Posted by: suzan | February 1, 2012

Germaphobes Unite – What your dirty floors won’t tell you!

Some people say I’m a germaphobe. Well I’m fine with that and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. Without germaphobes in this world the personal and house cleaning industry would be bankrupt. Germaphobes keep the antibacterial hand soaps a popular item and disinfectants a common household word. Germaphobes know the difference between keeping bad germs at bay and keeping good germs within arms distance. Most importantly, germaphobes have a tendancy to really know how to keep themselves clean and their homes clean.

So besides keeping our bathrooms and kitchen clean (for obvious reasons), there is one thing that most of us tend to neglect in the cleaning department. That department is our floors. Our floors in our house is one of the dirtiest areas you can ever imagine. The floors in our house connects us from room to room, therefore it’s essential to keep them clean. But a lot of people clean them only once  a week or as needed. And that’s not nearly enough. Let me give you a scenario.

Imagine walking around outside all day, whether at the park, at your work, at school, at the bus station, or at the supermarket. Imagine you are walking at the park and you accidentally stepped on dog poo. And then you’re at the bus station and you stepped on someone’s leftover hot dog. And then you’re at the supermarket parking lot and you step on gum or what looks like gum, but could be anything sticky. Then imagine arriving at home and you walk inside your house, with your shoes on. Now you’ve brought into your lovely home all the stuff you just stepped on and has gathered ceremoniously onto the bottom of your shoes and is at that moment, being tracked all over your carpets, your wood floors, and your tiled floors. And then imagine your kids and your newborn crawling around on the same floors your shoes just smudged all over. Basically, they just got all that gunk that were on the bottom of your shoes onto their hands, clothes, or worse – in their mouths. Kids will be kids after all, and they don’t know about gross stuff underneath the bottom of shoes.

So if you can picture that scenario in your head, wouldn’t you be pretty disgusted by all the stuff that’s left on your floors? And if you only clean your floors once a week, then you’re just adding more dirt, grime, and germs onto the floors. And whatever you track on your floors will get tracked everywhere else in your home. So what can you do at this point? You’ve got a week’s worth or germs on your floors and probably in your bedroom as well. You can do a hard scrubbing at this point, disinfect, and then scrub really hard again. Or, you can take preventative measures in keeping your floors as clean as humanly possible.

What are some of the ways in keeping your floors clean and preventing germs from taking over your house? Here are some suggestions that we use at our home whether you’re a germaphobe or not.

– Remove your shoes before you enter your house. Not only are you tracking in dirt and grime from the outside world, but you could be potentially tracking in dangerous lead from older buildings, certain materials, and dirt.

– If you walk outside barefoot, clean your feet before you enter your house. The same theory applies to shoes as do feet – you’re still tracking in outside dirt and germs.

– Clean your floor with safe, non-toxic cleaning solutions. Good examples are Bona http://www.mybonahome.com/home.html, Bissell, or even making your own solution with vinegar and water (just make sure it’s 1 part vinegar, 2 parts water).

– Maintain a floor-cleaning routine. Clean your floors several times a day, or at best, once a day. Even if you have a huge house and many floors to clean, clean them at least every other day.

– Install non-toxic flooring options such as bamboo or natural wood. Install carpets that are made from non-toxic materials. If it’s not possible, then clean them with a natural solution or baking soda and a good vacuuming every time.

I believe the first 2 points are pretty important because if you can keep your dirty shoes from entering the house, you’re already preventing a lot of common dirt, grime, and germs from entering your home and onto your floors. Germs on your floors are not healthy and if you were to take a UV light used in most crime scenes and wave it on your floors, you’d probably find some pretty gross things. It’s funny, I have a few friends that tell me it’s okay to have germs in your house or on your hands because some germs are “safe”. Well, I can’t argue that certain germs are important to maintain a natural balance, but most germs are dangerous to your immune system. Your immune system is constantly changing and adapting and if you overload it with bad germs, then it’s gonna say to you one day, “hey, give me a break, will ya!”. And what’s ironic is that those same friends who dictate about germs are always getting sick. And I mean they are constantly sick with the cold, flu, or some kind of stomach flu. Hmm, maybe they need to think twice before telling me that germs are okay for you.

As the weather gets colder and we are too cold to clean the entire house, it’s crucial to remember to keep your floors clean at least. If you have little kids then that’s even more important. Kids love playing on the floor, lying on the floor, maybe even eating on the floor, so would you prefer your floors to be as clean as possible for your kids or do you want them to stick in their mouths the partially eaten hot dog that you stepped on the other day? So there you have it – it’s okay to be a little germaphobic when it comes to keeping your floors clean, free of toxins, and safe for your children.

I’m an official Healthy Child Healthy World blogger: www.healthychild.org.

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Responses

  1. I already have a remove your shoes rule in our house, but alot of the time my husband and daughter don’t follow it. I need to read this post to them. Thank you! I definately need to wash my floors more often.

    • Good luck! Hope your husband and daughter listens to you – I’m still telling my husband and son every day to remove their shoes! That’s why I have to clean the floors so often, LOL

  2. You make excellent points! We remove our shoes but I’m sure we could do a MUCH more thorough job of keeping the floors clean. I’ve heard it says the streets are cleaner than our carpets…they get washed thoroughly by the rain, but our carpets, not so much! ICK!

  3. Removing shoes and asking others to do the same is such a sensible policy.

    I have an whole blog about this subject: Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might like to take a look.

    • Thank you, Matthew for the link to your blog. There are some really great points there! I agree that removing shoes before entering the house is a customary norm in some countries, usually out of politeness, but mostly, I think they don’t know what their guests are tracking into their clean house with their dirty shoes on.

  4. I don’t have a shoes off in the house rule. Mainly because it is inconvieniant, I have no space for a pile of smelly shoes and I have a pet dog with long hair who is usually casting.

    I have problems with my foot, walking about on anything other than a supportive footbed is not going to happen. Having to explain my medicle problems to strangers makes me avoid people that are germaphobic. Thankfully my other half who also does a shoes off thing understands my feelings and lets me at least wear an old but clean pair of trainers that I usually kick about my own house in.

    Dirt happens, it gets blown about in our atmosphere. Besides, this is what vacuum cleaners were invented for. 🙂

  5. Hello,
    Very good post! I also am committed to keeping things as germ free as possible which is why I created washable seat covers mainly for use on public seats. Have a look and let me know if you might want to share the news.
    Thank you,
    Angela

  6. Suzan–I just launched a germaphobe related site called microphobe.com. I would love to get your review as a fellow germaphobe?! We have some great UV light products that clean cell phones, remotes, toothbrushes, binkies, bottles and more! We also have a line of health supplements geared toward our audience. Our flagship product is called AirArmor that puts AirBorne to shame! I would love for you to comment on our site and products if you are so inclined. Thanks for your kind consideration. Jonathan, Chief Germ Nerd


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