PALM DESERT, Cali. -

     Some doctors say your cell phone is a breeding ground for germs. We're constantly using them, but how often do you really give them a cleaning?
     If you're like most people, hardly ever.
     Studies show our phones can be layered with staph bacteria, fecal bacteria, and various viruses that can transmit pinkeye infections, colds, and even the flu.
      But, cleaning your phone can get confusing. Alibaba Farzaneh owns the boost mobile store in the Westfield shopping center. He says people often damage their phones while attempting to clean them. "Almost everyday, people make a mistake," Farzaneh said. "They take the spray bottle and spray on the phone and try to wipe it. Moisture goes inside the phone, damages the battery or damages the memory card, and then they come over and say my phone is not working."
     Never use paper towels to wipe down your phone, the lint gets inside the cracks and crevices and causes damage. If you have a phone with a keypad, you can use cotton swabs to clean around those tiny buttons.
     Also, remember to never apply or spray solution directly on your phone. Instead, pick up a lint free cloth or cotton wipe from your local drugstore or electronics store, and put some disinfectant on that before wiping down your phone.
     But, be careful with household cleaners, which can be too harsh for a majority of phones. Window cleaners, aerosol sprays and ammonia are guaranteed to stain you phone or remove the finish.
          Experts recommend cleaning your cell phone at least once a week, and even more often during cold and flu season.