I’m going to preface this entire thing by saying I’m a bit OCD. I like things clean and neat. It gives me peace of mind. A clean home is a calm home for me. Part of my peace of mind comes from knowing that my home isn’t ridden with bacteria or covered with dirt. That stuff can stay outside. If it’s your thing, that’s fine, but I don’t care to live that way.
From the ceiling to the floor, I try to go through and thoroughly clean everything at least once a year. My least favorite cleaning job is the carpet. I take one weekend each spring and haul out my steam cleaner and clean the carpets. Wow, you would be surprised what you clean out of those carpets though.
I’ve always asked my roommate and boyfriend not to wear shoes in the house, but they did it anyways. Sorry guys, but you did. So this past spring, I had my roommate help one day and my boyfriend help the other just so they could see how dirty the carpets get because they wear their shoes in the house. We went over our living room, which is pretty small, two or three times. Each time we emptied the steam cleaner the water was basically black and filled with dirt. I think I got my grotesque point across. Now the shoes, boots, and flip flops stay on the rug or the porch.
When talking with a past coworker about wearing shoes in the house, he made an excellent point. One day, his son saw someone spit on the pavement and that grossed him out. His dad, my coworker, told his son, “Well when you keep your shoes on that’s what you track into the house.” I thought about this more and thinking about all the dirt, germs, bacteria, or whatever else that’s incredibly nasty living on the bottom of my shoe made me want to hurl. I vowed to not wear my shoes in the house ever again. Who knows what are on my shoes from walking around Detroit all day.
A few years ago, Good Morning America tested out several people’s shoes and the bottom of a dog’s foot and the results re-enforced my vigilance to leave my shoes at the door. The bottom of one person’s shoe had over 60 million, yes million, organisms on it—some of which can cause infections or illness. If you walk all over the house in your shoes, you’re spreading harmful organisms that can make you or your children, who probably play on the floor daily, sick.
However, if you do your due diligence, you can limit how much bacteria from your nasty shoes gets all over your house. What I do at home is have a long, shallow plastic tub that I have my roommate and boyfriend place their shoes in at the door. Not only does it contain the bacteria, but it also traps water or dirt inside the tub. When the tub gets dirty, I take it outside to wash it out. You could also just have a rug sitting next to the door to put shoes on too. You can always take your shoes off and carry them to your closet if you don’t want to keep them by your door as well. No matter which option you pick, make sure to wash your hands after!
It doesn’t take a lot of time to simply take off your shoes, and it’s worth it if it prevents bacteria from spreading around your home. Plus, this helps keep your carpet from additional wear and tear, so it will last longer. For a healthier and cleaner home, leave the shoes at the door.