The bottoms of your shoes are dirtier than the inside of a kitchen trash can, which is just one reason to take your shoes off inside the house.
The Dirtiest Place in Your Home Is…
If you were asked to name the top ten dirtiest places in your home, what would be on your list?
The toilet bowl? The trash can? The kitchen floor?
Believe it or not, only JUST two of the three things I named above are on the list of the dirtiest places in your house.
Of course, the toilet bowl takes the number one spot as the most germy place in the home. However, the kitchen floor is in the top ten too….it’s actually got MORE germs than the trash can!!
Top Ten Germiest Places In A House:
- Toilet bowl: 3.2 million bacteria/square inch
- Kitchen drain: 567,845 bacteria/square inch
- Sponge or counter-wiping cloth: 134,630 bacteria/square inch
- Bathtub, near drain: 119,468 bacteria/square inch
- Kitchen sink, near drain: 17,964 bacteria/square inch
- Kitchen faucet handle: 13,227 bacteria/square inch
- Bathroom faucet handle: 6,267 bacteria/square inch
- Bathroom sink, near drain: 2,733 bacteria/square inch
- Pet food dish, inside rim: 2,110 bacteria/square inch
- Kitchen floor, in front of sink: 830 bacteria/square inch
Yes, the floor in front of the kitchen sink contains more bacteria per square inch than the garbage can! In fact, there’s twice as much bacteria on the kitchen floor!
Why Is There So Much Bacteria On Floors?
One word: SHOES
A University of Arizona study found that bacteria from our shoes transfer to our floors up to 90% of the time. The study also shows that those bacteria can cause many different types of infections. (Source)
Think back to all the places your shoes step throughout a typical day. From sidewalks to parking garages to public bathrooms, it’s easy to imagine where all that bacteria gets picked up!
Now imagine your kids crawling and playing on those same floors!
Why We Stopped Wearing Our Shoes Inside The House
It’s pretty much an accepted fact that kids touch the floor all day long. From crawling, to sitting, to playing, to rolling around — hanging out on the floor is what kids do.
Despite the best of intentions, kids eat stuff off the floors too. Sometimes I’ll see my toddler stick a random crumb in her mouth before I’ve even had a chance to identify it! (Hey, it happens!)
There is research that proves exposure to some germs may strengthen kids immune systems, and that many bacteria are actually beneficial. However, I still want to do the best I can to lower the risk of picking up the bad bacteria.
So when I actually learned just HOW much bacteria is on the bottom of four shoes…well, I couldn’t un-see that information! Here’s what I did to keep our floors cleaner…
1. We Take Our Shoes Off At The Front Door
It’s easier to keep floors clean by leaving your shoes at the door. This will prevent most of the bacteria picked up from other places from spreading to your floors…and your family.
We have a sort of mudroom area in our entryway, with storage benches, shoe cubbies, and a big doormat. This allows us each to keep a pair of shoes handy by the door, but out of the way. There’s also plenty of room for guests’ shoes.
2. Sweep & Mop Regularly
I know that I can’t prevent my kids from touching the floor…or rolling all over it. However, I can make sure the floor is clean (and green!) so they’re less likely to pick up yucky germs.
When getting rid of infection-causing bacteria, it’s important not to leave nasty chemicals in their place! I try to use natural products in our house wherever possible, such as Green Works® products that are 95% to 99% naturally derived.
Do You Need Disinfectant To Clean The Floor?
There is a common misconception that soaps and cleaners need to contain antibacterial agents and disinfectants in order to effectively clean. In fact, according to the CDC, antibacterial soaps are no more effective that regular soaps for killing disease-causing bacteria. (Source)
Here’s a Look at Our Shoe Storage:
Most shoes are kept on shoe racks in bedroom closets. However, we set up a mudroom area in our main entryway so we could easily kick off shoes when we got home. There’s also plenty of room for guests to place their shoes.
Here is our entryway decorated for fall:
Shop-able links are provided for your convenience to products we use and love; disclosure policy here.
Everyone who visits us knows our house rules and automatically takes off their shoes at the front door. It’s no big deal!
When we’re at home, we sometimes wear house shoes (that never go outdoors) or slippers to keep our feet comfy and warm. And our floors stay much cleaner!
Shoe Storage Products We Love:
- Shoe storage bench (similar to the one we have in the photo above)
- Black & White Doormat
- Coconut Fiber Doormat (I bought a blank one from Amazon and made it with this Cricut Doormat DIY tutorial)
- Large Photo Prints are from Smallwoodhome.com
Disclaimer: This post was originally created as a part of a sponsored campaign for Green Works. It has since been updated to remove old links.