Perhaps you are visiting a client who moved here from overseas, and they ask you to remove your shoes. Out of professionalism, you comply. But a friend’s house? Or your sister’s house? How annoying. “What’s with the shoes-off thing? It’s not like you got new carpet, I can tell.” Although it’s true that most Americans invoke this rule after installing new carpet, there are other reasons to consider.
- It maintains the look and life of your carpet. Whether your carpet is new or old, rigid soles and treads wear out a carpet over time. The more shoes added, the faster the wear. Dirt, grime and other foreign particles get rubbed further into the carpet fibers. Like sand or broken glass (which might be included), the particles tear up the fibers and padding, deteriorating your carpet.
- The tradition has been practiced across the globe for centuries. Since the fifteenth century, families in Europe, Asia, India, and even Arabic countries remove footwear when entering the house. Sometimes it’s to honor the past, sometimes it’s because of how a person was raised. Whatever the case, it’s commendable to respect the decision of tradition by the homeowners.
- It keeps unseen dangers out of the home. Long ago there was more disease and less sanitation, so removing your shoes was a simple protection. You might think the modern world offers less disease and more sanitation. True, but now we have germs, bacteria, pollutants, and toxins they didn’t back then – most of them microscopic. Carpets act like filters, catching these particles. Removing your shoes prevents introducing these particles in the first place.
- Safety of loved ones closer to the floor than you. Other than our feet, there’s little contact we have with what’s on the carpet. However, pets and small children crawl around on carpets, often putting things from the floor into their mouth. They are more likely to be affected by particles tracked into your home – for instance, from those shoes that just walked though the construction site down the street and across your living room.
And there are other reasons we didn’t cover, of course. Even so, removing your shoes is not a foolproof way of keeping your carpets clean.
How to Keep Your Carpet Clean
Here are a few simple tips to help maintain clean carpet:
- Vacuum regularly – This will help remove debris and dust particles that get carried in from outside. When you vacuum often, any particles in your carpet are less likely to get trampled in deeper, damaging the fibers.
- Consult a professional before spot cleaning – Contact Preferred Carpet Care about any chemical treatments or solvents you are thinking of using, to make sure they’re the best fit for your type of carpet.
- Don’t remove your socks – We highly recommend keeping your socks on. Feet have sweat glands, which can also leave things on your carpet. Also, some might resist taking off their shoes for fear of odors.
- Provide shoe covers to guests – Offering inexpensive foot covers, like disposable booties, is an excellent compromise if guests do not feel comfortable removing their shoes.
- Keep both indoor and outdoor shoes – A shoe brush outside the door is simply not enough. Designate a spot for shoes to be swapped out for clean, indoor ones – like a shoe rack or tree. When heading out, slip off your indoor slippers and put on your outside shoes. Or if you are coming back in, vice-versa. Sure, it’s inconvenient to lace up so many times. That’s one reason shoes with hook-and-loop straps (Velcro) are so popular in Japan – a country with the tradition of removing shoes inside every residence. Locally, footwear like boots or loafers might be more agreeable.
- Professional carpet cleaning – Getting your carpets professionally cleaned removes particles your vacuum cannot and revitalizes the look of your carpet.
Shoes offer protection outside, but the same shoes could offer danger when inside – to you and your carpets. Naturally, the decision is yours, but if you have further questions or concerns, Preferred Carpet Care is here to answer your questions and discuss the many different solutions we’ve seen over the years. Contact us today!
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On October 11, 2018