How Safe Are Your Floors, Really?

germ safe floor

There’s no denying that walking is a way of life. Everything we do involves some sort of walking. We get the mail, take out the trash, go to the store, go to work, pick up kids, go out to eat, go to doctor’s appointments, etc.  We do this as a normal part of our daily routine, but do you ever think about what we’re walking on? We wear shoes to keep our feet safe, but what is keeping our floors safe from our shoes?

The average person is concentrated on where they are going and what they need to do, but perhaps they should be focusing on what exactly they are stepping on or even in. A few recent studies may surprise you. One study conducted by research specialist Jonathan Sexton at the University of Arizona tested 26 shoes worn for three months, and found between 3,600 to 8,000,000 units of bacteria per shoe with the average being 421,000 units. That material didn’t stay on the shoes, either. When a study volunteer walked over uncontaminated floor tiles, the bacteria from the shoes transferred directly onto the clean tiles over 90% of the time.

The matter was brought to Inside Edition’s attention as well. As a result, they decided to run a few tests on one family’s shoes to see if germs on shoes is really that big of a deal. Turns out, the answer is yes. Everyone’s shoes tested positive for multiple bacteria, include their kids’ one-week-old pair of new shoes, which tested positive for nine different types of fungi and seven different types of bacteria, including one that could cause a serious infection.

When you take a minute and really think about what you’re walking through, it’s not too surprising to realize the potential of tracking such harmful bacterias into not only our homes, but our work, schools and places we visit. What makes it worse, says Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., a microbiologist and professor at University of Arizona, is that, “the unique thing about the shoe environment is that other things you walk on, like leaves and debris, can serve as food for the bacteria and help them grow.” That means harmful bacterias and toxins, such as E. coli and hepatitis A, can live on your shoes for weeks.

 

So what can you do?

Adopt a No Shoes in the House Rule

You can stop wearing shoes in your home altogether. If they never touch your floors, they can’t contaminate them.

Clean Your Shoes Frequently

You can wipe down your shoes with antibacterial wipes or wash them using cold water and Tide detergent.

 

What about my office or workplace?

While the above methods will help control some of the spread, having a solution at your place of work is even more ideal. This is where a shoe sanitizer mat can make a huge impact. A sanitizer mat does exactly what it sounds like it would do – it sanitizes the soles of your shoes and significantly diminishes the cross contamination of germs by shoe to floor contact. This helps not only you from spreading germs and bacteria, but also other members of your workforce.

To learn more about the sanitation mats, click here.