The pink stains in your toilet, around your sink, or in your bathtub, although often confused with mold growth, are actually mostly caused by bacterial growth of the Serratia Marcescens.

Even though getting rid of it is easily achieved by thorough cleaning it can quickly return if the root cause is not tackled.

To avoid growth it is best to avoid any long-term standing water or warm, humid conditions within your home.

What Causes That Pink Ring In Your Toilet?

The pink stains in your toilet bowl are caused by the Serratia Marcescens, a bacteria that, unlike other algae and bacterial growth, does not originate from your water supply but is spread through airborne movement.

In warm and humid conditions, for example, shower cabins, it proliferates. In standing water, it can proliferate resulting in a pinkish stain along the waterline. Hence the toilet ring and rings around your sink.

Is Serratia Marcescens Dangerous?

Although mostly harmless, in some cases people with underlying conditions can get sick or even die from a bacterial infection.

Does A Pink Ring In Your Toilet Imply You Have Diabetes?

Although there are some reports of people getting diabetes diagnoses after discovering pink mold in their toilet, there is no scientific evidence that pink stains can be caused by diabetes.

Furthermore, because the basic necessities for bacterial growth that causes pink stains, like standing water, are present in pretty much every household, other causes than diabetes are far more likely.

Caution: If you have reason to believe that you suffer from diabetes always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How Do I Get Rid Of The Pink Ring Or Stains?

Normal cleaning should take care of it, for harder stains chlorine bleach could prove effective, no hard brushing is necessary.

The stains are easily removed with a thorough cleaning. Because it is a bacterial growth the adhesion is quite loose and easily broken. No hard scrubbing is needed.

Any toilet cleaner like Lysol or any other chlorine-based cleaning product. In your toilet, it helps to put a little bit of bleach in the cistern.

Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Clorox Cleaner Spray Bottle

If the stains remain after chlorine treatment they could be caused by a different underlying problem, namely mineral buildup from hard water.

Although mostly orange these buildups can have a pinkish color, even though they are harder to clean, if done right these can easily be treated.

How To Avoid Pink Stains In Your Bathroom

Because the Serratia Marcescens can travel through the air on dust particles and is present all around the world it is impossible to fully remove the source of contamination.

Airborne bacteria are impossible to remove therefore to keep the Serratia Marcescens at bay it is best to keep the environment as inhospitable for the bacteria as possible.

Therefore, avoiding any pink stains from appearing in your home is best achieved by taking away as much of the other factors that enhance its growth, like, standing water, humidity, damp spots, and mineral build-up.

Keep Your Bathroom As Dry As Possible

Like humans bacteria will need moisture to survive, therefore it is important to remove as many sources of moisture as is possible. Keep as dry as possible, clean the whole house, because airborne it is easily spread and can grow anywhere if there is moisture.

Good Ventilation

This could mean keeping the humidity down, for example with improved ventilation in the rooms where the growth persists, to extract air moisture and heat before the bacteria can begin to fester.

Warm humid conditions are favorite breeding grounds for bacteria. Therefore it is important to provide sufficient ventilation in areas that get humid.

It is often advisable to leave the ventilation running for some time after a shower until the humidity is significantly lowered, This will also avoid any other growth of mold in your bathroom.

Avoid Wet Or Damp Locations

Shower mats, towels, and clothing baskets in a bathroom can be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria as they absorb moisture, if you suffer from bacterial growth make sure to regularly wash en thoroughly dry these cloths to avoid any infestations

Regularly wash and thoroughly dry your towels and/or shower mats.

Avoid Long Term Standing Water

Standing water is a favorite of the Serratia Mercescens, that's why it is often found around the water level in toilet bowls that aren't used regularly.

Avoiding standing water as much as possible will greatly reduce the amount of bacterial growth.

Wipe Down Wet Surfaces

In and around sinks make sure to wipe down any drops or larger amounts of spilled water. Other solutions could be to wipe down any standing water in the bathtub or sink, our in/around the shower cabin as this reduces the breeding grounds for the bacteria.

Also, make sure to dry in around your shower cabin after a shower and make sure the floor is completely dry.

Regularly Flush Your Toilets

Of course, it is impossible to avoid standing water in your toilet, however, if the toilet is not regularly used the bacterial growth can be reduced by flushing the toilet on a regular basis to get rid of any bacterial growth.

Remove The Bacteria's Food Sources

Like any other organism, Serratia Marcescens feeds of a source, the primary source of energy is phosphates, which are commonly found in soaps.

Clean Up Soap Scum Or Buildup

If you have a lot of buildup because of hard water you could consider treating your water for example with a water softerner

Other Sources Of Pink, Red, Or Orange Stains

If not easily washed away the stains could be due to a buildup of minerals which usually occurs when your water source contains minerals (hard water).

These mineral buildups are significantly harder to remove but can be avoided using the right types of water treatment.