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Stain Removal

Pink Water Stains in Bathroom: What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them

What's in the article?

What Are Pink Stains in the Bathroom?

What Causes Pink Stains?

How to Get Rid of Pink Stains in the Bathroom

The Best Ways to Prevent Pink Stains

The Best Solution

What Are Pink Stains in the Bathroom?

Pink Mold

There are a couple of culprits for pink stains in your bathroom, but the most common suspect is the Pink Mold, Serratia Marcescens. This bacteria can form colonies that can be unsanitary, although they pose little to no harm on healthy individuals. Serratia Marcescens isn't a particularly harmful bacteria, but it can still pose a few health hazards.

In toilet bowls, these bacteria colonies can be the cause of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), and can be especially harmful to children and pets. Serratia Marcescens  is known for its bright pink to orange-like hue, and is almost always a slimy pink stain. If you notice a pink slime in your bathroom, it is most likely Serratia bacteria. 


Besides Serratia Marcescens, another common stain is rust. Though rust usually presents as a deep red-orange hue instead of pink, the colour could be diluted or misread as pink. Rust forms on metallic surfaces that are exposed to water, and can cause painful wounds on skin when bumped against the rough surface of rust.

While rust does not pose any clear health risks for people and pets, an open wound can be susceptible to infections. Tetanus is almost always associated with rust, but it is actually caused by bacteria that may be present in outdoor rust, rather than the rust itself. 

Rust stains can start off with a light red-orange, which turns into a rust brown colour over time. If not treated immediately, rust in your pipes can cause structural damage, leading to expensive house repairs in the future. 

Coloured Dye

That bright pink stain that won't come out may not be caused by bacteria or rust at all! If you've been doing some hair dye or tie dye projects lately, then that pink-coloured stain might just be coloured dye that has made its way to your bathroom when you've washed up, or brought your dye materials with you to the bathroom. 

However, coloured dye is notoriously difficult to remove. Dye was made to last! Thankfully, there are a couple of ways for you to get rid of that discolouration without damaging your bathroom fixtures. Most hair dyes will have instructions to remove the substance from your skin and surfaces too.

What Causes Pink Stains?

Pink stains are almost always brought about by water, as well as improper cleaning. For the pink mold bacteria, the organisms can cause stains on white surfaces, making it difficult to remove. The bacteria feeds off organic material, and loves moist, humid areas where it can continue to grow exponentially. Pink mold is an airborne bacteria found naturally in soil, and feeds off organic material

Bacterial spores have most likely found their way into your humid bathroom, where the pink mold feeds off soap scum and organic matter in moist areas around your bathroom. The bacterial growth causes the pink to red pigment, which indicates the colony has grown a considerable size. 

These pink stains can also be present in shower curtains, especially if your shower curtain is made from natural fibers like cotton or wool. Moist and grimey tub drains, filled with organic matter, is prime real estate for pink mold, as well as your shower walls, sink drains, and toilet tank.

Pink colouration on leaf

How to Get Rid of Pink Stains in the Bathroom

Rust or Dye

If the stain is caused by rust, then you will need to find the source of the rust to keep the stains away for good. A plumber, maintenance service, or home inspector can find the cause for you, and you will need to have these rusted areas removed or repaired to keep the rust away from your bathroom surfaces.

If you've stained a white bathroom fixture with a coloured dye, then an easy fix would be to use a bleaching solution like a bleach pen or hydrogen peroxide (never both) directly on the stained areas to remove the pink residue from your bathroom surfaces. Be careful not to sit the bleach on too long, as residual chlorine bleach can actually cause pink stains to worsen!

Pink Mold

However, if your bathroom is plagued by the pink mold, then you will need to gather up a few cleaning implements to kill and clean away the bacterial colonies. The colonies can be killed off by chlorine bleach, as well as baking soda, or a vinegar solution. However, many homeowners may not know that vinegar and bleach should never mix, so refrain from mixing these together. 

For your toilet bowl, use the chlorine bleach and line your entire toilet bowl with the bleach solution. Check in the toilet tank for any pink residue, and add bleach in the tank as well if you see the presence of any pink residue in it. Scrub the toilet bowl clean using a toilet brush, and let the chlorine bleach sit to disinfect the toilet.

For your shower curtain, remove the entire fabric from your bathroom and toss it in the laundry machine along with a cup of baking soda, and a cup of distilled white vinegar. Wash your curtain as usual, and let it air dry before placing it back into your bathroom.

For other bathroom surfaces, make a spray out of one part vinegar, and one part water to kill off the pink mold. First clean the area with a proper disinfectant, then use the vinegar spray to spray down the surfaces, and discourage the bacteria from forming new colonies in your bathroom.

The Best Ways to Prevent Pink Stains

The best way to prevent these stains from getting into your bathroom is to clean your home regularly. Particularly during the summer months when the pink mold is most active, clean through each part of your bathroom: from the shower to the toilets, before the problem occurs again. 

Keep your bathroom dry, and the humidity at its lowest. Turn on a ventilation fan to keep the air circulation running, and open a couple of windows to decrease humidity. Keep your toilets clean as well, to prevent the bacterial colonies from making homes in them. 

The Best Solution

House cleaning is the ultimate solution to keep any organism or stain away from your home. We at Luce Home can thoroughly clean, sanitize, and disinfect your home so you won't have to worry about stains forming anywhere in your house. Our professional cleaners are always ready to provide you with a sparkling clean home - happiness guaranteed!

Check out our website for more information, and give us a call so we can schedule your house cleaning at a time convenient for you.

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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