You may have met people who ask their guests to remove their shoes before coming inside. Maybe you’re that type of person yourself. But do you really know some of the reasons behind this practice? Turns out, there’s a lot more to it than just good manners. Here are some really eye-opening reasons why you should take off your shoes when you’re at home.
Your shoes come into contact with a lot of nasty germs. Studies have shown that shoes, especially athletic shoes, often harbor bacteria that can cause serious illness, like E.coli. That’s because– and this is seriously gross– there’s a lot of nastiness like fecal matter lying around on the ground out there, and your shoes get exposed to it every day. Over 90% of bacteria have been shown to transfer from shoes to the floors of your home. These bacteria can stick around for hours after they’re inside, and that’s more than enough time for them to make you sick. Taking off your shoes inside means keeping your family healthy.
However, even if you aren’t particularly worried about germs, there are some other good reasons to lose the shoes as well. Walking around in shoes wears down your flooring a lot more quickly than going barefoot. Hardwood floors can be scuffed by boots and work shoes. In addition, any dirt or sand brought in can make tiny scratches on your floor, wearing it down quicker. Flooring is a big investment, and it’s not something you should have to replace every couple of years. You can extend the life of your floor by taking off those shoes inside.
A third thing to keep in mind: even if your shoes aren’t harboring dangerous bacteria, there’s a good chance that they’re just plain dirty. We pick up mud, grime, and other messes out in the world, and those come inside with us when we wear our shoes in the house. Have you ever vacuumed or mopped the floors, only to have someone come through wearing shoes and get them dirty again? It’s a never-ending cycle. Another thing to consider: more dirt on the floors means mopping or vacuuming them more often, which shortens their life (see the point above). Save yourself the headache by insisting that the whole family take off their shoes.
There’s a final consideration that’s especially relevant if you live in an apartment or duplex. Walking around in shoes inside is much louder than walking barefoot. You can keep up good relationships with the neighbors by making sure to stay barefoot inside.