I was watching Montel..

United States
December 2, 2007 10:38am CST
I was watching Montel Williams the other day and he had a woman on who was "exposing" all of the places germs can be found. She said that the worst place was the bottom of a woman's purse, which makes perfect sense to me. Then Montel said something along the lines of: "They find flesh-eating bacteria on the bottom of purses!!!" as if he was just trying to make every woman afraid of carrying a purse or something. It is enlightening to find out this information, for sure, but I tried to find a study on just what percent of purses may have flesh-eating bacteria on them or how many people have contracted it from purses and I couldn't find anything. Anyone know anything about this? She also said that one of the worst places for bacteria was on clothing that comes out of the washing machine. She said you should run an empty load with bleach between cycles and I was just thinking, "What a waste of water!!!!!" What do you think?
8 people like this
16 responses
@kareng (36153)
• United States
2 Dec 07
I had heard that also some time ago. I guess it means we should buy more purses and throw the old ones out more often? hehe I agree with you on washing the clothes and running loads in between with bleach. That seems to be a huge waste! I don't see how this could be such a huge germ trap. Lots of detergents contain bleach. There are lots of color safe bleaches on the market these days. Bleach kills most germs.
• United States
2 Dec 07
Why not just wipe the bottom of the purse with antibacterial wipes? Hah, I don't know. There is bacteria on everything so what's the big deal?? I mean, what about the bottom of our shoes, wouldn't that be just as bad or worse than the purse?? I am not too afraid of bacteria so running extra loads just to clean out a washer seems excessive to me, plus I do not own a washer and have to use my apartment complex's. That would cost me $1.25 haha! Anyway, I try to wash my clothing by hand to save money and water so if there is bacteria growing on my clothes from that then I'll just have to deal.
1 person likes this
@kareng (36153)
• United States
3 Dec 07
yep, bottom of shoes has to be worse! Agreed!
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18306)
3 Dec 07
I think this is just hygiene paranoia, a few flesh eating bacteria are not a problem to a healthy person. all the best urban
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 07
I agree.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
2 Dec 07
I was aware of the purse thing .i have heard that and read that in magazines that the purse is a breeding place for germs.It is important to empty the purse ever so often and spray it or clean it..I was not aware of the washing machine germs however, but that does make sense, but it will also waste a lot of water for those of you who pay a water bill.I think when I wash my whites i always use bleach so that is enough for me.I always wash my whites first anyway so i guess my dark colors are protected..I think the best solution to save money on the water bill is to wash your whites first and use bleach, that way you are safe..right???????
• United States
2 Dec 07
I dunno. I live in an apartment and pay a water bill, but I also have to pay separately to wash my laundry so I try to hand wash a lot of my clothes to save money on the laundry. Especially since our water bill is usually only a few bucks a month and it's $2.50 for each load.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
2 Dec 07
Well I did not watch that show but I agree with you that running the washer empty would be a waste of water. Most of us put our clothes in the dryer and I am sure heat kills bacteria as well. I know flesh eating bacteria is a dreadful but rare disease and I am not sure how one can contract it but I would also be interested to know how many people got it from their purse. What about guys who have contracted it. Wishing you good health and happy posting.
• United States
2 Dec 07
She also mentioned that the heat from the dryer kills the bacteria on the clothing (I forgot to mention that part) so I don't really get why you would need the extra rinse of the washer.. Plus, people have been hanging their clothes up to dry since forever and I don't think it was making people sick to wear them later.
@Sissygrl (10914)
• Canada
26 Dec 07
Ok the purse thing, well i dont carry one of those. but the washing machine.. OH GOD i do my laundry at a launddry mat! i wish i had no read that. :P I guess as for running a load of empty with bleach, if you use bleach in your whites anyways, its cleaning the machine as its washing your clothes is it not ? i mean the bleach doesn't just decide, well i'm going to disinfect and whiten ONLY THE CLOTHES. OR DOES IT ? *giggleS*
1 person likes this
@ahgong (10064)
• Singapore
26 Dec 07
I do agree with you that running an empty load of bleach between cycle is a crazy idea. But doing a tub clean at least once a year is necessary. The amount of clothes we wash on the machine, is really a lot if you look at it annually. So doing some sort of maintenance is really necessary to keep the machine going for a long time. As for contracting flesh eating disease from a purse, I have yet to hear of such things. Did he also teach how to get rid of the flesh eating bacteria from the purses? How to you clean purses that are made out of leather? How the heck did the bacteria get there in the first place?
@terri0824 (4991)
• United States
13 Dec 07
I saw this same program. Everyone started wiping the bottom of their purses off with wet wipes they were handing out. I've also heard that the top of work desk carries a lot of germs as well.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
3 Dec 07
We could do what the men do and carry coins in our pockets and since we are women, have to sew it up after losing all that change. As for running an empty load with bleach, I guess that woman who suggested it is independently wealthy or she does not mind giving up something she really likes. I feel my clothes are clean enough and besides the heat in the dryer kills any germs that may be lurking doing their dirty work.
@shaggin (56705)
• United States
3 Dec 07
I always use the hook on the back of the door to hang my purse etc rather then put it on the nasty floor. Think how much urine and feces gets on the floor that isnt cleaned up properly. My mother always cleans the bottoms of her shoes after shes been out in public because she doesnt want to track germs in on her floors. Makes sense but its to much work for me to worry about every little detail. The bottom of my diaper bag is more likely to get set on a bathroom floor then my purse because there isnt anywhere to hang my diaper bag when I am using a chaning table. I randomly wash my purse and my diaper bag I was after everytime I use it after taking it in public if I know it was on the floor at any time.
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
3 Dec 07
I read somewhere that the bottom of purses are nasty, only because a lot of women put there purses on the floor of bathroom stalls. Best thing to do is hang them up on the hook when you go to the bathroom, or have your mate hold it for you. Now with the clothes, that's got to be the dumbest thing I ever heard. If your clothes still has bacteria after washing them, you are not doing it right. Even then, once the clothes goes through the dryer, the heat will kill anything.
1 person likes this
@Polly1 (12646)
• United States
2 Dec 07
I didn't see that particular show, but I did get an email once about the germs on the botom of your purse. I do think about that now, I am careful where I set my purse down, whether out in public or at home. Some germs are so nasty and they are something that we cannot see.
1 person likes this
@rx4life (1930)
• United States
2 Dec 07
I know it is disturbing to think of all the places we can contract and distribute germs in this world. Working in pharmacy for 28 years has given me a great respect for the power of hand washing and precautions below panic in trying to cut down on our exposure and participation in spreading such germs. It is true that a womans purse gets set on many surfaces that are germ-laden. Some of these germs or viruses can live on inanimate objects for extended periods of time and therefore are more easily spread throughout the population. For instance Hepatits C virus can live on a surface such as razors, formica, toothbrush bristles,porcelain and most any surface for up to 21 days without a human host...this makes it a virus that is difficult to deal with. The flesh eating virus ( called the super-bug) or MRSA ( pronounced mersa) can be both airborne or touch related...We all need to be good hand washers and aware of our spaces...if you have cuts/open wounds on your hands/ arms then you should keep them covered with a simple bandaid while out in public spaces...these germs can enter our bodies through open wounds, noses, mouths etc...but without panic we should concentrate on keeping our hands out of our mouths ( not eating hand contact food without washing first)not sticking contaminated fingers in and around our noses and eyes..and we would be better off..even the common cold virus would not be spread so easily if we practiced better hygiene and mouth covering techniques when we cough/sneeze,..as for the washing machine...I agree that it seems overkill to always run an empty load with bleach...but I do it in cases of known contaminated clothing...I have a friend who has been hospitalized for 3 months from MRSA ...he began with pneumonia then contracted MRSA and then while hospitalized lost both of his legs from complications...THat is a case that is NOT the norm...but due to a lowered immune system from his original illness he was a MRSA target...We can all freak out and become germophobs....or we can daily practice good hygienic technique and set some boundaries about public spaces and how we allow our personal belongings to be contaminated...if you are aware and have good habits you will have less chance of contracting or becoming infected!!! Don't panic...just maintain!!!
• United States
2 Dec 07
I believe the washer thing more then i do a purse....the washer washes nasty dirty clothes and doesnt get cleaned out afterwards.. mabey they need to come out with antibacterial laundry detergent..lol would make sence:) and not use extra water.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
2 Dec 07
ok, 'flesh eating bacteria' sounds really bad, but it is really an overdramatization of the truth. Yes, the bacteria may be bad, but it is so miniscule, and probably a majority of it we have built up an immunity to. As far as the washing machine goes, I have heard that before, but not between every load. I think it was once a week that I heard. What I usually do is wash my whites last, with bleach. That way the washer is being cleaned without wasting water and energy. Also, I leave the lid open for a while after running it so it dried. Mildew thrives in wet, dark places, so leaving it open lets it dry out.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8983)
• Canada
2 Dec 07
Sounds like a whole lot oh Hoky Poky to me! I grew up on a farm way back when and can remember seeing my younger sister crawling on the lawn picking and eating chicken dirties from the grass. This person thrived, and became a healthy well adjusted adult. Today she has no alergies or health problems. I've also heard that today's children are so insulated from foreign bacteria they don't develop any defence and can become alergic to many things including peanuts, etc. Medical Personel need to prove their importance by never missing an opportunity to issue scare tactics. Take it with a Grain of Salt!
• United States
2 Dec 07
wow, if that's true it's definitely scary. but i've never heard of it before.. obviously doesn't mean it's not true though. but, if it was true, you'd think that you would've been able to find studies about it and such during your search online. and i understand why it would be a good idea to do the empty load with bleach in between each load of washing .. but you're completely right. that's a major waste of water.
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