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Scientists explain why you should always leave your shoes outside

Published Apr 14th, 2022 10:19AM EDT
germs on shoes
Image: markdeibertphoto / Adobe

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Some scientists say you shouldn’t wear your shoes inside your home. Why? Because the germs on shoes can easily spread to your floors, and then contaminate your house as a result.

The scientists shared their opinions as part of CNN’s The Conversation. They say that science points towards removing your shoes and leaving them outside as the safest way to keep your house contaminate free.

Scientists say germs on shoes can spread inside your house, so take your shoes off before going inside

Johnny Footwear shoes in front of a wallImage source: Johnny Footwear

We’ve all probably visited a friend or family’s home and been asked to kick out shoes off at the door. While some people do this simply to avoid tracking in mud or dirt, or even for cultural reasons, scientists recommend that everyone take note and start doing it too.

That’s because the germs of shoes can easily spread from whatever you walked on outside to your floors inside. Then, when you walk on those floors barefoot, you’re picking up any of those germs and allowing them access to your skin. If you have pets, you’re making it easier for those germs to congregate on their paws. Those germs can then transfer to your clothes, furniture, and more.

Scientists estimate that people spend up to 90 percent of their time inside their homes. As such, deciding whether or not to allow shoes in the house is a big deal. If you do allow it, the germs on shoes can easily cause issues down the line. Sure, the bacteria might not be getting into your home at insane levels each time you enter your house. But the concentration does steadily grow as you come in and out.

Building up

close up of 3d microscopic blue bacteria

One of the main reasons the scientists recommend being aware of the germs on shoes is because of the kind of pathogens you can easily bring into your home. Cancer-causing toxins like asphalt residue can make the trek inside. Additionally, you can also bring in hard-to-fight bacteria picked up from hospitals and other patient care facilities.

By leaving your shoes outside, you’re reducing the effectiveness that germs on shoes have of spreading within your home. If you do need to wear shoes inside for support, you can always purchase a new pair of shoes that you only wear inside. That will help reduce the number of contaminants you’re bringing in exponentially.

Ultimately, your home’s cleanliness and overall germ levels are completely in your hands. This is just one thing you can do to help make it better.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.