces (like bathroom stalls), we just put it wherever it's most convenient.

All the places we leave it - on car floorboards, movie theatre and restaurant floors, and dirty counters - make cleaning our favorite accessory essential. These tips for cleaning purses can help.

The Purse Exterior Is Just The Beginning

The purse or handbag's exterior isn't the only part that's prone to host potential nasties - the inside attracts a lot of dirt, too. Does stuffing your purse to the brim with random items and only cleaning it once in a blue moon ring a bell, anyone?

As a result, there are more than crumpled receipts and spare change lurking inside. When researchers carried out detailed tests on 145 handbags from 80 women and 65 men, results showed that more than 90 percent of the bags had bacteria contamination.

Women were the worst offenders: bacteria growth was higher on women's purses than on men's bags. 

We Forget About Cleaning Purses

A big part of the problem is that we often forget to clean our handbags - or worse yet, we don't think about it at all. That bag study found that less than 3 percent of the women were cleaning purses monthly. 

The danger: some nasty bacteria - Staphylococcus, Micrococcus, Bacillus, and Enterococcus - can colonize on purses and lead to staph infections, septic shock, meningitis, ear infections, and urinary tract infections (UTIs), and more.

The solution is simple: buck the curve and start cleaning purses regularly. Weekly would be an admirable goal, but monthly is respectable. Options for cleaning purses and handbags:

Tips For Cleaning Purses - Wash It

Some purses and handbags are machine washable. If you carry one of them, toss it in the next time you're running a load.

Wipe It

Synthetic bags are a cinch to clean. Dump out the gunk, vacuum inside, and run an antibacterial wipe or two along the entire outer surface.

Tips For Cleaning Purses of Leather

And if you prefer leather, know that your purse material of choice safeguards you from excess bacteria buildup better than other options. (Yay!)

The only downside to leather (other than the price) is that you can't safely use antibacterial cleaning solvents on them without stripping their finish or color.

What you can do is wipe down its fabric lining with hot soapy water and use a leather conditioner to keep it pretty on the outside, too.

Minimize Germy Purse Risk

Don't stress - the takeaway here isn't that you should obsessively sterilize your handbag. Just because bacteria can cause you to get sick doesn't mean they will.

Here's how to protect yourself in simple ways.

CHOOSE SAFE HOMES. Designate a hook or shelf near the entry door to hang or stash your purse on. That way, you'll avoid picking up - or dropping off - bacteria via the germ-laden kitchen counter. Don't toss it on your bed, either, where it could spread germs throughout your bedroom.

WATCH WHAT GOES INSIDE. If you need to bring your workout shoes or lunch with your on the way out the door, bag them in protective plastic before you put them inside. Food and shoes can provide a fertile growing ground for bacteria. Your purse might smell better, too. 

KEEP UP WITH THE HAND HYGIENE. Regularly wash your hands or use that hand sanitizer in your purse, and you'll sleep better at night knowing you've done everything within your power to stay healthy.


You Might Like These:

  • When it's time to clean go ahead and reach for a bottle of vodka. No, it's not happy hour ... yet. It's time to try a cleaning cocktail and stir up the housekeeping routine.

    Try a Cleaning Cocktail

    When it's time to clean go ahead and reach for a bottle of vodka. No, it's not happy hour ... yet. It's time to try a cleaning cocktail and stir up the housekeeping routine.

  • A yearly house cleaning timetable  of chores to tackle daily, weekly, monthly, and annually - and when to do them.

    A Yearly House Cleaning Timetable

    A yearly house cleaning timetable of chores to tackle daily, weekly, monthly, and annually - and when to do them.

  • Washing curtains and window treatments at home is a relatively easy and cost-effective solution. These cleaning tips can help get the job done.

    Washing Curtains and Window Treatments

    Washing curtains and window treatments at home is a relatively easy and cost-effective solution. These cleaning tips can help get the job done.

  • Summer home cleaning tricks. It's summertime, and the living is easy. Cleaning should be easy as well, but often isn't. These home cleaning tricks can help pick up the pace.

    Summer Home Cleaning Tricks

    Summer home cleaning tricks. It's summertime, and the living is easy. Cleaning should be easy as well, but often isn't. These home cleaning tricks can help pick up the pace.

  • When cleaning stainless steel pans, rinse your pieces under warm running water and mild soap. Resist the urge to submerge: Less is more here.

    Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans

    When cleaning stainless steel pans, rinse your pieces under warm running water and mild soap. Resist the urge to submerge: Less is more here.

  • Furniture should be vacuumed regularly. But what's the solution to a chocolate stain on an ottoman? These furniture and upholstery cleaning tips can help.

    Furniture and Upholstery Cleaning Guide

    Furniture should be vacuumed regularly. But what's the solution to a chocolate stain on an ottoman? These furniture and upholstery cleaning tips can help.

  • Allowance for kids chores: yes or no? There are many ways to motivate kids to help out around the house. Here are the basics to help you decide.

    Allowance for Kids Chores - Yes or No?

    Allowance for kids chores: yes or no? There are many ways to motivate kids to help out around the house. Here are the basics to help you decide.

  • This weekly home cleaning routine for busy bodies provide ways to maximize every cleaning minute you have.

    A Weekly Home Cleaning Routine for Busy Bodies

    This weekly home cleaning routine for busy bodies provide ways to maximize every cleaning minute you have.