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How to Stop Gross Gunk and Chemicals at the Door


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Why I have a “no shoes” policy

I recently enjoyed this GoodHousekeeping.com article by a kindred spirit who also embraces the practice of removing footwear at the front door. As I read it, I was reminded of several good reasons for joining her in declaring shoes “public enemy number one”—indoors, anyway.

Shoes can track in gunk.

  • The soles of our shoes are one of the main ways that pesticides and other chemicals come into our homes. In fact, most indoor grime actually originates outside, the bulk of it transported by shoes that don’t even look dirty.
  • According to the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, “The first four steps you take inside your front door bring in close to 85% of the outdoor contaminants found indoors.”
  • With chemicals and residue from lawn equipment and automobiles, garages can be an especially toxic area of the home. Make sure to remove shoes you’ve worn in your garage, too. Or at least have a great entry mat by all entrances to your home.

Shoes can be downright gross.

  • A University of Arizona study showed a huge number of bacteria on new shoes worn for only two weeks. A whopping 96% of these shoes were discovered to have E. coli, a fecal bacteria and common cause of nasty GI and urinary tract infections.
  • A 2014 study published in ScienceDirect discovered the hard-to-kill bacteria Clostridium difficile on almost 40% of shoe bottoms sampled. In fact, C. diff. was found to be more common on shoe bottoms than on toilet seats!

With the overabundance of contaminants that can find their way indoors, we want to do everything we can to ensure our family’s health and safety. Instituting a no-shoes policy is a good way to help, but it can be awkward to ask guests to remove their footwear. In fact, I usually don’t ask people to remove their shoes unless I know they do likewise in their own homes.

Instead, I rely on my little sign to get the point across.

So far, it’s worked pretty well. And when someone asks me why I have a no-shoes policy, I tell them I’m helping to create a safer haven for my family and guests.

comment_2How about you? What changes have you made at your house to keep your family safer? Our readers would appreciate hearing your success tips and ideas!

Resources:

Do you usually remove your shoes before going inside your home?

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Yes:
 
69%
No:
 
31%
Total Votes:
259
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Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
1 year ago

I always remove my shoes, but that’s because I hate wearing shoes. My house is mostly hardwood floors, so I tell people to just do what ever they are comfortable with. Most of the time they do remove their shoes, but I want people to feel comfortable in my home, so if they prefer having their shoes on, I’ll just deal with it.

Linda Nilsen
Linda Nilsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Hepfner

My feet hurt when I am bare foot so I do not remove my shoes. At one time I bought house slippers with good arch support for my self, family and guests to use in the house.

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
1 year ago
Reply to  Linda Nilsen

That’s a great idea Linda to have the slippers for guests!! A group of friends and I used to go to a scrapbook retreat where they had slippers as they did not want shoes worn in house. It was a nice feature. I never thought of doing that at home too.

ANNETTE RODRIGUES
ANNETTE RODRIGUES
1 year ago

Something that is done at all home with da local people here in Hawai’i

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
1 year ago

I’m a barefoot person at home, so I love knowing that there’s no nasties being tracked in on shoes! My husband’s family is from Japan & Hawaii, and removing shoes is standard in both places, so I learned from him. We just ask guests to remove shoes when they come, and it’s nice when they ask why and we get to help them learn!

Joan Sweeney
Joan Sweeney
1 year ago

Does anyone have information about Garborators? Are they environmentally friendly or not good for the environment? I have been asked this question and have no experience in them.

Alan
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Joan Sweeney

Hi Joan!

A better alternative to the Garborator is composting applicable kitchen waste. In some cities, they are even banned because they put a strain on the sewage system.

Thanks,

The Movement Team

Lisa
Lisa
1 year ago

Thankfully in most of Canada, taking off your shoes is just what you do! Its rude to leave your shoes on in someone’s house.

Kim Metzger
Kim Metzger
1 year ago

I keep my shoes on, even in homes with a no shoes example. I tore my left arch and must wear orthodontics. Standing even with them is painful. Please just keep in mind, some have reasons to keep our shoes on.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
1 year ago
Reply to  Kim Metzger

Thanks for making this good point, Kim. Going shoeless doesn’t work for everyone in every home.

Catalina Guajardo
Catalina Guajardo
1 year ago

I didn’t know better. It is going to be difficult but after I explain what I know now my family and I are going to eliminate bacteria and perhaps educate other people.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
1 year ago

That’s great, Catalina! Every small, conscious choice helps!

Jeanette West
Jeanette West
1 year ago

Most folks in Minnesota remove their shoes, and even carry a pair of folding shoes in my purse in the winter because my feet get cold. In our own home, however, we don’t request people to remove their shoes. Because our home is also our business it is a little different. We do have our wonderful Norwex entry mat where people come in through the garage (and some other mats before you get to that one). I also keep one of the mats by our back door where our dogs come in and out.

Amanda Aldridge
Amanda Aldridge
11 months ago

We try to always take our shoes off at the door, but sometimes we’re in a hurry and run through the house with them on anyways! Going to share this and try getting everyone on-board the no-shoe policy!

Jan Vinson
Jan Vinson
9 months ago

I use the Norwex mats at all three of my entrances.

Angie Scott
Angie Scott
9 months ago

I take known gross shoes off at the door. Unfortunately, with pets, they can’t do that… so I do not require guests do so either. My new home is easy to clean, with carpet only in the bedrooms (and if I have been able to choose, it wouldn’t be there either!).