Every day we encounter bacteria – a lot of it to be exact. Some bacteria is good for us and helps us improve our immune system so that we can fight off common illness and remain relatively health. Other bacteria is far from good for us, in fact, it is downright bad for us. You may think, “I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer, I’m fine.” Or you may think, “I mop once and vacuum once a week, my house looks pretty clean so I’m sure its fine.” Unfortunately, if you are wearing your shoes inside your home, your home may be FILLED with bacteria, and it isn’t all the good kind of bacteria.
A recent study from the University of Arizona shined a spotlight on how much bacteria you trek into your home with your shoes and ABC News explains why this is a problem, “In a recent study, researchers at the University of Arizona found nine different species of bacteria on people’s shoes. These types of bacteria can cause infections in our stomachs, eyes and lungs.The study also found bacteria live longer on our shoes than in other places. As we walk, we constantly pick up new debris that feeds the growth of more bacteria. The researchers tested to see if bacteria on shoes would transfer to the tile floors in a house. More than 90 percent of the time it did. Carpeting harbors bacteria even more. “GMA’s” test results were “dirtier than a toilet seat,” said Jonathan Sexton, a research assistant at the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health. “Toilet seats generally have 1,000 bacteria or less, and these are in the millions so there’s a lot more bacteria here.”
All of that bacteria is living on surfaces in your home and getting spread through contact everywhere. Do you have small children that play or crawl on the floor? That bacteria is now on their hands and if you don’t wash their hands and clothing after every time that they touch the floor, that bacteria could be on their face, in their eyes, in their mouth. The first step to preventing this problem is to start taking off your shoes before you go inside. The next step is to enhance your cleaning regimen. A steam cleaner is a safe, chemical-free way to clean and disinfect most of the surfaces in your home, as well as your shoes! Vapamore makes steam cleaners that are lightweight and handheld so that you can easily and quickly clean a whole bin of your family’s shoes. This will help deodorize them and leave them completely disinfected. Additionally, your steam cleaner should be brought inside to clean all of your flooring types. Teresa Bastin, an Infection Prevention Specialist, emphasizes the importance of cleaning with steam in light of this study, “Bastin says carpets hold more bacteria than hardwood floors so she suggests we use a steam cleaner, and wash our hands right after taking our shoes off to avoid getting sick.”