Have you ever wondered why people take their shoes off at the door instead of wearing them throughout the house? There’s a good reason for that particular custom. Your feet track a lot of dirt, grime, and bacteria through your home (oh – and poop, too).
In this post, we’ll get “down and dirty” about the reality of this risk. Here are all of the nitty-gritty reasons you should remove your shoes before you come in.
Shoes were designed to protect our feet, but not just from injury; they also protect us from outside bacteria, toxins, and environmental hazards that can make us sick. But wearing outside shoes inside can drag harmful bacteria in while also increasing wear and tear on your home. Do you take your shoes off at the door? If not, you may want to consider it. Here’s why.
Stop Wearing Shoes in the House; Stop Grinding Fecal Matter Into Your Rugs
You’re Tracking Poop Through Your House
Seriously. Poop. The odds of you having fecal matter on your shoes is incredibly high, especially if you use public restrooms at work and in stores. Bacteria can cling to your shoes for quite a while, so it hitches a ride home and ends up in your personal space.
While the average healthy adult doesn’t have as much to worry about when it comes to nasty bugs like E.coli, children who play on floors are at a higher risk for exposure. By removing your shoes before you come in, you limit that exposure.
There’s a lot of junk on the ground outside these days — everything ranging from someone’s leaky car oil or coolant to the pesticides sprayed on our lawns. These toxins end up ground into your rug and attach themselves to the naturally-occurring dust in your home when you wear your shoes inside. Pollutants getting into the air after coming in on your shoes is bad news; it’s an especially dangerous concern for people with allergies or Asthma.
You’re Ripping Up Your Floors
This fact is especially true if you have rugs. Wearing your shoes in the house means you’ll need to scrub and clean more often to remove bacteria and toxins. The extra friction from the shoes themselves, as well as from the cleaning, will wear down your rug’s material faster than if you did not wear shoes in the house at all.
Just as with all other home products, your rugs have a lifespan. You can extend it by taking those shoes off at the door.
What Should You Do?
Now that we’ve established what you shouldn’t do, what about what you should?
Designate an area near the door your family uses the most and ask everyone to take their shoes off immediately upon entering the house. Have house slippers or socks available for anyone who doesn’t want to be completely barefoot.
While you shouldn’t expect every guest in your home to comply, don’t be afraid to ask visitors to take their shoes off. Long-time friends and family members who visit often are more likely to embrace your policy than the occasional party-goer or one-time visitor.
Taking your shoes off will keep your home cleaner, keep your family healthier, and protect your flooring investment. It takes some getting used to, but you’ll be happy with how much cleaner and safer your environment is once everyone has adapted.