The brushes on the sides of escalators are not for cleaning shoes, they have a different purpose
You've probably cleaned your shoes many times using the brush on the sides of escalators. But that's not the reason why they are added to the heavy machinery.
The brushes are usually nylon bristles that are present in all escalators these days.
Called 'safety brushes', they are installed to keep things like clothing, shoes and shoelaces from getting caught between the moving stairs and the railing.
However, experts say they are more of a psychological deterrent because a passenger would instinctively move away whenever they feel a brush rubbing against their clothing or leg.
That's precisely the reason why they are installed at the sides which pose of risk of snagging up clothes or shoes.
Clarifying why bristles are added on the sides of escalators, TikTOk account 'Untold Facts' said: "One of the biggest reasons for escalator mishaps is people getting their clothes and bags stuck in them when they stand too close to the sides."
If you are surprised to know this, you'll be happy to know there are many others who also thought the brushes were installed for cleaning shoes.
"Only recently my hubby helped a lady who got her skirt stuck on the escalator," a user wrote.
"I got my floor length dress caught in an escalator and it left oil/grease stains on it that I could never remove." wrote another user.
For these safety reasons, the bristles are also called skirt deflectors.
The skirt is name if the gap between the stairs and the side of an escalator.
Escalators without bristles have a yellow border as an indication not to get too close to sides.
As this wasn't very successful in preventing accidents, almost every escalator nowadays has bristles.