A virus expert reveals why you should always take your shoes off at the front door

It's not just to protect the carpet

If you're a family who doesn't take shoes off at the door, a virologist has revealed you should change this quick to prevent bringing COVID-19 into the house.

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In Channel 4's special Coronavirus edition of How Clean is Your House, Dr Javid Abdelmoneim, an A&E doctor, and virologist Dr Lisa Cross explained that shoes worn outside the home should immediately be taken off.

Why you should take your shoes off at the door

'When you first come in from the outside, take off your shoes immediately,' the pair explained. 'Most shoes have a non-porous rubbery sole which the virus can survive on anywhere between three and five days.'

'Keep shoes in your hallway, or the same spot and try to use only one pair of shoes to go outside.'

A padded storage bench with cushions against a wall with flowery wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

While transmission of the virus is unlikely to get from an adults foot to their mouth. If you have young children playing on the floor it is an extra safeguard against the spread of the virus.

The pair even went so far as to suggest changing and washing clothes almost immediately after taking public transport.

'It's believed coronavirus can last up to 24 hours on clothes. If you have had to use public transport, or come into close contact with people, think about changing your clothes immediately and putting them in the wash,' they said.

'You house should be a shining example of cleanliness, but every time we bring some of the outside world in, we are potentially bringing infection viral particles in,' Dr Lisa Cross told Femail.

A white shoe storage unit in a hallways with turquoise patterned wallpaper and a wall shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

This extends to the weekly shop and packages, Dr Lisa Cross explained on the show.

'We have to go back to first principles really here. It is an item that is coming in from the outside so could have virus on. All items with an outer plastic packaging that can be disposed of should be emptied out into separate containers and put into the fridge,' she says.

The virologist recommends emptying the food onto a designated area of the floor, that is then wiped down with soap and water once the shopping is put away.

Related: Lynsey Queen of Clean reveals how to stay on top of housework during lockdown

Will you be enforcing a shoes off rule in your house?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.