OUR watches are up to EIGHT times dirtier than a toilet, after chemical swabs revealed what really gets stuck in our time pieces.
The new research also showed only one in four Brits have never cleaned their watches.
Tic Watches swabbed 10 different kinds of watches to test for aerobic bacteria, yeast and mould to find out how many germs really latch on.
The stomach-churning results showed each watch had a concerning amount of bacteria, yeast and mould – scoring an average of three times dirtier than a toilet seat.
However, the biggest offender was a fitness watch.
The Fitbit tested a shocking eight times dirtier than a toilet set and flush handle – the plastic and leather watches are more foul than the metal ones.
The least dirty watch was a man’s leather-strap watch – scoring just 3.3 times dirtier than a toilet seat.
The UK watch brand also found that 24 per cent of Brits admitted they never cleaned their watch, while one in five cleaned their watches less than every six months.
Daniel Richmond, Managing Director of Tic Watches, said of the research: “Whether you wear a watch every day, or just during working hours, one thing is for certain, we don’t clean them as much as we wash our hands.
“Unfortunately, not all watches are waterproof, so avoiding any contact with water when we’re wearing them could be the main reason for a build-up of bacteria.
How to clean your watch
It’s recommended you clean it once a month
1. Remove the watch from its bands
Some will come off by pressing a button to detach their bracelet from the watch head, whilst others will need a screwdriver to release the bracelet from the watch head. If you can’t, be careful not to get the watch wet as you it could cause permanent damage.
2. Get a bowl in soapy water
Get a bowl full of water and add a splash of mild washing up liquid (if you have a stainless steel or plastic watch). If you have a leather watch, opt for a small amount of white vinegar in the water instead.
3. Soak the bands
Put the watchbands in the liquid and soak them. Depending on how dirty the watch is, you may want to leave it for a few hours, or if it looks generally clean, 30 minutes will do the job.
4. Scrub away the dirt
Use a soft cloth or brush to gently wash away any dirt, a soft toothbrush works well – be careful with the pressure you apply and don’t use anything that will scratch your watch!
5. Give it a rinse
Give the watchbands a rinse with clean water to get rid of any soap and grime.
6. Clean the watch head
Use a damp cloth to clean the front and back of the watch head. If it’s still grimy, use a soft toothbrush dipped in soapy water to give it a gentle scrub. Don’t submerge it in water unless you definitely know you can, as you may completely break it.
7. Dry thoroughly
Pat the watch dry with a cloth or leave it to air dry on a dry towel for a couple of hours
8. Reattach the components
Once dry, reattach the band to the bracelet and it’s ready to go back on your wrist.
“For those who wear a watch every day, we recommend giving it a good clean at least once a month.
“If you think your watch is due a clean, take a look at our tips to see how to do it yourself or you can even take it to a specialist shop for a professional clean.
“Not only will this keep your watch looking as good as new, but it will keep unsafe bacteria at bay.”