Shoes are an essential part of our lives. They protect our little toes from harm and they complete our outfits on any given day. They’re something we simply can’t live without. But, as important as they are outside, we should really keep them off of the carpet and floors inside our home.
During a study conducted at the University of Arizona, 10 participants wore new shoes for two weeks to see what exactly our shoes track in, and the results were astounding. On average there was 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe and 2,887 on the inside. These staggering numbers showed bacteria that included E. coli (meningitis and diarrheal disease), Klebsiella pneumoniae (a common source for wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia) and Serratia ficaria (a rare cause of infections in the respiratory tract and wounds).
Not only are these deadly bacteria hiding in plain sight, but were also the No. 1 cause of them getting into our homes. Other things that can be just as harmful to our health when tracked in are coal tar (from asphalt roads), dirt, bugs, lead and herbicides from lawn care.
Besides the obvious harm dirty shoes bring into the house, they’re the archenemy to any person that likes a tidy house. Wearing shoes on hard floors means more wear and tear on floor surfaces, and any shoe covered in dirt and muck means more cleaning and scrubbing on carpets, so it’s important to practice your best pitch when asking guests and family members to remove shoes.
These conversations can oftentimes be tricky, but the best way to make your guests/family feel at ease is to make them feel like they’re entering a relaxed environment. Approach the situation in a laid-back manner so they’re less likely to make a fuss about leaving shoes off before entering, and lead them to the best place to remove their shoes.
How Do I Ask Guests to Take off Shoes Without Seeming Rude?
An important part of restricting shoes to certain areas is designating a spot for shoes. Try coming up with creative ways of helping guests remember to remove them.
• Buy a fun doormat
• Create a clever “shoe valet” to park your shoes
• Decorate an entryway mudroom that helps take the subject off the shoes
• Have fun socks or slippers for guests to put on in place of shoes
• Practice what you’re going to say so you can ask confidently and casually
• Design a sign to put outside or put big bold stickers on the floor