Are you an Instagram scrolling, Facebook stalking, DIY pinning bathroom goer? You’re not alone. A staggering number of Americans take their phones to the loo.

Unfortunately, the habit may be far from healthy. While it may seem harmless to get stuck in the scroll which brushing your teeth (or visiting the royal throne), it’s not. It’s more like moving the dining table into the bathroom. 

Why? Because the bathroom is the least clean room in the house. Every time you flush to toilet microscopic cells (aka bacteria) are sprayed into the air, spreading throughout your space and onto your bathroom’s surfaces.

No bathroom is immune.

Your phones touch these surfaces. And unlike your hands which get washed, you aren’t dunking your phone in warm soapy water.  Rather, you’re grabbing it with your hands so that they can once again become contaminated with fecal matter – which in turn will wind up on your face.

Consider this, an individual on average touches their face 3.6 times per hour. This means whatever’s on your hands is getting on your face – including the nastiness from your bathroom.

Does this mean you need to disinfect your bathroom every five minutes? Nope! Thankfully, it takes hundreds of thousands of bacteria to actually make you sick.

What it does mean is that you shouldn’t overextend your bathroom’s regular cleaning schedule. It means you’ll want to be diligent about disinfecting your bathroom at least once a week. And if someone in your house is sick, consider increasing this frequency. You may even want to extend it beyond the bathroom if someone is sick – think doorknobs and faucet handles. Anything that gets touched regularly should be wiped down.

What else does this mean? For one thing, leave your phone outside the bathroom. (You may also consider sanitizing your phone from time to time with a sanitizing wipe.)

For another, try to avoid making unnecessary contact with your face. If you’re in a public place, try to skip touching surfaces that see a high amount of traffic. And, take advantage of any opportunity to wash your hands.

Get more cleaning tips.