DIY Shoe Tray to Reduce Indoor Dirt and Toxins

Did you know that 85% of the dirt in your home is brought in from the outside on the bottom of your shoes? Yuck, right!

The one thing both Jessica and Christopher swear by is this: Remove your shoes when you come in! You’ll protect your floors, keep them cleaner, and greatly reduce the “invisible enemies” you track in—dirt, chemicals, bacteria, feces, lead dust, pesticides, allergenic dust, animal dander, and other pollutants.

To avoid a messy pile of sneakers, sandals, and heels by the front door, create a shoe tray so there is a designated (and aesthetically pleasing) spot to rest your kicks. It will also act as a reminder to you and your guests to leave your shoes at the door.

Keep Toxins Outside with a DIY Shoe Tray


  • Old Tray (Alternatives: Old Picture Frame, Shallow Dresser Drawer, Oil Drip Pan)
  • Eco-Turf (Alternatives: Tile or River Rocks)
  • Scissors

Create a DIY Shoe Tray

Easy Steps

1. Find an old tray that has been lying around the house just looking for a new purpose in life. If you don’t have a tray, get creative and use an old picture frame (glass or plastic removed), try a shallow dresser drawer, find a large baking sheet, or scour the garage for workable pieces.

2. You can use the tray “as is” or paint it in a fun, fresh color to give it a little bit of edge.

3. Next, measure the length and width of the interior of your tray.

4. Lay your eco-turf down on a flat surface with the grass facing toward the ground. Measure and cut the appropriate size shape to be inserted into your tray.

Tip: Similarly, washable materials like tile or river rocks work well to fill the tray because they also can withstand any moisture that might collect from your shoes’ soles. The eco-turf or other filler should be periodically rinsed off to wash away any leftover muck from your shoes.

5. Tuck your eco-turf inside your tray and place the finished piece by your front door so you and your guests can kick off your shoes.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on Pinterest

13 thoughts on “DIY Shoe Tray: Take Off Your Shoes & Stay Awhile

  1. I’m still reading Healthy Child Healthy World by CG, and this is one of my favorite tips from him. So simple yet so amazing.
    Thanks Honest , Christopher and Jessica for sharing with us. =)

    1. You’re welcome, JuGue! We agree that it’s mind blowing to think about what is really on our shoes. We’ve also heard that items like purses carry in a lot of outside pollutants too, so set them on the ground and not your tables/counters.

    1. Thanks for reading, Nora! We hope to make it a common practice in the U.S. too because it’s such a simple way to reduce our exposure to unwanted dirt and toxins.

  2. I find it hilarious that this is such a revelation. In Canada you would never wear your shoes in unless you are moving or something. I remember in a university class once I had American prof who mentioned in passing that Americans do not remove their shoes when they enter the house. The majority of the class was shocked! Isn’t your house filthy? Do you wear them on the couch? On your bed? Where do you keep them? We asked so many questions. Most of us agreed that our parents would get so mad if we ran in with our shoes still on growing up. It’s such an easy practice that can keep things much cleaner. Why would you want all that mystery stuff from the city streets coating the floors your children play on?

    1. We certainly don’t want the mystery stuff from the city streets coating our floors, which is why we look for stylish solutions and reminders to take off our shoes at the door. What other cultural eco practices should we consider in the U.S. and elsewhere?

      1. I try not to place my purse on the floor in restaurants or on the car floor. If I do, I wipe them afterwards. I have a friend who uses a purse holder that attaches to the table with a hook.

  3. I will definitely be doing this for our house. It will take awhile training my husband mostly. We are both military and it is a hassle to take our boots off for breakfast and lunch when coming home but I do find myself sweeping way too often… We will attempt at this haha. Thanks for the tip!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *