What Causes Pink Stains in Toilet Bowl? (Best Answer)

Last Updated On June 11, 2024

Updated on July 9, 2022



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What Causes Pink Stains in Toilet Bowl (Best Answer)

Did you open your toilet bowl seat cover to see pink residue in the toilet bowl? The unsightly pink film or “scum ring” can present a lot of questions…

How did that pink toilet bowl ring get there, what are the pink stains made of, and how should you get rid of them? You’ll also probably want to know how to prevent the stains in the first place. 

We’ll get into all of this below.

In this PlumbingNav guide, we cover:

  • What causes pink stains in toilet bowl?
  • What you need to know about pink stains in toilet bowl 
  • How to prevent pink mold in toilet
  • How to get rid of pink mold in toilet bowl

What's In This Guide?

      What Causes Pink Stains in Toilet Bowl? 

      The main reason your toilet bowl experiences pink stains is pink mold. While called mold, the actual material consists of bacterium that, like mold, thrives in warm, moist areas with organic remains they can eat. 

      You may also find pink residue on your shower curtain, bathroom sink, bathroom fixtures, and bathroom surfaces. 

      Why is my toilet bowl stained pink?

      Your toilet bowl gets stained pink due to the standing water in the toilet bowl and remnants of organic waste. These provide ample conditions for the airborne bacterium to develop. You only enhance the conditions if you allow the bathroom to get hot and humid

      What causes pink water stains?

      The bacteria that commonly cause pink stains is known as Serratia marcescens. This is an airborne bacteria found naturally in soil and other items. It is commonly found and travels easily, so it’s commonly found inside the home when you create the ideal conditions.  

      In some cases, the pink stain may also be the result of hard water. You can tell it’s a hard water stain if you have other hard water problems, such as calcium deposits on faucets.

      When your home gets hard water, you may want to get water treatment at your main water supply that includes a water softener. This is because it can accelerate the corrosion of fixtures, appliances, and pipes. This is especially true of your water heater’s anode rod.

      did you know what causes pink stains in toilet bowl

      What You Need to Know About Pink Mold Stains in Toilet Bowl

      Since Serratia marcescens is an airborne bacteria commonly found in the world around us, its presence in toilets is a rather typical occurrence. 

      It’s not necessarily dangerous or hazardous to your health. With that being said, it has been known to contribute to urinary tract infections and other problems. 

      Of course, people with vulnerable health statuses, such as a compromised immune system or wound infections, must be careful as the pink mold may affect their situation more than otherwise healthy people. 

      The material may become more of a concern if it starts to grow in your supply lines and get into your drinking water. 

      Watch: Pink Mold – How Dangerous & Toxic Is It?

      How to Prevent Pink Mold in Toilet

      You can prevent pink mold in your toilet bowl by cleaning the toilet regularly with your toilet brush. You can also do your best to create proper ventilation in your bathroom and remove excess moisture whenever possible. 

      Some tips on preventing mold growth in your bathroom include:

      • Open windows
      • Remove wet towels/clothes
      • Pick up water puddles
      • Use the exhaust fan
      • Clean regularly

      How to Get Rid of Pink Mold in Toilet Bowl

      Since your toilet is generally made from ceramic, you need to pick a cleanser that won’t damage the toilet material. This is true when trying to remove any stain from the toilet bowl.

      For that reason, you want to avoid bleach whenever possible. Chlorine bleach is very powerful when not diluted properly. It can damage the sealant around your toilet, causing a leak

      Instead, try using hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide will eat up the pink bacteria. You will allow the hydrogen peroxide to work for a couple of minutes before wiping it away. 

      Alternatively, you can use a combination of white vinegar and baking soda. The vinegar and baking soda create a strong chemical reaction that will eat at the material. 

      The solution tends to be safe for your plumbing. Of course, you want to flush any chemicals you use out of your plumbing system thoroughly. 

      Don’t forget to check the toilet tank to ensure that there isn’t mold growth in the toilet tank as well. 

      FAQs: Pink Mold Stains in the Toilet Bowl

      Why is my toilet bowl stained pink?

      The two main reasons your toilet bowl has pink stains include pink mold and hard water. Pink mold is the most common reason, and you can kill the mold spores when cleaning. 

      What causes pink water stains?

      When caused by pink mold, the bacteria in question is Serratia marcescens. It’s an airborne bacteria that travels easily and survives in many different conditions.

      How do you prevent pink water stains?

      To prevent pink water stains, simply clean regularly and create conditions that don’t contribute to mold growth. Eliminate heat, moisture, and organic material. 

      How do you get pink stains out of the toilet bowl?

      Since your toilet bowl is made from ceramic, you want to use a gentle cleanser instead of bleach. Try vinegar and baking soda or a little bit of hydrogen peroxide. 

      You may experience other types of stains in your toilet. Read our guide to learn more if you have blue toilet water, or a blue toilet seat.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

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

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