This sign is on most homes in Hawaii to remind locals and non-locals alike to take off their shoes before entering the home. To walk into someone’s home with your shoes (or “slippers”) on is considered very disrespectful, rude, and quite simply, something you just don’t do. So it got me thinking – why this “tradition”? Was it spiritual? Part of the ancient Hawaiian culture? Nope. They just think it is disgusting to bring whatever you have walked in throughout the day into the home. Hmmmm…
Think about where your shoes go throughout the day – parking lots, public restrooms, grassy areas that have been used at pet restrooms, and areas that have been treated with pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. For allergy sufferers, our shoes pick up pollen from the grass and any other surface. Then whatever is on your shoes or your guests’ shoes comes right through your home.
Many of us sit or lay on the floors and our children and pets play there as well. If you are like me, you may even fold your clean laundry there at times. So keeping dirty shoes off this area REALLY is important. And there is a reason carpet cleaners describe certain areas as “high traffic” and there is a marked difference in dirt and stains in these areas. We literally wipe off the day’s grime on our floors. And where do you think all the dirt comes from when you sweep? Usually from dirty shoes.
So aside from the “gross” factor, having everyone remove their shoes before entering your home can cut down on the cleaning time as well. It reduces the sand and dirt that must be swept or vacuumed and helps your carpets stay cleaner much longer. And we all want to find ways to clean less often!! Plus limiting allergens can make everyone feel better.
Adopting this “Hawaiian Tradition” makes sense for all of us – and actually hanging a sign to remind visitors is not a bad idea. The first step is to schedule a carpet cleaning and get all that gross and nasty stuff up off your carpets. Then order a cute sign for each door and make sure your family is on board. Enjoy a cleaner home knowing you haven’t tracked who-knows-what across the floors!! Aloha 🙂