Do One Thing: Take Off Your Shoes.


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This week’s Do One Thing is about your feet – and what you can bring into your house by not leaving your shoes at the door. Turns out that 90 to 99% of bacteria found on the exterior of the shoes is transmitted to the floor in your house when you wear your shoes indoors, and 27% of the bacteria is the E. Coli virus. In addition to the bacteria, wearing your shoes can also bring lead and other toxic chemicals into your home, so do yourself, your family, your pets, and your home a favor and leave the shoes at the door!

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  1. I’m going to add one important caveat to this suggestion, based on recent experience. When you take those shoes off, make sure to put on a pair of slippers. I ended up seeing a podiatrist yesterday after walking for more than a month with the nagging sensation of something being stuck in my foot. (I walk barefoot around the house a lot.) I was afraid it was a piece of glass shard from a glass plate i’d broken around the same time, but coudl see nothing as the skin had healed completely around the area.

    The doc scraped and scraped and while he saw nothing either, he said he’s had cases where a cat or dog hair penetrated the foot, causing a callus to form and voila: one sore foot.

  2. We have inside/outside dogs, with a door. I wonder if they bring as much stuff into the house as we do on our shoes.

    We have sisal mats outside our doors and their dog door, and are going to put woven cotton mats inside the doors and their dog door, so we can wash them regularly. I wonder what other steps are possible short of a little disinfecting mat like the English use at stiles and gates in areas with hoof and mouth disease.

  3. Funny… but true… I find I think better in bare feet. Good thing I work from home. 🙂 But ironically my feet don’t stink… no really.

  4. You say that 27% of the bacteria are the E. coli virus. A bacterium isn’t a virus. It’s a bacterium. And if you want to prevent E. coli from entering your home, you’re going to have to rip out your guts, because it lives there too, helping you get vitamins from your food. Honestly…

  5. Y’know, exposing one’s self to a multitude of bacteria actually helps to create a powerful immune system, whereas a sterile environment only hampers it.

    I was raised with just that information in mind, and I rarely get sick enough to warrant staying home from diseases that most other people I attend school with are practically incapacitated by.

  6. Chase – no need to be rude about it, a helpful correction would have been OK; that line came from EcoChildsPlay post about bacteria entering the home- I am not a biologist. But taking shoes off can keep dirt, lead, other toxic chemicals, bacteria & viruses out of your house.

    Shaggy – I agree with you 100%, and that’s why I preach to people to not use bleach and sanitizers to clean their house and selves! (psst – I dont get sick much either) 🙂

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