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A Cleaner World Blog

Why You Should Not Wear Shoes in your House

There are very few things I can make my husband do, but somehow, I have managed to train him to leave his shoes at the door.  I requested we start this practice shortly after we got married simply because of the small space in which we lived; dirt easily ended up everywhere.  Thankfully, we kept the practice going two houses later.  While it was for practical purposes, I have since learned the benefits of not wearing shoes in the house, such as reducing the wear on carpet and rugs.  But today I had another realization while standing in the ladies’ bathroom at the gym that wearing shoes in the house could bring other people’s waste into my house.

It is something I knew all along, but I was smacked in the face when I saw that I was standing in someone else’s pee.  So, I did what every person does these days; I searched Google, and sure enough, there have been all kinds of studies done on the quantity of bacteria, microorganisms, viruses, and fecal matter on the bottom of shoes.

Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona, conducted a study in conjunction with The Rockport Company, and here are their findings:

  • After wearing a pair of shoes for more than a month, 93% will have fecal bacteria on the bottom.
  • Coliforms were detected the outside of 96% of the shoes, and e coli was detected on 27% of the shoe bottoms.
  • Ninety percent of the bacteria from the bottom of the shoes transferred directly to a clean tile floor on first contact. 

“Shoes make microorganisms fairly mobile, and you’re tracking that all around (the house),” Gerba said, adding that the cracks on the bottoms of shoes make it more conducive for bacteria to hang around.

If you’ve been wearing shoes in your home, you may want to think about having your rugs professionally cleaned and then starting this new habit.  Take your shoes off as soon as you walk in the door, then head to the sink to wash your hands with soap and water.  Not only will your hardwood floors, rugs, and carpet thank you, so will your immune system.   A clean home is a healthy home.

ladies slip on shoes
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