Most people in Minnesota remove their shoes when they enter a home. This is because we know that whether it is snowing, raining, or beach weather, our shoes are guaranteed to make a mess out of the floor. Here are some great reasons why you should remove your shoes if you want your hardwood floors to last longer.
Shoes Carry Germs
When you consider everywhere you walk in a day; it is easy to see why your shoes contain so many germs. Public restrooms, clinics, playgrounds, public transportation, restaurants, places where animals and other people walk, leaving bacteria from their feet. After walking around all day, your footwear will naturally come into contact with a lot of germs. A study by a microbiologist at the University of Arizona found that the outside of shoes carries more than 140 times as much bacteria as the inside. More than 90 percent of the bacteria on your shoes can transfer to your hardwood floors. This bacteria can stick around for hours. If you are healthy, this likely won’t cause you any significant problems, but if you are already immune-compromised, bacteria like c. diff can be deadly.
Shoes are dirty
Even if your shoes don’t harbor any dangerous bacteria, your shoes likely do harbor dirt! When you leave your home, your shoes pick up mud, sticky grime and other messiness that you later track into your house and onto your hardwood floors. By asking guests as well as everyone in your family to remove their shoes in the home, this dirt will stay on the welcome mat. This means less grit on your floor and less frequent sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping. Since these can be hard on your hardwood floors, you will prolong the lifespan of your floors!
Shoes can damage your floor’s beautiful finish
There are several ways that shoes harm a hardwood floor’s finish. Shoes with black rubber soles may leave black scuff marks on your floors. High heels ding and dent wood floors like little chisels. And all footwear can carry dirt and sand in on them. This essentially turns the soles of your shoes into pieces of sandpaper. Every step you take scuffs and scratched your floor’s finish.
Always ask guests to remove their shoes—and always remove yours when you come into your home. Some people find it less awkward if they have a sign in their entryway that requests, “Please remove your shoes.”
If You Must Wear Shoes in Your Home
Designate a specific pair of shoes or slippers to be worn in the home. Many people also like to have extra house shoes or warm socks to offer their guests, so their feet don’t get cold. Ensure that they are clean to start with and check them periodically to make sure they stay that way. Choose a pair that is soft or rubber-soled. They cause the least amount of wear on wood and will provide just the right amount of grip to prevent slips or falls. Only wear your house shoes in the house and your regular shoes outside of the house. This can add an extra three years to your floors before they need to be refinished!
When it is time to refinish them, the hardwood floor specialists at Dave’s Floor Sanding & Installation can make your floors look new again. Contact us today for a free estimate.
 “Study Reveals High Bacteria Levels on Footwear – Article.” CIRI, www.ciriscience.org/a_96-Study-Reveals-High-Bacteria-Levels-on-Footwear.