Should You Take Off Shoes When You Enter the House?

Shoes On Or Off in the House When you walk in the door after a long day of work or running errands, do you take your shoes off? Some people do as a matter of preference, while for others it’s a cultural norm. At the same time, many people keep their shoes on when they come home or change into a more comfortable pair to wear around the house.

So should you take your shoes off when you’re inside the house? This question can spur a pretty heated debate. In fact, it’s a topic that’s disputed almost as much as other hot-button housekeeping issues, such as which direction the toilet paper roll should face and the best way to clean a cast iron skillet.

Can we settle this matter once and for all? Well, we can try. Take a look at the following to see if it helps you make your mind up about whether or not to remove your shoes inside the house.

Shoes Off or On?

The line is pretty evenly drawn in the sand when it comes to philosophies regarding whether or not to keep shoes on when entering the house.

  • Shoes-on squad — The reasoning for keeping feet clad is pretty solid. Many people have walked across floors without shoes only to find the bottoms of their socks or feet caked with dirt. In addition, there’s no telling what might be lurking on those floors that you can't see.

  • Barefoot backers — This group not only has solid logic on their side, they also have science. Researchers from the University of Arizona have found that your shoes contain all sorts of nasty microorganisms that you don’t want to track through your home. And if you think about all the places your shoes take you in a day — sidewalks, parking lots, public bathrooms, the dog park — it stands to reason that your soles are teeming with all sorts of bacteria, fecal matter and overall disgusting muck that you don’t want to take to your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and so forth. Also, keeping your shoes on means you could be distributing pollen throughout your home, which can make your housekeeping that much more difficult if you regularly clean for allergy sufferers.

How to Ask Guests to Take Their Shoes Off in Your House

Just ask. Most people who visit your home aren’t going to bat an eye if you politely say, “Would you mind leaving your shoes by the door?” It’s that simple. And if you really want to be an excellent host, you could keep a pack of one-size-fits-all socks handy to offer guests who are uncomfortable barefooting it around your house.

Keep in mind, if you’re asking people to take off their shoes when they enter your home, you want to keep your floors in pristine condition. After all, what kind of host lets their guests walk around in socked or bare feet on a filthy floor?

When You Should Not Ask Visitors to Remove Their Shoes

Unless it’s a part of your culture, there are certain times when it would be a bit awkward to ask people to set their shoes aside. For example, if you’re hosting a formal family dinner complete with place settings or a holiday cocktail party, this might not fly. You’ve asked people to dress up, so it may be considered rude to request they remove their footwear and walk around dressed to the nines with 10 exposed toes.

In these situations, your best bet is to bend your no-shoe rule for special occasions and have a professional housekeeping team come in the next day to give the floors a good post-party cleaning.

Don’t have time for carpet cleaning or tidying tiles? We do! Contact your local Merry Maids to make sure the feet of your family and visitors are padding softly across clean floors.