Recently revealed in a series of polls conducted by carpet manufacturer United Carpets and Beds looking at the indoor shoe habits of the UK public found that only 5% would remove outdoor shoes because of small children, despite the typical shoe carrying an average of 421,000 units of bacteria.

A carpeted floor would provoke 39% of people to remove their shoes, but 42% of the respondents would insist that guests remove their shoes before walking on a pale-colored carpet. Fear of the carpet becoming stained was the biggest concern for 72% of respondents, but only 26% were concerned about germs transferring into the pile.

“If you wish to wear outdoor shoes indoors, it’s advisable to choose an easy-clean carpet with Polypropylene fibers that are designed to repel stains," said Tahire Khan, head of ecommerce at United Carpets and Beds. "Regular deep cleaning will also help keep any carpet in premium condition, and a good quality doormat will reduce the amount of dirt transferred from the outside.”

The study showed that 72% of those asked would remove outdoor shoes when visiting someone else’s house, but only 63% always remove them in their own home. Over half would still remove their shoes when visiting another home, even if they weren’t wearing socks, but 14% would think twice if they were wearing odd or torn socks.

The main exception to the ‘shoes off’ rule was for parties. Half of the respondents said that they preferred for guests to keep their shoes on for social gatherings and 64% of guests would expect to do so. Other exceptions would be if the homeowners were wearing shoes themselves (60%), it was a business meeting/event (44%) or if it was a fleeting visit (31%).

“Carpet habits are a very personal choice and, as the polls revealed, 75% of people continue the same shoe habits as adults as they did when they were children," said Tahire. "Whether you are a ‘shoes on’ or ‘shoes off’ household, carpet can still be a practical flooring choice. However, bear in mind the additional wear and tear outdoor shoes will place on your carpet and maybe consider a more hard-wearing style.”

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