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Is your cellphone bringing diseases directly to your face?

Monday - 1/6/2014, 6:39am  ET

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What diseases are lurking in the crevices of your phone? (WTOP)

WASHINGTON - Chances are, you wouldn't want the bottom of someone's shoe anywhere near your face.

But do you give it a second thought when it comes to your mobile? Well, studies show that greasy, grimy phones are worse than shoes -- so it's time to decontaminate.

Dr. Dubert Guerrero, an infectious disease specialist at Sanford Health in Fargo, N.D., and co-author of a study about the persistence of bacteria on iPads, tells the New York Times it's not a debate on whether devices transmit disease.

"Your mobile device is something you want to clean regularly."

Moist, microfiber cloths are what Guerrero recommends. His study found they can tackle the most common bacteria. Persistent bacteria gets trickier though -- bleach and alcohol are best in those cases. But those aren't usually recommended for phones.

The Apple Store sells Clens wipes by Bausch & Lomb for $20 which contain isopropyl alcohol, though Apple typically doesn't recommend using alcohol on devices.

Geek Squad technician Derek Meister tells the New York Times that a 1:1 ratio of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and distilled water runs less than $5.

"Fill a spray bottle with the diluted alcohol, lightly moisten a lint-free, preferably microfiber, cloth (no paper towels) and gently wipe down the screen and case. Never spray directly onto the device. To clean corners and around ports, use lint-free foam rather than cotton Q-tips," reports the New York Times.

All in all, it's best to give phones a good wipe down at least once a day.

The New York Times has more cleaning tips.

WTOP's Herma Percy contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPtech on Twitter.

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