hile going shoeless around the house is customary in countries like Japan it is not a common practice in the households around United States. It is very unusual to ask your house guests to remove their shoes before they enter your home. I myself found this very challenging. Being raised in Europe I was taught to take my shoes off right before I entered someone’s house. I was then given the ‘house slippers’ to walk around in.

Fast forward 20 years, now living in San Diego I find myself in a dilemma. How do I tell my guest to take their shoes off without ‘offending’ them? Some of them just say ‘Oh yeah, no problem’ while others just look at me with the ‘Ok, that’s weird, why do I need to do that?’ kind of a look. My response to the second group was always "Well, it’s this European kind of a thing!" In reality I did not want to tell them that they will get my carpet dirty with all the dirt, grime and muck of the outdoors

And then I got a perfect ‘because’. A recent study led by researchers at the University of Houston has shown that 26.4% of shoes carry Clostridium difficile, while a 2015 study claimed that 40% of shoes carry Listeria monocytogenes. These are definitely not the things that should be traipsed through living rooms.

I also can’t stop thinking about all those people walking barefoot outside. Who can blame them right? We live in America’s Greatest City after all. We have the perfect weather year round. Let those feet be free! Yet again, these same feet will walk on someone’s carpet. So thank God for the professional carpet cleaners!

So if you don’t want the awkwardness of telling your guest to take their shoes off or turning away the ‘barefooters’ do yourself a favor and make sure to clean your carpets at least twice a year. Also remember that nothing cleans your carpet more thoroughly than the hot water extraction, also known as steam cleaning. So good bye Clostridium difficile and Listeria monocytogenes!