They say it takes 3 weeks to make a habit, right? We have about that much time left in winter, so why not get in the habit now of not wearing shoes inside your house. Yeah, I know, I know sometimes it’s a pain in the neck to remember to take your shoes off when you get home. Or you have flat feet and it actually hurts to walk without shoes. Or your feet get cold. Or you don’t have a pair of “indoor shoes.” I know all of the excuses. But did you know that wearing your shoes inside your house exposes you and your family to a bunch of nasty, often toxic residues? Yup.
Here’s what can typically be found on the bottom of an average pair of shoes after a stroll around town:
- Dirt (obviously!)
- Salt used to melt the snow and ice
- Insect fragments (gross!)
- Gas (didn’t you fill up your car recently at a gas station where there were dribbles of gas everywhere?)
- Pesticides from your yard (or if you don’t spray, what about your neighbor’s yard or the green in front of the bank…you get the idea)
- Dog feces (ewww!)
- Lead particles (this is the bad one!)
- E. coli (No lie. Rockport shoe company and the University of Arizona, found that junk picked up on a regular pair of shoes, after 14 days wear, accommodates a whole host of bacteria, including E. coli. Bleh!)
And why is winter the best time to start this habit? Because there’s a greater likelihood you are wearing shoes or boots that you normally wouldn’t be wearing inside anyhow (compared to those flip-flops you wear the other three seasons). 85% of the dirt in our home comes from tracking it in on our feet (or our animal’s paws)!
Another benefits to not wearing your shoes inside other than your health? Your house will stay cleaner for longer — and don’t we all love that!