While it may be commonplace in most Asian countries, the cultural norm of taking your shoes off before entering your home has yet to catch on in Europe and America. In Asian cultures it’s easily understandable as to why people remove their shoes before coming into a home as their meals are typically eaten on mats on the floor, and they sleep on rolled out futons at night.
A new study has researchers suggesting that maybe we might want to be more aware of what exactly we’re bringing into our homes via our shoes.
Bacteria in the home – Research conducted at the University of Houston found that 40% of shoes were carrying around the Clostridium difficile, or “C.diff”, bacterium. Infections caused by C.diff are highly resistant to antibiotics, which can lead to difficult and lengthy recovery times for anyone who becomes infected. C.diff is also able to survive in most areas of the household, including toilets, tops and surfaces, and wherever floor dust is found. Ready to take off your shoes yet?
What else is on your shoes? – Shoes are naturally dirty objects simply because they’re on the ground 24/7. Dust, bird droppings, dog poop, leafy debris, gum, automotive fluids; the list could go on for days regarding what is possibly on your shoe. The research found that harmful bacteria can survive on shoes for days or even weeks, and when they tested the shoes for bacteria they found 421,000 different units of it, including the infamous E.coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Steps you can take to have a cleaner, healthier home – The benefits of taking off your shoes before entering a home are tremendous and worthwhile. You’ll clean the house less often, your little ones can play on the floor without as much grime, you can start going barefoot and you’ll likely save money as your floor coverings will last longer. Keeping a shoe rack or basket near the door is an easy way to keep everyone’s shoes out of the home.
Think about adding a designated spot in your home for people to ditch their shoes while spending time in your abode. It will benefit everyone in the long run!
(h/t Life Hack)