While we already know the coronavirus can live on different surfaces for long periods, our shoes are not an exception. With each passing day, we have to learn more about how to keep ourselves as safe from the coronavirus as possible.
Sure, a lot of people are leaving their shoes at the front door or taking them off as soon as they’re inside but is that enough? Well, if you’re wearing your shoes in heavily populated areas chances are you should be washing them each time you get home. Mary E. Schmidt an infectious disease specialist actually told Huffington Post UK that the coronavirus can survive on rubber, leather, and PVC-based soles for around five days. Five days is a lot longer than most people would expect.
There is no denying that we can bring home some gnarly germs on our shoes and during times like these we need to be paying extra attention to this kind of thing. We should be at the very least spraying them off with Lysol after returning home and working to decontaminate ourselves from the outside world. While it might feel like an unnecessary step it could be the difference between getting sick or not for some.
Huffington Post UK wrote as follows on how you should clean your work shoes if you’re still having to go out:
When it comes time to clean your work shoes, Nanos advised wiping them down with disinfecting cloths frequently.
Additionally, she recommended washing your shoes if they are machine washable or cleaning them with hot water and soap if you have nothing else in the house.
“Wiping down your shoes is probably most effective when using an alcohol-based wipe,” she said. “You can also wash your shoes on a short cycle in the washing machine, and use hot soap and water if you don’t have anything else to use.”
Winner also suggested Lysol can be used to inactivate viruses that adhere to your shoes but warned against using it on shoes made with natural materials. It can damage the finish of your shoe, she added.
“Avoid natural materials, including leather, as it can damage the finish,” she explained. “Remember that cleaning can get the virus on rags, towels and your hands, so the best protocol is less cleaning and more air.”
However, Winner stressed that viruses are different from bacteria, making it important to use the right cleaning and disinfecting products.
“The coronavirus, like all viruses, is made up of mostly nucleic acid, some protein, and lipid,” she added. “Viruses can be inactivated by heat, cleaning solutions like Clorox, and soap and water. Soap alters lipids, and disinfectant oxidizes and heat denatures proteins.”
While we do not know much about the way our shoes can hold these germs and how likely they’re going to be to contaminate our homes but we should be cautious. Wiping them off and leaving them outside on the porch or somewhere else should not be that big of a deal. Being cautious is always a good idea.