From the boss:

Many homeowners insist on everyone removing their shoes upon entering their home. Everyone has different reasons for doing so, but here are some worth pondering:

  • 40% of shoes are contaminated with the diarrhea-causing bacteria Clostridium difficile.
  • 70% of sterilized boots pick up E. coli after walking outdoors.
  • Wear your outdoors shoes in the house and you’re likely to spread bacteria in your home.
  • Other research has shown that more than 90% of the time, bacteria on shoes transfer to the floors of a home. Carpets fare worse.
  • Residue from outdoor fertilizers tracked in on your shoes can settle into the nooks and crannies of your carpets and rugs. Even Herbicide 2,4-D can last up to a week after application, and, according to the National Pesticide Information Center, exposure can cause minor skin rashes and even gastrointestinal upsets.
  • Dirt and dust are more minor offenders, but still best kept outside the house.
  • And then there is the more obvious: Abrasive soles of shoes can cause floors to become scratched and dinged.

Make it easy for your guests: have a bench that allows them to sit while removing their shoes. Offer surgical bootie covers as an alternative to removing shoes. Some homes even offer slippers. Also, have a shoehorn on standby to help guests put their shoes back on upon departure. A well-engineered entrance should always have an attractive set-up to be able to store guest (and occupant) shoes.

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