People who use mobile phones should clean them regularly in the same way that they would a computer keyboard or a television screen.
This is the advice of research published in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, which showed that as many as 95 per cent of the handsets used by hospital staff could carry unsavoury bugs or even life threatening illnesses.
However, despite this, only ten per cent of people involved in the study said they clean their mobile phones on a regular basis.
"We could easily avoid spreading bacterial infections just by using regular cleansing agents," the research concluded.
Landline handsets and computer keyboards are well-known for harbouring bacteria due to their regular use.
On average, people with mobile phones buy a new handset every 18 months – these people may be benefiting their health, as well as their pockets if they choose to recycle their old one.