UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

A Greener Healthier Home: Add Doormats and Remove Shoes

Have you ever thought about what you bring into your home on the bottoms of your shoes? You may be tracking in insect fragments, lead dust, pesticides, pollen, pet hair, fungal spores, cigarette ash, or even human skin flakes. Now think of your children playing on the carpeting you just walked across. Since they are more likely to be sitting and crawling on floors then placing their hands in their mouths, they are at the greatest risk of exposure to the contaminants found in household dust. Around 30 – 40 percent of the contaminants inside your home are brought in from outdoors. As you, your family members, and your pets walk across rugs and carpeted floors, the debris and contaminants on the bottoms of your shoes are deposited throughout your home. That outside dust may contain cockroach exoskeletons and droppings that can trigger asthma.

Keeping pollutants out of buildings is an important part of green building, which includes an entryway system. You can create your own entryway system and make your home greener in three easy steps.

  1. Add a grate-like scraper mat outside exterior doors, including the door between your garage and house. You need to be sure to scrape your feet before entering the house.


  1. By all exterior doors, place a highly absorbent doormat that will trap soil and water below shoe level. Choose a doormat that has a non-slip backing and be sure to keep it clean.

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  1. Remove your shoes and leave them by the front door. To prevent falls, wear an indoor shoe, slipper or a sock with a non-slip sole. If you have balance issues you may want to keep a pair of hard soled shoes to wear while you are inside. If you do not have a place to store shoes by the door, just remove them and carry them to your closet for storage.

Adding a scraper and doormat, then removing your shoes will leave the majority of the contaminants behind, reduce wear and tear on the carpeting, and decrease time spent cleaning. For more ways you can keep your home healthy visit


About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources.

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