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Leave Your Shoes at the Door!

Have you ever been stopped at a friend or family member’s front door and asked to remove your shoes before you enter? Some people take offense to thisĀ and would choose to leave a person’s house before they take off their shoes! But truth be told, removing your shoes at the front door really is a simple way to help prevent the spread of germs in a home.


According to a Huffington Post article by Dr. Kelly Reynolds, a microbiologist from the University of Arizona, more than 421,000 bacteria live on the outside of shoes, with nine different strains of bacteria. “Some of the harmful strains found on shoes included Escherichia coli, otherwise known as E coli, which can give you intestinal infections, diarrhea and in rare cases, meningitis; Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can cause urinary tract infections; and Serratia ficaria, which can cause respiratory infections,” said Dr. Reynolds.

Knowing your facts about bacteria is a good way to persuade your family members not to walk around the house in their shoes. In fact, you should also consider washing your shoes once per month and consider only wearing house slippers when you’re inside. If these house slippers are only worn inside your home, you won’t have the threat of spreading harmful bacteria.


This isn’t an easy thing to ask, but given what you now know about bacteria, it’s an important one. To try and make this easier, here are some ideas for how to make this request seem more pleasant:

  1. Hang a sign or find a doormat that says it for you!
  2. Create a designated spot for shoes so guests might feel more comfortable with your request.
  3. Let people know in advance so they can be prepared and bring socks if they would feel more comfortable.
  4. Educate your guests about bacteria and why they may want to consider doing the same thing.


If you haven’t already, talk to your family members about the importance of keeping your home’s floors clean and ways that can be done. Explain to them the science behind it, and surely they will be on board with leaving shoes at the door. Make a family game of it: if someone forgets, they have to add $1 to the “shoe fund,” which can later be used to take the family out for ice cream or some other activity. Letting guests know why you’ve started this new habit will also help them to better understand your goal. As a nice side effect of keeping the germs out, you’ll also be decreasing wear and tear on your carpet so you’ll have them longer.