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Even if your smartphone looks spotless, it could be plastered with bacteria that can cause everything from the flu to pinkeye to diarrhea. All those germs are just a finger swipe away because of the phone’s proximity to our hands, nose, and mouth.

That’s according to the Medical University of South Carolina.

Now, you may say – well, the same goes for anything we touch and hold. But here’s what makes the difference……We take our phones everywhere – from restaurants, to the bathroom, to setting them on the elliptical machine at the gym. And although we may wash our hands, we typically don’t wipe down our phones after each activity. And that greasy smear from the dinner table feeds those microbes even more.

So, how bad is it? When the researchers swabbed volunteers’ phones, every single one had sky high levels of coliform – that’s bacteria from waste matter! That means, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, people are just as likely to get sick from their phones as from bathroom door handles.

So what’s the best cleaning method? A soft, lint-free cloth with rubbing alcohol is best, removing nearly 100% of the bacteria.