Take Off Your Shoes at the Door
January 27, 2023
Taking off your shoes not only helps keep your home cleaner, it also helps keep your house – and your kids - healthier. Think about it. Where have the bottom of your shoes been? If you’ve stopped to fill up your car, you can track home gasoline on your feet. If you’ve walked through pesticide-treated grass, you can track home toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Even dirt can have traces of lead in it. You walk through it, then you walk through your home leaving traces on your rug, your baby crawls past, and then stops to put her hand in her mouth. Get the picture?
Here are the facts:
- The professional cleaning industry estimates that we track 85 percent of the dirt in our homes in from the outside on our shoes or paws of pets. In a recent warning about lead exposure, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifically recommends that shoes remain outside the house.
- According to a report called The Door Mat Study, lead-contaminated soil from the outside causes almost all the lead dust inside homes. It notes that wiping shoes on a mat and removing them at the door cuts lead dust by 60 percent. The study explains that limiting the amount of dust and track- in may also help reduce exposure to lawn and garden pesticides, wood smoke and industrial toxins, mutagens, dust mites, and allergens.
Wiping your shoes off as you enter your home reduces the amount of contaminated dirt tracked in. But, the BEST solution is to take off your shoes as you enter your home. It’s a good excuse to buy some great socks or slippers! Your flooring will stay cleaner, as well as keeping dirt and potential toxic threats from getting into carpets. If going shoeless is not acceptable to family members, suggest that they wear house shoes (that don’t go outside).
And walking around in soft slippers, socks, or barefoot does another wonderful thing - it helps us relax and unwind.