Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Keep it Clean: Dealing with Dirty Bare Feet

I was recently asked on Twitter, "How do you deal with your feet being dirty after going barefoot during the day? Just clean them before entering (the) house?" I thought that this would be a good topic to cover in a post.

It's true. When you go barefoot darned near everywhere, your soles get dirty. Depending on where you walk, the amount of "dirt" varies. If you mostly walk on concrete sidewalks, hardly any dirt will actually get on your feet. If you walk in grassy areas, your feet will actually stay very clean. It's blacktop that gets your feet really dirty. Especially blacktop where vehicles frequently drive, like parking lots and city streets.

What is the "dirt" that gets on your feet in these cases? It's actually mostly tire particles -- you know, the tiny flakes of rubber that come off of tires when vehicles drive around. They land on the blacktop and then get picked up by the oils on the skin of your soles. Not a big deal for the skin's natural barriers, but it can look bad.

Photo by "Futurowoman" on Flickr
I have found that my dirty feet need very little cleaning when I go in and out of buildings. When I enter them, I almost always wipe off my feet on the mats that are available at nearly every store, restaurant, office and home. That takes care of anything that could transfer onto the floors. I tested this theory by rubbing my feet on bed sheets at home -- the ones on our bed, actually -- and absolutely NOTHING rubbed off. It's pretty wild! Make sure to wipe off your bare feet before going inside...just as you would if you were wearing shoes.

That said, I don't like having my feet get overly dirty or black, so I often will wipe off my particularly dirty soles with baby wipes after I get inside. I've blogged about baby wipes before, but will restate how awesome they are for cleaning off dirty feet. I tell people, "if they're good enough for cleaning a baby's bottom, they're good enough for cleaning my feet" -- and it's TRUE! I've even found that baby wipes can be more effective at cleaning my soles than sticking my feet in the bath tub and using soap and water. I don't get it, but it's pretty cool. Keep some baby wipes on hand for those times when your feet are particularly dirty.

There is also one totally natural option to cleaning off one's feet before heading inside, too: Grass. You'd be amazed at how clean your soles can get by just walking through the grass to your front door instead of walking up the concrete path. By the time you get to the front door, almost all of the dirt on your feet is GONE. If you live in a home that has grass near your front door, use it as an option to clean your feet.

So there you have it: grass, floor mats and baby wipes. Use a combination of these three options and your dirty bare feet should cause you no problems indoors.

What say you, barefooters? Do you find that these options work for you, too? What do you do to keep your feet clean? For non-barefooters, do you AVOID going barefoot because you don't want dirty feet? Would you now be more inclined to try barefooting with these options available? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A "Foot" of Snow

Here in Independence, Missouri, the recent "Blizzard of Oz" 2011 brought us about a "foot" of snow. :-)

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