How clean are your shoes? WGN did our own experiment, here’s what we found

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CHICAGO -- There’s a lot of shoes out there pounding the pavement.

The average man owns 12 pairs and the average woman 27.

That’s a lot of shoes carrying a lot of germs right into your house.

A University of Arizona study sampled shoes only two weeks old, and found over 400,000 bacteria just on the outside, and 27 percent of that bacteria was E. Coli.

Thirty-nine percent of shoes sampled by the University of Houston had something scarier -- C. Diff. That’s an antibiotic resistant form of bacteria

So we thought we’d do our own experiment. Terry, a WGN employee, volunteered family’s footwear to be tested to see just how dangerous it is to wear shoes in the house.

There were also two pairs of WGN anchor Robin Baumgarten’s shoes that she added.

They swabbed all six pairs in the lab at the University of Chicago.

The U of C researchers didn’t find C. Diff, but on one pair of boots, they found gram negative organisms -- that’s not E. Coli, but it's in the same family.

E. Coli family means some type of fecal matter is involved.

The amount of “E. Coli family” bacteria found on their shoes is less than what you’d find on an average toilet seat.

But if you’re worried about what might be on your family’s shoes after this story, the doctor says simply use anti-bacterial wipes on the bottoms of your shoes.

She says they should remove the bulk of the bacteria, even those in the E. Coli family.