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Taking Your Shoes Off in the House

by Mike Bowling 04/07/2019

In many cultures, wearing the same shoes in the home that are worn out of doors is frowned upon. Of course, in some places where you both sit and sleep on pillows or mats on the floor, removing shoes seems logical and even mannerly. But in our fast-paced get in and out the door lifestyle is there a good reason to ask family members and guests to remove their shoes?

What science says

It seems that removing shoes upon entering the home is a hygienic practice. University of Houston researchers discovered that the shoes of about forty percent of those tested carried the Clostridium difficile bacterium spores. These spores live on dry surfaces for long periods and are challenging to treat with antibiotics. So, you could traipse around with potentially harmful spores on your shoes for days. 

Another study by the University of Arizona showed that an average pair of shoes contained nine different strains of bacterium including the dangerous E. coli that causes intestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Additionally, Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can cause pneumonia and severe lung damage showed up on many shoes. Infections from this bacterium cause death in 50 percent of the general population and a much higher percentage in those suffering from alcoholism.

In addition to the bacterium, shoes tested contained other nasty stuff like bird and animal feces, dead insects, vehicle oil and myriad other gunk that has the potential to cause illness or allergic reactions in many people, especially immune-compromised young children and the elderly.

What to do instead

Set up a shoe station in your home. If you have a mudroom, this is the perfect place. Provide each family member with a place to store their shoes on a rack or in a basket and keep handy a pair of slippers to put on. Keep a shoe rack and guest slippers in various sizes near the front door or in the coat closet so that you can furnish them to visitors to your home.

Some advantages of removing shoes at the door are less cleaning outdoor debris from the carpets and floors, fewer fears of your toddler picking up and placing in their mouth something dragged in from outdoors on someone’s shoe.If you live in a multi-story building, your downstairs neighbors will rejoice at how quiet your slippers are on the floor above their heads.

If you’re showing your home for sale, let your agent know to request that guests remove their shoes and where to find temporary slippers while they view your home.

About the Author

Author
Mike Bowling

 Mike Bowling began his real estate career in 1991. One of the top rated agents in Yuma AZ. Rank as America's Best Real Estates agents in the United States by Real Trend for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.

Help-U-Sell® Real Estate is the largest fee-for-service real estate franchise with more than 100 offices serving 26 states and the District of Columbia.

Created in 1976, the Help-U-Sell Real Estate model was the pioneer for providing an alternative to the dated 6% commission structure. We never insist on fees based on a percentage of the sales price, allowing consumers to save thousands of dollars compared to what they would have spent on a traditional broker's fee. Help-U-Sell Real Estate is a full-service, set-fee organization and our licensed professionals manage the entire home sale process from start to finish, including handling all negotiations, providing referrals, showing the seller's home, and providing expert advice and representation. We also help buyers acquire financing, find the best home for them, and negotiate with the sellers.