Bad weather: how to keep mud and dirt out

Susanne Loacker

It’s a familiar scenario: there’s slush on the ground outside, you come home from the shops, your hands are full – and a little later a trail of ugly, dark gray saltwater can be seen running from the front door to the kitchen. How can this be prevented without completely disfiguring the hallway? We have seven tips for you here.

A pair of mountain boots can be seen on a shoe scraper in front of a patio door. There is still snow on the soles of the boots.
© Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

In this article

1. An outdoor mat

Looking for a way to clean your shoes on your doorstep? An outdoor mat could be the solution. It has a similar function to a traditional doormat but looks nicer – and is larger than your standard model. Outdoor mats are weatherproof, UV-resistant and usually very easy to clean. The “Pisa” model looks good and is practical to boot. It is available from schutzmatten.ch in various colors and sizes from around 40 francs.

2. A coconut mat

A coconut mat is ideal for getting rid of coarser dirt – if the path to the front door leads through the garden, for example. Rubbing shoes against the rough coconut fibers is an unfailing way to get rid of dirt, including mud and soil. The heavy coconut material makes the mat non-slip – so it is sure to stay in place even when thoroughly wiping heavily soiled shoes. Another advantage is that the dirt falls through the structure and remains on the ground, i.e. hidden under the mat, where it can be swept away occasionally with a broom. This coconut mat from ProIdee is non-slip, lightfast and available in three sizes – from around 30 francs.

A semi-circular coconut mat has been placed outside a front door to keep the dirt from shoes outside.

A coconut mat is non-slip and rough enough to retain a lot of dirt.

3. A shoe scraper

A second dirt trap can be placed directly inside the front door: a doormat or shoe scraper. This type of mat has an underside made of rubber, which usually makes it relatively non-slip. If you choose a version that is machine washable, then you can easily wash out even coarser dirt from fall and winter weather. Slight dirt – such as what feels like half a sandbox from an afternoon visit to the playground – can simply be vacuumed away. The “Salonloewe” model is a shoe scraper that meets all these criteria – and it scores extra points for the wide variety of colors available. The mat can be purchased from Angela Bruderer in various sizes from around 30 francs.

4. An umbrella stand

You can find one in every doctor’s office, as well as in restaurants and in many offices – but it can also be really practical to have one at home: an umbrella stand. Dripping wet umbrellas can be left to dry without making the whole floor wet in the hallway. But a stand doesn’t have to be plain and boring. Models are available in all possible shapes, colors and designs. What about some autosuggestion? No problem! This umbrella stand announces wholeheartedly: I love rainy days. A message that is bound to bring a smile to your face. The stand from “Home affaire” is 56 centimeters tall and available at Ackermann for about 95 francs (price on 11 December 2020).

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5. A shoe rack with a seat

Especially in the winter, snow and slush often find their way into the house unintentionally – under the soles of your shoes. Even if you wipe your feet thoroughly, snow or slush tends to remain in the rough profile under winter shoes and ends up forming a small saltwater lake on the floor beneath them. To prevent this from happening, during the wet season shoes are best kept on a grate where they can be left to dry as long as necessary. If the grate or rack is placed on a washable shoe scraper, the floor will remain free of dirt and moisture. For added comfort when changing your shoes, you can buy a shoe rack with its own integrated bench – at Ackermann a sophisticated model with a metal frame is available for about 150 francs (price on 25 November 2020).

6. A shoe dryer

Is there a power socket next to the front door? Great – then you can even plug in a shoe dryer. This not only dries wet shoes, it also warms them up ready to be put on again. The “Aria Secco 4” from Sonnenkönig offers all these functions plus a timer feature to preheat the shoes to exactly the right temperature before you wear them. At Migros the shoe dryer is available in the do-it-yourself department for about 40 francs (price on 25 November 2020).

The picture shows a pair of winter shoes and shoe dryer inserts from AXWT.

Dry, warm shoes are pure luxury in the winter – and this shoe dryer from AXWT looks chic too.

7. A wardrobe

Wet coats – and wet hats – aren’t allowed to enter the main part of the house right away. A wardrobe just next to the door is a small and compact place to hang them. There are even narrow models that will fit into an extra-small hallway. The “Tuxford” wardrobe panel is a good example: it is only 30 centimeters wide and its plain white color means that it is hardly noticeable when not in use. Livique stocks this wardrobe for about 130 francs (price on 25 November 2020).

Conclusion: no matter how nasty and wet it is outside – with smart equipment and furnishings in your hallway, any dirt you don’t want to let into your house will stay outside. This way you can survive the fall and winter without stress – and there will be much less work to do in the house.

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