You touch your phone constantly—here's how to keep it clean.

By Caylin Harris
How to Deep Clean a Germy Cell Phone (Without Destroying It)
Credit: Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/Getty Images

In gross and disturbing news, your cell phone is a breeding ground for germs. Think about it, it goes just about everywhere with you, which means there's plenty of opportunities for exposure to bacteria. In fact, a 2012 study by the University of Arizona concluded that your cell phone has more germs than a toilet seat. Bet you're rethinking holding it anywhere near your face! Before you freak out, here are some smart tips from Rob Duve, a Best Buy Geek Squad agent, on how to keep your phone clean.

Start With Good Hand Hygiene

"One of the first and best lines of defense is to practice good hand hygiene. Always wash your hands with soap and water, because anything that is on your hands will be transferred to your cell phone. Be cautious when using other people's devices, too," Duve advises. "If you do have to use someone else's phone, avoid holding it up to your face."'

Reconsider Where You Use Your Phone

You'll also want to be mindful of where you use your phone. Duve explained that more people than you think bring their cell phones into the bathroom (a recent study showed just how many), which exposes them to unnecessary amounts of germs.

Wipe Down the Surface

To keep your phone and other touchscreen devices clean, you'll want to regularly wipe them down. "Use your own judgment based on your environment, but even deciding to wipe them down once a day isn't too much," says Duve. "You'll want to avoid using household cleaners or rubbing alcohol like some people recommend (it can ruin the finish) in favor of germ-killing wipes that are specifically made for touchscreen devices. You'll also want to use a microfiber cloth, which is surface safe, instead of paper towels. If you have a spray cleaner, don't spray it directly on the screen. Spray it onto the cloth first, and then wipe down your phone." Because microfiber is able to remove bacteria from a surface, you can also play it safe by skipping the sprays altogether.

WATCH: Southern Kids React To A Rotary Phone

Go for a Deep Clean

Doing a deep clean? A foam swab should be used instead of q-tips to get into those tiny crevices.

With flu season warnings already circulating, pay close attention to your devices this winter. Being vigilant about cleaning them could mean you'll end up catching fewer colds and stomach bugs.

This Story Originally Appeared On Real Simple