CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Think for a minute about where you were walking today. What did you step in? What’s on your shoes? Did you wear those shoes into your home?
Your shoes are probably dirtier than most toilet seats, and what's on your soles is tracked into your house, on your wood, your tile, and even worse, your carpet.
It’s the junk you don’t want to think about: the germs, the bacteria, the fecal matter from dogs, birds, and anything else that is on your shoes and in your house.
Carrie Turkovich is a busy mom to three busy boys. Just imagine what’s on the bottom of their shoes.
"Well today, we were at the nature preserve and stepped in bird poop, we know that for sure,” Turkovich said.
Mom's rule? No shoes in the house. But kids are kids, so we took an ultraviolet flashlight, some Glo-Germ and applied it to shoes and feet. It showed us day-in day-out walking patterns and perceived germ transfer to wood floors, tile and the carpet.
Jennifer Easterwood is a Microbiologist at Queens University in Charlotte. Germs and bacteria are her life’s work, so who better to ask, what’s really on our shoes?
"Coliforms, which is bacteria found in feces, E.coli being the most well-known,” Easterwood said.
Studies show we are exposed to millions of organisms that will be tracked into the house. 39% of shoes had clostridium difficile (C-diff), which can be resistant to some antibiotics.
Another study found nine different bacterium. 90 percent of the time, all of it was transferred into the house. Where do we get it? A lot of it is found in bathrooms at work, the airport and any restaurant.
The best way to get rid of the bacteria is steam cleaning the carpets and floors every six months and using bleach on tile floor, especially in the bathroom.
And remember Mom's rule, shoes off!