Studies have shown that up to 10 000 bacteria can live on and in the handbag. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA
October 10 is International Handbag Day.

Up to 10000 bacteria can live on and in your handbag and here’s how you can neutralise handbag hazards, as provided by Casey Rousseau from 1st for Women Insurance.

Clean your handbag with anti-bacterial soap daily. Thorough and regular cleaning of genuine leather bags and purses is especially important as their spongy texture offers perfect conditions for the growth and spread of bacteria.

Keep your handbag out of bacteria danger zones. Avoid placing it in high-risk areas, especially bathroom counters, kitchen counters, floors, and toilet seats.

Keep your bag tightly closed at all times.

Wipe down the items in your bag including your make up and cellphone using anti-bacterial wipes. Don’t forget to clean the bottom of the bag and handles.

Dip your tube of lipstick in alcohol for 15 to 30 seconds and then wipe away the top layer of the lipstick to clean it properly. Leave lipstick and mascara in the freezer overnight to kill the bacteria and viruses.

Regularly go through the contents of your handbag to get rid of things you don’t need like empty hand lotions.

Avoid dirt, debris and rubbish from collecting at the bottom of your bag. Used tissues are among the worst culprits as the flu virus can live on them for up to 12 hours.

If you carry food in your handbag, make sure it’s sealed in a plastic bag or container.