Friday, October 7, 2011

Fun Friendly Phobic Fact Friday!

Purses are filthy. Think of how often you dig inside with dirty hands, hands that have been touching everything from ATMs to restaurant menus to doctor's office pens to money to bathroom stall door locks, etc. They carry your money, your wallet, your cell phone (shudder). They are almost never cleaned, and when they are, it can be hard to know how to truly disinfect properly. I like to empty mine and just give it a good old-fashioned lung-burning spray of straight Lysol. Lysol is pretty good for cleaning cloth surfaces.

But that's just the inside of purses. Because people set their handbags down on the floor at places like restaurants and food courts or, God forbid, restrooms, they are positively teeming with bacteria.

 "Research shows that bacteria like E. coli cling to the bottom of at least 18% of bags. Keep bags off the floor and whatever you do, don’t set a bag on any surface where food is made or eaten."

And we all know where E. Coli comes from.

In one study, the outside of purses--

"had bacteria counts in the tens of thousands. Doctors say the majority of the bacteria found on the purses can cause bacterial infections, with symptoms that include fever, vomiting, diarrhea [and] can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can infect your entire family."

I don't know which carries more germs. The dog, the purse, or Ms. Hilton.

Addendum: They actually make handbag hooks to keep your purses off the floor. Even the Queen of England is known to use these. Sweet!



  1. OMG! You crack me up and at the same time, you educate me. I went out to eat last week and yep, I put my purse on the floor. Lol
    Good food for thought though.

  2. Even I've been guilty of the same (the horror!!), but it's really a terrible thing to do, especially if you come home and sling your purse up on the counter. *retch*

    I consider my purse a Filth Zone, so if I have to get into it for any reason at home, I wash afterward.

  3. This sort of things is precisely why I like cargo pants. If I have to violate my person with something unclean, I can designate one of the lower pockets as the quarantine zone and keep anything that needs to be washed before it goes anywhere else in it.

    But yeah, reading this blog makes me feel delightfully vindicated. It was linked through yesterday and everything I read in here makes me smile. Or cringe. Or both, which is a fascinating facial expression.

    Acid Test = Not okay ;-;

  4. Ahh, cargo pants make good sense, Alex, Because you can wash the fuckers on hot at the end of the day. :) Although as a mom who has to carry 8 million things, I'd be looking the leg by the end of the day.

    I am SO glad I make you smile and cringe. This is precisely what I am to do: you nailed it. Happy (and uncomfortable) reading! :)

  5. "Because you can wash the fuckers on hot at the end of the day."

    Precisely so.

    And I, too, happen to have OCD - similar in nature, but with an important distinction. I tend to have an accurate and rational assessment of whether something is a significant risk (touching door handles where heaven and hell alone know what's on them, possessing the false belief that one's pants don't collect awful things from from sitting in public places) or a fairly minor risk (... is it bad that I can't think offhand of anything for this category?), but even if something is statistically "not going to make me sick" there's a good chance I still find it disgusting on principle and refuse it.

    Also, never before did I realize just how often people don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Is this really such a hard concept for people? :I

  6. Interesting, Alex. Yes, I struggle with the idea of what truly poses a risk and what does't, what I'm OK with and what I'm not. I like to think I'm very sane and reasonably about the whole thing, whereas the rest of the world just isn't :), but unfortunately, my list of "Things I Do" to remain Clean & Healthy is growing, so it makes life tough me and for those around me.

    And yeah. The public-restroom handwashing thing, I mean, come on, at least do it because PEOPLE ARE WATCHING YOU. But I can't believe people are OK with not washing. It is simply FOUL.

  7. Definitely feel you on the "I'm very sane and reasonable about the whole thing, whereas the rest of the world just isn't" bit. I see people who are either content to play along with a flimsy facade of hygiene or just don't think about it and kinda go EW EW EW EW EW NO NO NO WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING THA- YOU JUST ATE SOMETHING OFF THE FLOOR AND NOW YOU'RE WIPING YOUR NOSE THEN YOUR EYES NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO and then I don't touch anything for like half an hour.

    What I'm getting at here is that I acknowledge there in all likelihood is somewhere out there a point wherein individuals of our persuasion skirt or cross the point of rationality, but that is a long, long, LONG way from where most people stop trying to protect themselves from their environment.

    And the Hygiene Hypothesis is stupid.

  8. Agree agree agree. God is it refreshing to read the point of view like someone like you. :)

  9. I know exactly what you mean. Most people are too fast to dismiss the points a person with OCD brings up on matters of hygiene, often regardless of the merits of the point being made, to my undying fury.

    Raaaage. D:<

  10. i never ever set my purse on a bathroom floor or a countertop or table. it has to go in a middle zone. and i'll hold it or dangle it from my neck while in a public bathroom without a hook because that's just nasty. i wish i had a purse hook to carry with me so i could stop hanging it on my chair where it would be easy to steal. but if it was under the table, i'd probably forget it & then it would be gone forever. then i guess i'd have to buy some cargo pants.

  11. Cargo pants seem to be the way to go, if you don't mind adding bulk to your body frame. ;) Plus, they're cute. I like the idea of a purse hook, to hang your purse from the table, but it seems a bit pretentious. Still, anything to keep the purse from sitting on the godforsaken foor. Diaper bags, however, pose another challenge. What do you do with those, if you can't fit them on a chair or booth?

  12. just a you use port-a-potties? have i asked you this before? they are pretty rough, even for me (i have terrible standards.)

  13. Oh God. I have, a million times, but they are the WORST THING EVER. I will hold my potty until I'm yellow in the face before using one of those. Especially because there's almost never anywhere to wash your hands after using one, or there's one of those horrible foot-pump kind that I'm convinced reuses their water even though they swear they don't. Port-a-potties are just awful for me to deal with.

  14. I feel like a creeper, commenting on a bunch of your posts from a while back, but I can't help myself when I read a post where I share the same view so much!

    The bottom of bags/purses GROSS ME OUT. I don't know what other people are like, so it's easiest to assume ALL the bags they carry have been on the bottom of a bathroom floor at some point. One comes near me when I'm eating? Freak out. God forbid I touch one? EEEECHHGHH.

    I got a new bag a few weeks ago, and I'm being pretty careful where I put it; occasionally it's on the carpet in our bedroom, but generally other than that it's on a hook on the coatrack. I already hate touching the straps, though, because my boyfriend left his shoe sitting on it once. That'll teach me to leave my bag on the bedroom floor.

  15. It's OK, anonymous, I totally love comments, so you can creep as much as you want. And I really love that my blog has had a positive effect on someone, so you go ahead and comment/stalk/creep as much as you like. :)

    Can I ask, how did you find my blog? You don't have to tell me, if that will divulge your identity. :D Just curious.

    Anyway, yeah, it's kind of wild to see where people sling their bags and purses, with wild abandon. On the kitchen counter, so often. My purse has a designated spot on the carpet by the back door (where we enter the house), and it stays there, so as not to get germs everywhere. Because I know that even though I'd never set it on the floor of a bathroom or something (shudder), it does get germy. Purses ARE gross. Inside and out. Blech.