There is no doubt that having to take off your shoes when you go into someone’s house is a bit, well, we will just say, annoying. I know I despise it. However, it seems as though there may be some decent logic backing the house rule.
Shoes traping through the home may well be carrying nasty toxins, such as E. coli, and a host of others, along with them. Because our shoes commonly step all over bacteria during the day (think doggy poop remains, bird poop, bugs, old food), our shoes become carriers of bacteria. Just because you think you avoid stepping on “dirty” looking portions of the ground, it is almost impossible to avoid stepping on bacteria. Even grass and leaves carry loads of toxic substances including pesticides.
Illnesses such as E. coli often cause the infected person to suffer from major intestinal distress. With over 400,000 different bacterias stuck to your shoes, do you want to take the chance that E. coli is one of them?
A 2017 study showed that Clostridium difficile is commonly spread via shoes. Here’s the thing, prior to the study, Clostridium difficile was commonly considered an issue arising in hospital settings. Nope, it seems our good old Nikes, Reeboks, and Payless footings are a large likely culprit.
Using 2538 samples, the study revealed that less than 500 of the cases were acquired while in a hospital setting. That means the rest were found from shoes that had walked in typical areas used for shopping, dining, and commuting.
In order to prevent Clostridium difficile from spreading into the home, you’d need to remove your shoes. Wiping them on an abrasive floor mat won’t do the trick.
The good news is that if your uncle Paul just refuses to take his shoes off and does spread the illness into your home, you aren’t likely to die from it. It is rarely ever fatal. But that doesn’t mean we should lose the greater point which is that taking off your shoes before entering your home (or anyone else’s) is a sanitary move.
So what do you say? Will you be removing your shoes before entering your own house from this point forward?
Photo by MadLabUK