Why It’s Ok to Have a No-Shoes Rule

If you’ve ever worried about asking guests to take their shoes off at the door for fear of sounding high-maintenance or unwelcoming, or if you don’t think twice about resting your shoes on your sofa, this blog post was written with you in mind. However, if you prefer to have no shoes in the house, research is on your side. A study showed that the average shoe sole carries 412,000 bacteria and that it only takes initial contact for 90% of that bacteria to transfer onto a clean tile floor.

no shoes in the house

While a lot of this bacteria is harmless and actually contributes to healthy immune systems, there are some less pleasant bacteria to be found. Let’s look at that bacteria in more detail. But be prepared, the findings are pretty nasty…

C. Difficile

The same study found that 26% of shoes tested positive for traces of C. Diff – the bacteria responsible for tummy upsets and, when severe, sepsis. All the more reason to take off shoes at the front door!

shoes off at the door

Faecal Bacteria

93% of shoes carry some form of faecal bacteria which isn’t difficult to believe when you consider all the places you walk. From bird droppings to animal faeces bacteria not visible to the naked eye, your shoes pick up all sorts of bacteria which feed on the other bacteria on your shoes. If you have small children who enjoy playing on the floor, it’s important to bear in mind what else has been in contact with the carpet or rug. With little ones picking up bugs all the time, why increase the likelihood by tracking faecal bacteria onto the carpet?

take off shoes

E. Coli

Different strands of E. Coli are responsible for different symptoms, from stomach upsets to kidney failure. So it’s unsettling to think of the E. Coli traces breeding on the soles of your shoes! If you’re concerned about your shoes, pop washable trainers in the washing machine and make sure to regularly clean other shoes as per their care instructions.

With this in mind, perhaps it’s not so unreasonable to enforce a ‘no shoes in the house’ rule, especially if you tend to wander around bare-footed or your children play on the floor. It’s understandable that sometimes it may feel awkward asking for shoes to be taken off, so here are a couple of ways you can express your preference gently:

  • Keep a friendly ‘no shoes’ notice by the door. If you prefer not to directly ask everyone who comes into your home to take their shoes off, consider a little framed sign in the hallway asking guests to wipe their feet and take their shoes off.
  • If guests are worried about cold feet, keep a selection of hotel-style slippers for your guests to feel extra cosy and welcomed. Often guests keep shoes on because they aren’t wearing socks or don’t want cold feet, so slippers are a great solution. Just make sure they are clean and fresh!

If you’re concerned about what may be lurking in the fibres of your rugs, check out our selection of excellent-value rugs for a clean replacement, update your welcome doormat, and read our rug cleaning guide.

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