I didn’t always but, now that I have little ones crawling all over my floor, I ask people to take off their shoes upon entering my home. Most of the time I feel bad asking that of them, especially if it isn’t their first instinct (I’m working on that). But, the more I learned about why it’s a good idea (as if the fact that those shoes have most likely been in a public bathroom recently isn’t enough), the more I felt confident in my request. Below, see my top 4 reasons to remove your shoes when you walk in the door.
1) Bacteria- A study from the University of Arizona collected germs and microbes on footwear. The researchers found 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe, including E. coli, meningitis and diarrheal disease; Klebsiella pneumonia, a common source for wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia; and Serratia ficaria, a rare cause of infections in the respiratory tract and wounds, reports Reuters. Gross.
2) Toxic Chemicals- Studies show that unhealthy chemical herbicides from walking on grass outside can easily be tracked into the home. Exposure to these chemical herbicides can cause immediate problems like skin rashes and gastrointestinal upsets and although long-term health effects of the herbicide are unknown, I think we can all agree it probably ain’t good for us, our kids or our pets. Also, the EPA’s Doormat Study showed that virtually all lead dust found in homes is tracked in from lead contaminated soil outside. No thank you!
3) Allergens- Pollen, pet dander and other common allergens can be brought inside on the bottoms of your shoes. Then they get trapped in your home with you. If you or your kids have allergies, you definitely don’t want to be bringing even more allergens into your home than you are already exposed to outside.
4) Dirt- This isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but shoes inside mean dirt and grime inside. This equals more cleaning for you and more use of cleaning products.
So next time you have guests over, kindly ask them to remove their shoes. While you’re at it, might want to ask them to wash their hands (especially if you have small children). Washing with soap and water removes all kinds of microorganisms, including viruses that cause colds and flu.