In the carpet cleaning industry we often hear customers say they don’t wear shoes in house. They tell us this to let us know they don’t think it is that dirty and sometimes because they want a lower price for the cleaning.
When I hear that they don’t wear shoes, I immediately assume it is actually going to be harder to clean than the customer expects. Yes, not wearing shoes means there will usually be less damage to the caret fibers due to abrasion. The problem we run into though is the oils from their feet. The natural oils from their skin can discolor the carpet or area rugs and attract more soil to those areas that get more contact with the feet.
Some clients will use a moisturizer on the feet which adds synthetics oils to the carpet. The worst we have seen is carpet where the occupant used cocoa butter lotion on their feet daily. All of these oils, natural or synthetic, attract more dry soil to those areas. To treat these oils we actually have to use a carpet safe degreasing product to strip the oils off the carpet fibers.
In homes with pets, we do not recommend going barefoot. Dogs come in from the yard with soil on their paws and the associated bacteria. The same situation is true for cats that use a litter box and step right where your bare feet are going to be. The bacteria from the litter box are now in contact with your feet. In these homes we recommend adding an anti-microbial treatment when we clean.
If you are moving into a pre-owned home and you are planning on not wearing shoes, we recommend that you have the carpets professionally steam cleaned with the anti-microbial treatment. You do not want to walk around in someone else’s filth with bare feet. Also you will want be careful if there was a sewing room in the house or the previous tenants were diabetic. You should have the carpet raked with a carpet grooming rake before you move in to help find any needles that might have fallen on the carpet.
If you are trying to protect your carpet by not wearing shoes, we would suggest using house slippers or socks instead of bare feet.
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