After walking with your shoes outside for an entire day, or if you went on a jog or a hike, are you one of those people that don’t take it off immediately as soon as you go inside your house?
Studies show that large numbers of bacteria, both on the bottom part of the shoe, including the inside of the shoes have about 421,000 unit of bacteria only on the outside of your shoes, and an additional 2,887 on the inside. If that doesn’t alarm you about how many bacteria you’ve purposely invited to your home just because you didn’t leave your shoes outside– I’m not sure what will.
This was a study made by Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist, and professor at the University of Arizona and The Rockport® Company. A list of the bacteria found on your shoes include:
- Escherichia Coli – This bacteria is known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, diarrheal disease and meningitis.
- Klebsiella Pneumonia – This is the common source of the bloodstream, wound infections, and pneumonia.
- Serratia Ficaria – Can cause rare infections in our respiratory tract and wounds.
“The common occurrence (96 percent) of coliform and E. coli bacteria on the outside of the shoes indicates frequent contact with fecal material, which most likely originates from floors in public restrooms or contact with animal fecal material outdoors,” said Gerba.
However, it is said that by simply washing the shoes with detergent can easily eliminate the bacteria and can possibly reduce it by 90% or even more. So, how often do you wash your shoes?
If your homes have tiles, I’m sure that you mop your floors more often, and even do the lengthy procedure of disinfecting it. The transfer of bacteria from your shoes to your uncontaminated (or freshly cleaned tiles) can range from 90%-99%.
Below, I will list a couple of my suggestions that can help you keep the bacteria from your shoes spreading.
- Place your shoe rack close to your door, or anywhere that you think is accessible for you to put your shoes as soon as you get home. Personally, I invest in nice looking shoe racks so that it doesn’t look like clutter near the doorstep, but more of a part of the interior design. I regularly clean that area and transfer unused or rarely used shoes in my shoe closet. I make sure that I only have about 3 pairs of shoes that I rotate and use frequently to keep the area tidy.
- Make a habit of removing your shoes as soon as you enter the door. This is very obvious, but you really have to try your best to remember. Place a small reminder near the shoe rack if you have to!
- Have bedroom slippers or slippers that you only use inside the house. If you often have guests, prepare extra slippers for them. There’s something about fluffy bedroom slippers that makes me excited about taking my shoes off after a hard day’s work.
- Wash your shoes regularly. Disinfect the shoe racks as often as possible. For leather shoes, you can always use disinfecting wipes and sprays that won’t damage it.
- You can leave foot sprays near your shoe rack if by any chance that you have guests that worry about taking their shoes off because of smelly feet. You can even leave a pair of clean socks that they can use just in case.