Pink may be a pleasant color, but pink mold around your bathroom tiles is definitely not a pleasant sight. Moreover, it can mean unhygienic conditions and health hazards.
Pink mold is a common problem in various houses. Usually, it grows in areas in and around the bathroom area since it prefers a damp location. Hence, it thrives in toilets, bathroom guts, showers, and similar areas.
Pink mold is caused by bacteria, unlike other molds that are caused by fungi. The name of the bacteria is Serratia marcescens.
You’re probably wondering, what causes pink mold? Is it too dangerous? Before you start panicking about that patch of mold in your bathroom, read this article. We will discuss this topic at length and help you find ways to remove it.
What Is Pink Mold?
Pink mold is a common name for Serratia marcescens, a water-borne bacterium. This mold appears in pink color most of the time, hence the name pink mold.
However, that need not always be the case; pink mold can appear in different colors as well. The affected area can be light pink, pinkish-orange, bright orange, red, or even brown. Usually, the room temperatures influence the color of the pigment.
Also, pink mold has a fuzzy texture at times, whereas at other times, it has a very slimy texture. They grow in moisture; hence, in domestic settings, you can find them in bathroom or kitchen areas. In some cases, you can also find them on plastic shower curtains or bathroom tiles.
They grow and spread like small fibers, sometimes forming a slimy structure. Additionally, depending on the conditions, other molds such as white or gray mold can accompany pink mold.
Also, it can appear in different shapes at different spots since pink mold is a bacteria colony. Generally, if you find more slime layers instead of a fuzzy structure, the level of infestation is high.
Similar to other molds, it causes various health risks. Hence, it is vital to remove them as soon as you can. Moreover, you need to be extra careful about pink mold if anyone who is classified in any of the vulnerable groups stays in your house. Therefore, you should take immediate action if there are children, older adults, or anyone with a compromised immune system at your home.
Furthermore, it is not similar to other molds such as soap scum, green, gray, or black mold since it is not a fungi infestation. Nonetheless, it is dangerous and poses various health risks similar to other molds.
What Causes Pink Mold Growth?
It is important to know how the pink mold grows in your home to prevent it from happening again. This will also help you can effectively remove it from your bathroom.
Mold spores always exist in the air, especially in moist environments. It is naturally present everywhere around us. However, it can be troublesome when they start growing into colonies, especially in houses.
It generally happens when mold spores find the perfect environment for proliferation. In addition to the right conditions, they grow rapidly when they find a reliable food source. When they have both, they will start growing into colonies and infest the area.
As it grows, the colonies eat up the materials and surface it is growing on. Hence, it can cause damage to the surfaces. Once you know how it grows, you will also know where it is likely to grow and act accordingly.
Also, if you spot it in one part of your bathroom, it is advisable to take a thorough look at all the parts of your bathroom. It includes any part where there is a constant moisture buildup.
Here are some places to look for pink mold growth:
• Inside sinks and toilet bowls
• Underneath bath mats
• Behind bathroom cabinets and mirrors
• On kitchen and bathroom wallpapers
• Shower walls
• Under kitchen sinks
• Kitchen countertops and cabinets
• Inside washing machines and dishwashers
• Along tile route lines
• Bathtub and shower corner
• Shower curtains
• Inside air conditioners and dehumidifiers
How Can Pink Mold Spores Be Hazardous to Health?
Similar to other kinds of molds, when pink mold grows in your bathroom or anywhere in your house, it can be dangerous. As it grows, the spores or fragments can enter the air and produce irritants, allergens, and mycotoxins.
Moreover, pink mold thrives in a moist environment and grows rapidly. This process can increase the chances of this mold coming in contact with people in the house regularly.
Furthermore, it can cause a wide range of health problems for anyone who comes in contact with it. Lingering bacteria in the air can cause a range of issues, from allergic reactions to bladder infections.
While it can result in just mild issues, such as coughing, skin rash, and eye irritation, it can lead to worse issues as well. In some worst cases, severe exposure to this mold can cause lung inflammation and health risk related to the urinary tract.
Moreover, it can cause serious damage to health in cases of people with compromised immune systems.
Here is a list of some common health risks related to pink molds:
• Urinary tract infections
• Blood poisoning
• Bone infections
• Infection on open sores
• Infection on open wounds
• Gastrointestinal ailments
• Respiratory tract infection
A Step-by-Step Guide for Pink Mold Removal
If you find pink mold growing anywhere in your house, you need to act quickly to remove it. Doing so will not only prevent the various health issues, but it will also prevent the pink growth from worsening.
Although it is a very easy task to get rid of pink mold, it can be quite challenging to prepare for the task. Most importantly, you will have to put on protective gear.
In this section, you can find a step-by-step guide to remove Serratia marcescens, as listed below:
Step 1: Make a Baking Soda Paste
Add one cup of baking soda and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid or an all-purpose cleaner in a small bowl. You can use hydrogen peroxide, which is also highly effective. Make the required amount of runny paste depending on the level of infestation.
Step 2: Protect Yourself
It is crucial to wear protective gear before you remove pink mold. Wearing gloves and eyewear is crucial to prevent them from exposure to the bacteria. Also, make sure to cover all your open sores and wounds thoroughly to avoid direct contact with the mold.
Step 3: Clean the Shower Curtains
These bacteria can grow well in wet surfaces on fabric and plastic. Hence, it is better to remove the liner and shower curtain. Wash them thoroughly and hand them in the sun for clean drying or replace the shower curtain altogether.
Step 4: Scrub the Affected Surfaces
Dip a scrub brush in the baking soda solution and remove it before scrubbing the affected areas. Run the scrub brush from the highest point of growth to the bottom of the surface. The solution will provide an effective abrasive to loosen the bacterial growth off the surfaces.
Step 5: Rinse the Area
The next step in mold removal is to rinse away the removal solution and the bacterial growth with the help of a hand-held shower spray. You can also use a spray bottle or a dry towel and wipe down the hard surfaces.
Step 6: Disinfect the Affected Area
Spray the cleaned surface with a water and bleach solution and allow it to work for 10 to 20 minutes. This time will allow the removal solution to remove the pink stain and kill the lingering bacteria. Then, use a fresh scrub brush and work over the surface again.
Step 7: Drying the Area
The final step in the mold removal process is to rinse and dry the surfaces. Remove the bleach solution thoroughly and dry the surface using towels or squeegee. This step will prevent moisture buildup and remove any liquid soap.
Tips for Preventing Pink Mold
Now that you know how to remove mold, here’s something to keep in mind. It is always better to prevent a problem rather than finding a solution later. So, how to prevent mold?
Here are some tips to help you prevent the growth of pink mold:
• Keep the surfaces dry since the bacteria flourish in moisture. So, take time to dry the shower curtains and walls after using them.
• Wash the shower curtains and liners at least once every month.
• Clean away all soap residue and shampoo residue regularly. Both soap and shampoo residue contains body oils that are food for the common pink mold.
• Reduce the humidity level by using dehumidifiers or exhaust fans.
• Wash your hands regularly to prevent the spreading of the bacteria from one surface to another.
Pink Mold FAQ
Is Pink Mold Dangerous?
Yes, pink mold is dangerous to your health. It can lead to various infections and health conditions if you expose yourself too much to it. Hence, mold remediation for pink mold is vital.
How Do You Kill Pink Mold?
You can kill pink mold by scrubbing across the affected region using a runny paste of baking soda and dish soap. Then, rinse the surface well using a solution of water with vinegar or bleach. After that, dry the surface and ensure you keep it dry to prevent any further infestation.
Does Bleach Kill Pink Mold?
Yes, bleach can kill pink mold. However, if you use a paste of baking soda and soap before bleach, you will have better results. Moreover, it is better to use half and half solution of bleach and water instead of just bleach.
Can Pink Mold Make You Sick?
Yes, pink mold can make you sick, especially if you are allergic to mold or generally sensitive. Usually, it is harmless to healthy people. However, longer exposure can trigger various infections in everyone that can affect the lungs, eyes, and skin.
Final Notes on Pink Mold
It is easy to get rid of commonly found pink mold. Moreover, following regular cleaning practices and keeping your bathroom and kitchen dry can prevent all sorts of bacterial germination.
Also, if you are not successful in removing it even after trying for some time, you can always seek professional help. They should be able to provide you with the most useful mold remediation.
So, check out what you can do to get rid of the mold, and if you fail, then contact your local restoration company.
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.