When it comes to preventing the spread of infectious bacteria, everyone – even months-old toddlers – know that hand washing is significantly effective. But has it ever crossed your mind that taking supermodel strides with your €800 Christian Louboutin stilettos could also spread disease-causing pathogens? 

How can pretty-looking footwear – or any footwear at all – be a carrier of harmful bacteria?

Get ready to discover the things you never knew about your shoes and your health.

Just so you do not doubt, several studies have been carried out to back up this supposed hypothesis. In these investigations, shoe soles from different settings like hospitals, health care centers, homes, and public paths were examined.

Transfer of Bacteria In Hospitals

For the studies carried out in hospitals, swab tests were done on the soles of doctors’ shoes before and after patient routines. At the end of the analysis, 56% of the shoes bore Enterococcus faecalis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus before the rounds. However, after the rounds, the bacteria count rose significantly by 9%.

Also, nothing less than one species of pathogens was found in up to 48% of the shoes worn in theatres. Of these species, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus was the most commonly found. Microorganisms such as the bacillusstreptococcus, and Staphylococcus species, generally associated with humans, were also found on these shoe soles.

Contaminations from Homes and Communities

The outcomes of the studies carried out on shoes from homes and communities reveal why even your expense designer shoes can be a potential carrier of disease-causing organisms.

Shoe soles from different homes were analyzed and revealed the presence of Clostridium difficile in 39.7% of them – irrespective of the shoe type. 13% of sampled adult shoe soles and 9% of children’s shoes were found to contain species of Salmonella. Listeria monocytogenes was also present in an average of 60% of male shoes analyzed within a specified community.

Finally, a study that was done with sterilized shoes revealed the average level of contamination of footwear within a locality. After walking through a specific path in a community in Alaska, 40% of the sample shoes were found to carry Escherichia coli. There was also a transmission of coliforms to the shoe half of the time.

How to Disinfect Your Shoes

This, obviously, is the crux of this article because knowing that your shoes are pathogen carriers is just not enough. Being able to reduce the unwanted bio-load underneath your feet would certainly complete the essence of this piece.

While relevant studies did not reveal the most effective method for disinfecting shoes, the following disinfection methods were nonetheless shown:

  1. The use of water-retaining cleansing mats with their layers soaked in 3-1 benzoisothiazolin, at the entrances of high-contamination sites. Relevant studies have shown that the use of tank-type doormats resulted in the most reduction in the bacterial presence
  2. The use of disinfectants like peroxygen, chlorine, and sodium hypochlorite solution (6%) for shoe cleaning before entering into homes and vulnerable locations.
  3. You can also use shoe covers to protect your shoes whenever you step into high-contaminating areas like hospitals and animal markets.

Avoid touching your footwear, and do not place them in sensitive places after use.

The Number One Way to Disinfect your Shoes

Contamination control mats are the most effective way to stop the spread of bacteria from shoes and the wheels of trollies. Contamination control mats stop bacteria right in its tracks at the very front door of a building or room which helps to ensures that there can be no spread of potentially harmful or dangerous bacteria.

mplementing some form of contamination control matting at the front door is the best way to prevent 99% of outside contaminants entering a building. Mats that contain Silver Biocide kill all gram negative & gram positive bacteria and C-19. Silver Biocide is a core constituent of CC Mattings polymer mats. Our polymer mats contain silver ions, which have naturally occurring antimicrobial properties. Silver has been used for hundreds of years to prevent the growth of bacteria.

As the silver biocide is added to CC Matting polymer mats during manufacture, it is not something that can diminish, for example if were applied as a coating instead and provides longer lasting effectiveness against microbial growth.

The silver ions within the biocide bind to the bacterial cell wall, and thus prevent growth by damaging it. The bacteria can no longer grow as their DNA has been damaged and they can no longer replicate. They can no longer produce energy either and therefore die.

Silver is inorganic and non-leaching which means, unlike organic antimicrobial technologies it stays within the item it is added to and provides effective and lasting antimicrobial protection without allowing bacteria to develop resistance.

Silver ion technology has been independently tested in over 2000 applications and has been proven to reduce the growth of over 50 harmful organisms by up to 99.9%.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can protect your clean rooms and staff from potentially harmful contaminants.