In Japanese culture, people don’t enter a house wearing their shoes. They would leave their shoes outside before they enter any household. The Japanese people eat and sleep on floor, and therefore, it is a good practice to leave the shoes outside. This is followed by the people of many Asian countries, but most families in Europe and America never make it a point to ensure shoes are always left outside.
This is practice is necessary for maintaining good hygiene and keeping at bay variety of germs as well as dust and dirt. Science has proved that it particularly helps to keep outside your home nasty bugs that are rather impossible to get rid of. If you have toddlers and small children at home keeping your shoes outside becomes particularly important.
Which dangerous bacteria are you carrying home?
A research at University of Houston revealed that approximately 40% shoes bring home Clostridium difficile or “C.diff” bacterium. The bad news is, the spores of these bacteria are almost impossible to eliminate.
Once these spores make way into a house they reach various parts of the house including toilets. They reach wherever floor dust is found and can survive on dry areas for a long period of time. This was found in the 40% of the shoes tested for the purpose of research
The problem with treating an infection caused by C.diff is that it is resistant to most antibiotics. This can cause the bacterium to proliferate and make recovery very difficult for the patient. The linings in the intestines are attacked, resulting in colitis. Many people in hospitals pick up the C.diff infection and it is becoming more difficult to treat.
Of course you don’t want this nasty bug in your house that has the ability to multiply into millions in no time. So, just get rid of your shoes before you enter your home and put on your slippers that are meant to be worn only at home.
What’s more on your shoe soles?
As you walk on the roads you walk over dust, dirt, dry or rotten leaves, dog poop, bird droppings, and many more things. Many people also tend to spit here and there, and it’s possible that you may carry their sputum on your shoes as well. Since, all these things are breeding ground of bacteria you can imagine how much of harmful stuff you can carry home.
“That means potentially harmful bacteria can survive on your shoes for days or even weeks.”- Dr. Reynolds, microbiologist, University of Arizona
The University of Arizona calculated the quantity of bacteria that shoes can carry home and the results were alarming – they found 421,000 different units. They divided the bacteria into 9 varieties of strains. They are capable of causing stomach, eyes and lungs infection.
E.coli was found to be 1/3rd of the total number of bacteria found. Most E.coli stains are not harmful, but there are some nasty ones like E.coli 0157:H7 which are very harmful. The harmful strain causes severe stomach upset, intestinal infections that result in vomiting and diarrhea.
Klebsiella pneumonia another variety of bacteria was also found on the shoes. These bacteria can make you very ill. It attacks the lungs and causes pneumonia. Worst still, the death rate because of this type of pneumonia is 50%. For people affected by alcoholism, this rate can be as high as 100%.
What you can do to keep your home clean and free from germs
You can tap so many advantages just by following this simply taking off your shoes outside. With less dirt and filth entering your house, cleaning will be less troublesome. You will be able to manage without deep cleaning too often. Your floor coverings will also be in good condition and last longer. This will save your money too.
How to do it?
Place a shoe rack or a shoe basket right at the entrance so that everybody develops the habit of leaving their shoes out before entering the house. Your visitors will also know the protocol and leave their shoes out.
Your house will be clean and safe from many terrible diseases. If you have elderly and kids at home, it’s going to be much better for them as diseases like pneumonia attack children and elderly more and with life threatening consequences.
You may decide to remain barefoot within your home. This will stimulate the pressure points present in your feet. Reflexology enthusiasts will like this idea particularly. In fact Chinese are into it for last 5000 years.