If you’re worried about bringing germs and illnesses into your house – and we’re all probably quite on edge about that stuff these days – have you considered that you might be walking a load into your house every day?
Well, if you’re the sort of person who walks around their house wearing shoes, then you’re probably bringing in a load of stuff that you’ve got no idea about.
You see, whilst keeping your kicks on in the house is unlikely to get you sick – provided you’ve got decent levels of hygiene and a relatively clean house – it stands to reason that you’d still be carrying germs around your house.
The outside world is covered in loads of stuff, even just the pavements will be crawling with microscopic monsters.
When you think about it, it’s a massive blind spot that we’d just leave on our shoes without doing anything to clean them other than a quick cursory scrape on a doormat, which is probably filthy too.
A study from the microbiology experts at the University of Arizona discovered a few years back that the outside of your shoes carry 140 times more bacteria than the inside.
And, another study from 2015 also looked at the types of microbial life on shoes after walking around.
Surprise surprise – there’s stuff such as bacteria and viruses that gather on the shoes and get deposited in other places as you walk.
That means that it’s cleaner to take your shoes off when you enter the home before washing your hands, if you’ve used them to remove the shoes.
Leila Karimpoor, a doctor at the Providence Saint John’s Health Center, told Insider: "In general, your living space should be as clean as possible,
"The same way you wouldn't walk in mud and then bring a trail into your house, you also wouldn't want to go to a place that could be crowded where you could pick up a pathogen and trail it back into your house."
This is even more pertinent if you’ve got younger children who play on the ground, or those with immune system problems.
Still, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get super-ill from wearing your shoes inside your home.
You can always keep washing your hands – and you should – to give yourself the best chance against virus and illness.
If you have viruses and disease-causing germs on your shoes, then you probably won’t get sick unless you touch your shoes, get the germs on them, then touch your face or mouth.
Another way to help yourself would be to clean your shoes with soap and water, bleach – although don’t wreck them with this – or in the washing machine.
But, it’s definitely better for a clean living space to simply kick off your shoes at the front door and perhaps invest in a pair of slippers.