In Hawaii, I never saw anyone wear shoes in the house, and I never thought about it because it just made sense. This is the number one tip for cutting down floor work by half. I like adopting new tips. Asian culture has always appealed to me because of their simplicity. This one easy habit has made the biggest impact. It greatly simplifies life and feels great on the feet. Try it today!
In Aisian culture, beds and tables were low to the ground, so it was important to have clean and warm floors.
It also had psychological purpose: Feeling the motion of stepping up to a different floor level made people aware that they were entering a private space.
In Japanese culture, they would keep house slippers by the door to immediately put on as soon as shoes were removed, but I only use socks, if that.
University of Arizona study:
There are over 421,000 different bacteria found on shoes, 96% having coliforms, an indicator of level of sanitation of food and water that is also found in feces of humans and animals. 27% of shoes were found to have E. coli and bacteria that causes unitary tract infections and bacteria (Serrate ficaria) that causes respiratory infections.
Bacteria can be tracked by shoes for a long distance into our homes after our shoes are contaminated with bacteria. Bringing shoes in house leads to over a 90% chance of transferring bacteria from shoes to floors.
We walk through things like bird droppings, dog waste, or germs on restroom floors (2 million bacteria per square inch vs 50 on an average toilet seat), which are all sources of E. coli. Even rain water in the street can have gasoline and other chemicals on it, and those can be brought inside the house. With toxins and chemicals, repeat exposure during a lifetime leads to health-related illness.
Here are some reasons to try a no-shoe policy in the house:
- clean – hygienic, safe for baby, see Arizona study
- comfortable – when in shoes all day, your feet cannot breathe, stretch, and feel. Being barefoot allows your pressure points to be stimulated (reflexology).
- saves money – increase the lifespan of carpets and rugs, allow yourself to have to rarely steam clean carpets
When it comes to flooring, hard floors are cleaner than carpet, as carpet retains and creates dust (dust is made up of fiber particles). Carpet is great cost-wise and for babies in their crawling years (since rugs and wood flooring is expensive).
If re-doing floors, pick a lighter color (light gray or brown or white) over dark colors, as dark colors show every speck of dust, dirt, and lint. Light colors are low maintenance.
When you implement a no-shoe policy, you can mop with just warm water (or warm water with vinegar). Most malls and hospitals have switched over to microfiber mops now, as they are significantly more efficient and clean.