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Filth Finder: This is how dirty the outside of your purse might be

We used the 12 News Filth Finder to test three different purses for germs, bacteria and more. And one tested 30 times the healthy limit.

We tested purses, handbags, and backpacks to find out how dirty they are -- inside and out.

Remember, the Filth Finder tests for biological material like skin cells, bacteria, anything that's living. 

A score under 30 is safe, 30 and above is considered dirty. A high can also make you sick, everything from a cold and flu to stomach problems.

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So how dirty could your purse or bag be?

When we tested a Coach bag, it scored 158, four times the limit, on the outside. It was even dirtier on the inside.

Physician Dr. Andrew Carroll why that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"The inside of these surfaces ideally is just you touching so this is your germs and your bacteria that's sitting on your own skin, which technically you should already be protected against," he explained. 

Next up, the inside of a backpack scores 156, ot exactly clean but not the worst we've seen. 

The outside swab, however comes in at 590 -- 20 times the limit. 

Its owner calls the score "an eye opener."

The worst handbag the filth finder tested was a gray leather tote bag.

It's owner said she's occasionally shaken out cookie crumbs, but it's never been cleaned.

The bottom of the bag comes in with a level of 859. That's almost 30 times the healthy limit.

For comparison, an airplane bathroom scored 627. 

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Carroll says that's probably because the bag is leather.

"You really can't clean leather adequately," he said.

Leather conditioners don't sanitize and actual cleaning solvents could strip dyes from the material, he says.

The good news: inside the bag only scored a 29.

No surprise, handbags are pretty nasty. You can wipe it down, but santizing it is probably out. You're probably better off watching where you set it down.

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