When someone arrives at your house, do you ask them to remove their shoes?
This is a common request and for many, it is because they wish to protect their flooring. However, there are many reasons why your guests should remove their shoes — most of which you’ll likely surprise you.
5 Reasons to Take Off Your Shoes When You Enter the House
As researchers continue to study the impact that outdoor shoes have on your home and health, it’s becoming more and more clear that they belong at the front door. Whether you want to protect your floors for years to come, ensure that your family is as healthy as possible, or have simply gotten into the habit of wearing shoes indoors, here are five reasons why you should nip that routine in the bud.
1. Support your foot health
Although there are many health-related reasons why you should remove your shoes before entering your home, protecting your foot health is imperative. Yes, shoes serve a purpose and have so for thousands of years. However, after you have traveled from point A to point B outside of your home, your feet need a much-needed rest.
After all, it’s well-understood that shoes can change the structure of your feet. When you kick off your shoes and allow yourself to walk barefoot, you will support foot strength and recovery. Just as it’s not natural to have your hands in fists all day, restricting the dexterity of your fingers — the same is true in regards to your feet when they’re stuffed inside shoes.
2. Reduce your exposure to toxins
Once you leave your home, you are exposed to a cocktail of toxins in the form of pollution and pesticides. One study in Environmental Science & Technology found that the herbicide known as 2,4-D can settle on your floor and stay there for up to a week after it’s applied. In turn, this can impact your home’s air quality and more importantly, your health.
Although cleaning bare floors can help remove these toxins, dust accumulation can trap chemicals — especially within carpets.
To reduce your exposure to pesticides and other commonly used outdoor chemicals, it is imperative that you maintain clean floors. While toxins break down at varying rates, good cleaning practices to can help eliminate pollutants found in carpet fibers and dust.
3. Decrease bacteria levels in your home
Bacteria can cause all kinds of health issues, especially in terms of your eyes, lungs, and stomach. Unfortunately, researchers have found that various strains and species of bacteria are often found on the soles of your shoes, which can then be easily spread to your home’s flooring.
As stated by the researchers at the University of Arizona, we tread through everything from bird droppings to human urine while in public washrooms, and when your shoes don’t come off, all of that bacteria is transferred onto the floors within your home. In fact, the study showed that 90 to 99 percent of what is picked up on your shoes is directly transferred to your floors.
Of the bacteria we pick up, fecal matter is a common source. This article reported that when people wear their shoes outdoors for more than a month, 93 percent will have fecal bacteria on the bottom.
4. Protect your flooring
Many shoes have abrasive or rough soles which can cause significant damage to your flooring — especially wood flooring, laminate, and carpet. Of course, this is more common when wearing certain styles of boots or heels. However, any type of shoe can leave residue and water, which is particularly damaging to select types of wood flooring.
Not only will wearing shoes in the house cause scuffs and scratches but when you track dirt and debris through your home, you have to clean more often. When using chemicals or even a water-based cleaning solution, there is a greater chance that your floors will be exposed to greater wear and tear.
5. Lead by example in regards to respect
Even if you and your family choose to wear shoes in the house, many people expect others to remove their shoes when they come indoors. This means that although it’s important to remove your shoes for sanitary reasons, it is also a sign of respect.
By removing your shoes, you are showing that you respect your hosts, their wishes, and their living space. If you have children, the act of removing your shoes in other people’s homes is an important topic of conversation. That way, when they visit other homes, they will know exactly what to do and when to do it.
If you’re ready to alter your habits, but now require a floor cleaning service, there are many options available. Prefer to change your flooring? If so, be sure to schedule your free in-home estimate today!