What Is The Black Stuff Coming Out Of Faucet: Why And How To Fix

Last Updated On June 11, 2024

Updated on June 9, 2022



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What Is The Black Stuff Coming Out Of Faucet (1)

Are you noticing discolored water or black stuff coming out of your faucet? The black stuff in the water is unpleasant to look at, and it can cause alarm. Luckily, black stuff coming out of your faucet won’t usually create damage, but you still probably want to know what caused it and how to get rid of the problem.

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • What is the black stuff coming out of my faucet?
  • Why is there black stuff coming from my faucets?
  • The truth behind black gunk in tub, kitchen, and bathroom sink faucets

How to get rid of the black stuff in faucets: supplies and tips

What's In This Guide?

      What is the Black Stuff Coming Out of My Faucet?

      There are a few possible reasons behind the mystery. Most of the time, the black material in your faucet is either rust or bacteria due to corrosive or scaling water

      The black stuff you see coming out of your faucet is often bacteria that eat at the oxidized manganese and other minerals that you will find in hard water. We know this can cause alarm when it’s your drinking water.

      Sometimes, black water or brown water also develops as a result of corroded pipes (only applicable if you have metal pipes). 

      In some cases, black water occurs thanks to granular activated carbon in your water supply’s filtration system. 

      Finally, black water may also indicate mold and mildew in your pipes. It’s this explanation that deserves the most attention, as it can pose a safety risk.

      Why is There Black Stuff Coming From My Faucets?

      The black stuff in your faucet occurs when you have hard water that is high in mineral content that also experiences oxidation, or when you have old metal pipes.

      You may notice black slime or black particles more often in fixtures such as faucets that dispense water from your hot water heater. Hot water facilitates corrosion and mineral deposits in your plumbing, so you may notice black stuff around your tub faucet and shower drain more often than a sink drain that uses primarily cold water.

      did you know black stuff at water faucets from hard water

      The Truth About Black Gunk In Tub, Kitchen, and Bathroom Sink Faucets

      The black gunk in the fixtures of your home won’t hurt you if they come from harmless bacteria, even if the black gunk gets into your drinking water. 

      When black gunk occurs due to corrosion or mold/mildew, it may cause health concerns by contaminating your drinking water or releasing toxins into the air. Black mold, in particular, is especially bad for respiratory health. 

      You can usually smell mold and mildew before you see it. 

      How To Get Rid of Black Stuff in Faucets: Supplies and Tips

      Determine the Cause

      While you may have multiple causes or feel uncertain about the cause of the black water, you should do your best to determine the cause to take the proper steps to resolve the issue. 

      Things to consider include, with probable causes:

      • Do you have hard water in your area? (hard water)
      • Do you experience soap scum and skin irritation? (hard water)
      • Do you have older, metal pipes? (corrosion)
      • Does the water taste rustic? (corrosion)
      • Do you smell something funny? (mold or hard water)
      • Are there signs of a plumbing leak or water damage? (mold)

      Hard Water Solutions for Black Stuff:

      Corroding Anode Rod in Water Heater

      The anode rod is located in your water heater and is “sacrificial” because it corrodes to extend the life of your water heater tank. The problem is that some metals react with some water types, creating Magnesium Sulfide flakes.

      If the old anode rod is the culprit behind the black stuff, you need to replace it. What type of metal should you replace it with? We cover the best anode rods by water type, which you can read over. A quick tip to consider is this…

      Replacing it with a powered anode made of titanium will not only eliminate black stuff in your water if this is the issue, but also reduce rotten egg smells. This is a great one with tons of positive customer feedback, below:


      To be clear, this will only work if this is the cause of the black gunk. However, using a product like this will also extend the life of your water heater…so it’s often worth trying.

      Note: You may also need to drain and flush the tank if pieces or particles are still left at the bottom of your unit from the old anode you’re removing.

      Filtered Water System

      If the problem behind the black stuff is hard water, it’s going to be hard to remove it. You will want to consider installing a filtration or treatment system to adjust the water quality. This will help remove the black slime from all of the locations of your household water. This one has a ton of good reviews.

      Water Softener 

      A water softener will reduce the number of minerals in your water. With fewer minerals in the water, you will reduce the rate of oxidation when the water comes into contact with oxygen. 

      You can install the water softener at the main water line or at an individual plumbing fixture, such as a sink faucet. 

      Many water softeners also come with filtration features to remove carbon from the water supply before it enters your home. Here is a popular option.

      Black Slime At Just One Water Faucet?

      There are times you find an isolated case of black stuff coming out of just one water faucet. This might be as simple as identifying and changing out an old water supply hose that is degrading. Here is a video showing how this is sometimes a cause behind dirty water flakes at one spot in the home. Here is a quality hose option.

      Black Stuff Due to Old Plumbing Pipes

      Upgrade Plumbing 

      If the problem gradually gets worse and worse over time, and you have old metal pipes, you may want to upgrade to plastic plumbing, such as PVC pipe or PEX pipe. You may also need to upgrade your water heater to a model designed to withstand various types of hard water conditions. 

      Read our review of the best tankless water heaters for hard water to find the best product for your household!

      Simply Need to Clean Black Spots? Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

      If you’ve cleared up the source of the problem, you may simply need to clean up the old residue left behind. All DIY plumbers should know the trick of vinegar and baking soda by now. It’s effective and safe on your pipes when used correctly. 

      You can use the mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove stains that developed from the black gunk. 

      You can also use it to remove mineral deposits inside of your pipes. 

      If you suspect mold, try something a little more powerful (such as bleach). 

      FAQs Regarding Back Film and Faucet Residue

      What is the Black Stuff Coming Out of Faucet?

      The black stuff coming out of your faucet is likely bacteria feeding off of oxidized water with high mineral levels. It can also be a sign of mold, mildew, or old supply lines that are breaking down.

      Why is there Black Residue Coming From Faucets?

      The black residue occurs when oxygen meets hard water. Bacteria are attracted to this water. 

      How do Get Rid of Black Stuff Coming From Faucets?

      Start by identifying the cause. If it’s oxidation from hard water, consider installing a water softener or filtered water system.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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