Every time you use your cellphone, you could be making a dirty call.
Several recent studies have shown cellphones harbor one of the most active breeding grounds for germs that you'll come in contact with on a day-to-day basis.
According to a recent study by Stanford University, your smartphone is most likely filthier than a public toilet seat.
"They're substantially dirtier than the handle on men's urinals in bathrooms," says Jeffrey Lyons, co-founder and CEO of myPhoneMD, a Louisiana-based company.
A study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2010 said the average handset carries 18 times more potentially harmful germs than that flush handle.
Apparently, the warmth of a smartphone's interior is a germ-infested breeding ground and is a perfect environment for pathogens.
"Especially in southeast Louisiana and other humid areas, there's moisture that builds up inside the phone. It's warm, it's in your pocket, it's in contact with your body. So it's a prime breeding ground for germs and pathogens," says Lyons.
"Disregarding the fact that you place it against your face all day long, they harbor more germs than most anything," Lyons says.
One recent study even found that 1-in-6 cellphones are contaminated with fecal matter.
Although your device can sometimes spread bacteria and contribute to you to becoming sick, you most likely have built up a decent tolerance and are safe.
But, there are some simple suggestions to combat a dirty phone.
Lyons suggests using wipes daily. Clean your phone with an antimicrobial wipe that is non-corrosive. Look for an electronics specific brand.
"Just a simple wipe down a few times a day can dramatically decrease the amount of activity going on there."
If you have a keyboard or keypad, clean it with a cotton swab dipped in diluted rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to rub too hard and not to get any rubbing alcohol inside the phone.
And, wash your hands often.
"Touching this thing all day long...that's where the majority of the transference of germs and bacteria is coming from," says Lyons.
Dirty hands are the most common way that smart devices get to mingle with germs.
But remember, washing your hands will do no good if you aren't wiping down your device first.