How Dirty Are Your Shoes?

Post suggested having a clean pair of slippers or socks for them to wear instead. If you are entertaining in your home and someone refuses to take off their shoes or you don't know them well enough to ask them to do so — it might just be easier to do a big cleanup the next day, which you have to be prepared for when entertaining, Post said.

The bottom line is that you need to make guests feel welcome in your home, she said.

Etiquette consultant Janice Gibson said it's important to remember that "proper etiquette" is about making others feel comfortable.

"I am a Southern lady who entertains frequently and would never ask a guest to remove his or her shoes before entering my home — it's just not a gracious thing to do," she said.

"Some people may have a foot odor problem or maybe the ladies haven't had time for a pedicure, so this would only make them feel self conscious and uncomfortable. Keep in mind that part of entertaining in your home is cleaning up afterwards."

"So, if you absolutely insist on asking guests to remove their shoes, you should have some pretty slippers available for them to wear," Gibson said. "Of course, there are cultures around the world who expect their guests to remove their shoes due to the fact that they sit and sleep on mats on the floors. Hopefully, a guest would be informed and know in advance if this custom is practiced by the host and plan accordingly. I guess you just have to decide what's more important — your floors or your guests?"

But at least one etiquette consultant said hosts should not not ask guests to remove their shoes.

"It's not really proper to ask a guest to remove their shoes. But if you see that other people have removed their shoes, then you should remove yours, too," said Tennessee etiquette expert Lois Hearn.

Click here for more advice on how to deal with your dirty shoes.

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