If you're that person who insists everyone take their shoes off before entering your house, it's time to give yourself a pat on the back. Turns out, your efforts are doing more than just keeping the mud off the carpets--they're actually keeping you and your family healthy.
According to a recent study led by Dr. Kevin Garey, a professor of pharmacy who practices at the University of Houston, we should absolutely be taking off our shoes before we go inside any home. Researchers concluded that the soles of our shoes are one of the dirtiest places around. They are laden with tons of different types of bacteria, including a particularly harmful strand called Clostridium difficile—which can cause diarrhea and potentially fatal inflammation—that was found on 26.4 percent of soles.
Other studies have also found the the soles of shoes can also carry Listeria monocytogenes, another harmful type of bacteria that can cause fever, muscle aches, and headaches.
Are you now thinking twice about taking your shoes off after a day out on the town? We sure hope so.
Even if you only wear your shoes for a few minutes after you step inside, you can spread bacteria; removing your shoes not only keeps your home more hygienic, but it also makes your floors appear cleaner for longer.
If you're feeling lazy and think a quick swipe of your shoes on the welcome mat will suffice, stop there. Dr. Garey warns that this could actually have reverse effects.
"You have to think of the person who wiped their feet before," Dr. Garey warned. "You might be picking [up] stuff they left behind."
So as much of a "hassle" as it may seem, remember to unlace or unzip and leave your shoes outside. It will definitely be worth it in the long run.
h/t House Beautiful