Because I posted the “White Towel Test” a few weeks ago, I wanted to revisit the topic for those who would like to prevent the mold, dirt, and bacteria that they saw tracked onto their towels from being tracked into their homes. The good news is that my list of tips is short and sweet. More good news is that I have done previous, more in-depth posts on almost all of the things on the list, just in case you want to go deeper and learn more about something specific.
My Top 5 Ways to Prevent Tracking Mold, Dirt and Bacteria into Your Home:
- Remove shoes before entering your home. This is an easy one. Just purchase a bin or a shoe rack and place it beside the door wherever you enter or exit your home most frequently. Institute the removal of shoes as a “house rule.” My husband even built us cubbies for this purpose. My kids love that they each have one and that their shoes go in their place. The only time we have real difficulty with this rule is when we have other adults over. Sometimes you may have to be more relaxed, if someone doesn’t seem comfortable removing their shoes, but usually, when I answer the door with my shoes off, and they see the other shoes by the door that have been removed, they just take theirs off too.
2. Treat shoes with EC3 Mold Solution Spray 1-2 times per week. I’m not going to tell you to treat ALL of your shoes every week. Just treat the ones you wore. For me, that means treating my running shoes, and my Toms most weeks. Don’t return your shoes to your closet until you have treated them for mold. If I take a pair of heels down to wear to church or something, I just treat them with the EC3 Spray before I put them back in my closet, since they probably won’t be worn again for awhile. This will help to keep them mold free and to minimize the mold and bacteria that they can carry in with them.
- To do this, use a clean, damp cloth with a little liquid detergent to remove any visible dirt. Then, spray shoes all over with EC3 Mold Solution Spray. Allow your shoes to air dry completely before returning them to your closet.
- If your shoes are REALLY dirty and need a more thorough cleaning, you can read my post about shoe cleaning HERE. You can also throw tennis shoes, or washable canvas shoes in your washing machine. Wash them as you normally would and add EC3 Laundry Additive to the fabric softener reservoir, per package instructions.
- Keep and use exterior doormats. These sorts of things have a definite purpose, so do not be afraid to use them for it. Wipe and brush the bottoms of your shoes vigorously on your exterior doormat before entering your home and/or removing your shoes. Anything you can do to remove excess dirt or mold hitchhikers is a bonus. I have had particular success with the rubber mats with bristles on them. The bristles really get into the grooves of your shoes to get the dirt off. Rubber mats are also super easy to hose off when they need a cleaning of their own.
- Keep a doormat or rug that can be laundered on the inside of your most used entrances/exits. I have found that these doormats serve as our shoe-taking-off stations. We stop on them, take off our shoes and the shoes never go further than those mats. This is the only area where our shoes are worn inside. Then, I can take up the doormats and throw them in our washing machine at the end of the week and use my EC3 Laundry Additive to clean them for mold.
- Remove any wall-to-wall carpeting from the floor of the main entrances and exits to your home. (When carpet gets wet, water is absorbed into the padding where mold can feed off the cellulose and remain damp. Vacuuming will not address this mold growth.) These are by far the areas with the most foot traffic. Obviously, that means that they get the most exposure to moisture, tracked in mold, dirt and bacteria too. If these areas are carpeted, they will absorb and hold onto anything and everything tracked on them. If you cover the flooring in these areas with tile, wood, or another hard surface, any mold, dirt and bacteria will be easier to remove. You can just HEPA vacuum and spray them down with EC3 Mold Solution Spray. Also, carpet that gets wet is such a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. If possible, it is just best to not have it around.
Those are my top 5 tips for reducing the amount of mold and dirt you track into your home. I hope some of them work for you!