Do you ever get annoyed at those people who demand you take your shoes off the second you enter their home? Yes, it can be annoying but in the end it’s actually worth it. This might not come as a surprise to you, but your shoes carry a lot of germs. Here are three reasons why you should think twice about wearing your shoes in the house.
1. Bacteria. One study conducted at the University of Arizona examined all the different germs on shoes and found an average 421,000 bacteria on the outside of shoes. There were nine different strains of bacteria. Um, ew. Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., a microbiologist and professor at University of Arizona, said, “We walk through things like bird droppings, dog waste and germs on public restroom floors, all of which are sources for E Coli.” She went on to say that walking on leaves or debris can serve as “food” for bacteria and help them grow.
2. Toxins. A couple of studies found that toxins from the outside, like lawn treatments, can easily be tracked into the house. These studies also found that these toxins settle inside the house as dust particles that can be brought in on your shoes. Of course, the exposure to toxins would be long-term and you would have to come in contact with them multiple times in order to get sick.
3. Dirt. This one is kind of obvious and is important if you have toddlers running around. “Kids often put their hands in their mouths, or have toys on the floor and put them in their mouths,” Dr. Reynolds said.
Think about all the places you walk and how many germs you pick up. New York City subway platforms, anyone?! I don’t even want to think about that whole situation. Anyway, just remember to keep your shoes at the front door.