Here's your weekly dose of yuck: Your purse could carry more bacteria than the average toilet seat! Grossed out? I know I am.

According to a recent study conducted by British company Initial Washroom Hygiene, purses – especially their handles – have up 10 times the level of germs found on the average toilet seat. The study found that one in every five purses tested carried enough active bacteria to transmit serious health infections. Leather handbags in particular were found to be the dirtiest because their spongy material is the prefect breeding ground for most bacteria.

Even worse, bottles of hand cream were revealed to be the most infected item carried in the average handbag. So while you may be taking extra care to have soft, smooth skin — it turns out that touching that bottle may not be worth it! Earphones and headphones were also found to be potential bacteria hot spots.

Let's be honest, when you think about it, are you really that surprised? When was the last time you cleaned your purse? I know my Coach bag isn't going through the washer anytime soon. Technical Manager at Initial Hygiene, Peter Barratt recommends cleaning purses as often as you clean your toilet. Women should wipe their purse and its contents once a week with anti-bacterial wipes, or use a disinfectant spray on materials that would be stained by a wet cloth.

For the full article, check out