Scientists at the University of Surrey, England, have released photos showing just how dirty our smartphone screens can become.

The clean freaks among you may not want to read any further, the photos are truly disgusting and might make you consider taking drastic cleaning action. It doesn’t matter if you are iPhone or Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry, the fact of the matter is that your phone is a fertile breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria.

Smartphone Screens Home To Huge Amounts Of Bacteria

Smartphone screens imprints and petri dishes

Dr. Simon Park, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology at the University of Surrey, had his class make imprints of their screens onto petri dishes to see what would grow, with alarming results. Now it must be said that college students are not usually the cleanest bunch, but the general idea that bacteria live on your smartphone screen rings true for all of us.

The photos that you see show the results after just 3 days, and researchers said that they “looked pretty grim.”

“Thankfully most of the bacteria were harmless, but it just shows the invisible life that can lurk on your phones everyday,” the report continued. “Some disease carrying bacteria were occasionally found like Staphylococcus aureus.”

Plan of action

It is hardly surprising that such large amounts of bacteria collect on the screens of devices that we use so often. The same fingers that we use to manipulate our smartphones come into contact with countless surfaces every day, and even the most obsessive-compulsive among us do not clean our hands with alcohol gel before we touch our phones, although that may be become trendy following the results of this latest study.

According to India Today, the home button plays host to the most bacteria because it is the “most-touched part of the screen.” You might want to think twice about sharing your smartphone with less hygienic members of your social circle, and carrying a screen cleaning kit.

Alternatively you could invest in a Bluetooth headset. Although the devices have previously suffered from an image problem, greater awareness of the microbial life lurking on our screens may result in a new generation of headset wearers around the world.