Will Wearing Shoes Indoors Ruin Your Carpet?

15 February 2016

There’s one rule that many households share: remove your shoes when entering the home. And with good reason – it’s all too easy to track in all sorts of filth from outdoors, even if your shoes look relatively clean to the naked eye.

So why is it such a bad idea to wear shoes indoors? Let’s take a look at how this can negatively affect the overall health of your carpet.

How do shoes damage carpeting?

When you wear shoes indoors, you’re exposing the carpet to anything you may have inadvertently tracked in – soil, gum, pet waste, and traces of oil from the road or fertilizers/pesticides from the lawn. Even lead dust, a dangerous toxin, is readily picked up from outside. What’s more, all of these contaminants are actually being ground into the deepest layers of the carpeting with every step you take.

Some of these materials will “only” stain the carpet fibers. Others can also pose a genuine health risk to you and your family members. And none of them belong in your home, much less on your valuable carpeting.

Would going barefoot be a better solution?

If shoes are a risk factor for carpet health, it stands to reason that going without footwear at all would sidestep the problem entirely. After all, what better way to avoid tracking in dirt and grime than to walk around in bare feet – which haven’t been exposed to outside pollutants? So it may be surprising to learn that walking barefoot on carpet isn’t much better than wearing your shoes inside.

Our skin accumulates both sweat and natural oils throughout the course of the day. These provide an environment in which microorganisms can thrive, and each step grinds them further into the carpet fibers. What’s more, the oil itself has sticky qualities that can attract and hold any dirt that does make its way inside.

While doing away with shoes means no more stains, smells, and stickiness from outdoor contaminants, the oil and bacteria from bare feet can cause similar issues over time.

So What Should I Wear on My Carpet?

For the long-term health of your carpeting, the best option you’ve got is to wear socks or slippers when indoors. If possible, keep a pair of indoor slippers near entryways for you to slip into when coming home.

When the time comes for carpet cleaning, turn to our professionals at Naked Carpets to clean your carpets.