Myth or fact? Taking shoes off helps keep your house clean

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I get asked this question a lot: If I don’t wear shoes in the house, does it help to keep the house clean? My answer depends on one factor— do you ever leave your house? If you do, when you return, it absolutely helps to remove your shoes before entering your home. While you’re out walking around in the world, you pick up all sorts of goo, dirt, grime, and unmentionables on your shoes.

I live in a city where it’s a veritable minefield of disgusting things on the sidewalk to carefully navigate around, and no matter how diligent I am, I’m sure I step in things that I’m unaware of. It’s not only for peace of mind that I kick off my kicks when I return home— it’s also proven that 60% of the particles that make up the dust in your home come from soil that we track in on our shoes or from outdoor air particles that whoosh in when we open and close the door. So to keep things manageable, I immediately slip out of my shoes when get home.

As to whether you need to take this a step further and become one of those people who insist that their guests also take their shoes off at the door, I leave that up to you. For years before I became a convert to the shoes-off mindset, I was always panicked when I reached a dinner party where the host smilingly forced my shoes off— what kind of silly socks was I wearing? Did they have any visible holes? Or sockless, were my toenails ready for the spotlight? To save your guests this unexpected anxiety, you might consider pausing your ban on shoes for the night and be extra vigilant when you clean up the house in the morning.

Let us know in the comments— are you a shoes-off kind of person? Or are you an unbeliever? Tell us why!

3 thoughts

  1. I enjoy walking bare feet on my hard wood floors so I always take my shoes off. It also helps that my shoe rack is right next to my door. I am glad I’ve been eliminating 60% of the dust in my home because of my habit!

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    1. I am for sure a shoes-off kind of person. It is icky to think about what I’m tracking into my precious home!

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  2. I always take my shoes off at home but I don’t think it’s polite to ask guests to take their shoes off. I once asked an electrician to take his shoes off and regretted it the second he took them off– his socks smelled funky!

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