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Go Shoeless in the House

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With spring rain comes lots of mud. That means it’s time to start taking off your shoes before you enter your house to avoid muddy footprints on your floors. And you might be tracking in more than just mud—you can also track in some toxic chemicals on your shoes, like pesticides from a lawn, carcinogenic coal tar from a driveway, and heavy metals like lead from numerous outdoor sources.

These toxic chemicals can accumulate in dust, and it’s estimated that 30-40% of household dust is from outdoor soils. Researchers found a 60% reduction of lead dust and other chemicals in homes with doormats at the entrance or where shoes were taken off outside.

So when you get into the habit of removing your shoes before entering the house during the muddy season, remember to keep doing that all year round—you can drastically reduce the amount of toxic dust in your home!

3 Responses

  1. Jen G

    We starting implementing an indoor- & outdoor-shoe policy in our home. It not only helps keep out the unseen nastys, but has tremendously cut down on the dirt coming into the house [less cleaning!] and my allergic symptoms have not been so bad. LOVE this 🙂

  2. Jesse Duvall

    But where do you keep your shoes in the house? Most people keep their shoes in their bedroom. This defeats the purpose of taking off your shoes at the door. You have to take them to the bedroom closet to store them.
    I realize wearing shoes in the house is downright filthy, but I have no where to store them except in the house.

  3. Good question, Jesse. If you don’t have a mud room or a foyer closet, then simply taking off your shoes and carrying them to the bedroom closet will have the same benefits – those toxic chemicals won’t come off the soles of your shoes onto your floor.

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