What Is Pink Mold and How Do You Deal with It?

By PropertyClub Team
Sep 17th 2022
Pink mold is often found in damp environments like bathrooms (especially around the shower/bathtub), kitchens, and basements, and it should be taken seriously as it holds some potential health risks if left unattended.

You may have seen pink stains around your shower at some point. Those are normal, and they’re caused by the bacteria Serratia marcescens – commonly referred to as pink mold. Technically speaking, pink mold is not a type of mold but a bacteria that only resembles mold growths visually.

hash-markIs Pink Mold Dangerous?

Yes, pink mold is dangerous, and its health risks should not be underestimated. It can trigger various allergic reactions and respiratory problems and can lead to the development of infections. Pink mold is particularly dangerous if it makes its way into open wounds. Unfortunately, the chance of that can be relatively high if you’re taking a shower after suffering from a recent injury and have an open wound. 

If pink mold develops in your kitchen, it can also get into your food and lead to food poisoning.

hash-markWhat Causes Pink Mold?

Several factors need to be present for pink mold to develop. First, the environment must be regularly damp, making bathrooms a perfect place for pink mold to thrive in. It also needs warm temperatures, as well as a food source.

What qualifies as a food source for pink mold? Various deposits left over from showering, including body fats, dead skin, and hygiene products, can all be a food source for pink mold. And all of these can be easily found in the average bathroom or kitchen. If you don’t take care to clean those environments regularly, pink mold can quickly start to develop and become a persistent problem.

hash-markHow to Kill Pink Mold

Baking Soda Paste

A simple homemade mix for dealing with pink mold can be created by mixing baking soda and liquid dishwashers. First, mix them in about equal quantities and stir the product well to mix thoroughly. Then, using a brush, scrub the affected area by applying a lot of pressure.

You must make sure to push hard on the mold, especially when cleaning between tiles. It can easily evade you in small cracks. If you don’t get it all out, it will come back very quickly after you’re done cleaning the area.

Bleach

A mixture of bleach and water can also be an effective way to eliminate pink mold. Simply mix the two and wipe down the surfaces with a cloth or use a spray bottle to distribute the solution more evenly. Like with the above solution, you’ll have to scrub hard to ensure that you get all the mold and don’t leave any residue behind.

Once you’re done, use a clean towel with a little water to wipe down the surface and remove any residue from the cleaning mixture.

hash-markHow to Prevent Pink Mold

1. Clean Your Bathroom Often

The best way to prevent pink mold is to clean your bathroom often. Pink mold can only develop if it has something to grow and feed on, and by washing and scrubbing the shower tiles and bathtub, you will keep them clean and ensure there's nothing that will feed the mold and help it grow. 

2. Keep Your Bathroom Dry and Ventilated

Moisture is the number one factor behind the development of pink mold. If you want to minimize the risk of having it develop in your bathroom, you should ensure that the place is well-ventilated at all times. Once you’re done showering, open the window or turn on the fan if you have one.

Wipe down all wet surfaces to dry them up as much as possible. You won’t be able to get all of the water out with a simple wipe, but it will go a long way, combined with providing enough ventilation. This must be done every time you take a shower or do anything else that gets the room wet (for example, shaving in the sink).

3. Don’t Leave the Heating On

Since warm temperatures also lead to the development of pink mold, you should avoid leaving the heating on in your bathroom unless you actually need it. Some people have a habit of keeping their bathrooms constantly warm so they can be ready for a shower at any time. But this will easily promote the growth of pink mold and make it more difficult to clean it up once it’s started to develop.

If you need to warm up your bathroom, only do it immediately before using it. Turn off the heating afterward. It can be a bit wasteful to open the window after having just warmed up the room, but it’s a good idea to minimize the chance of pink mold developing.

hash-markPink Mold FAQ

Does vinegar kill pink mold?

Vinegar can be an effective treatment for pink mold, though not as effective as baking soda and bleach. Where vinegar truly shines is in preventing pink mold from reoccurring after you’ve cleaned it up once.

Can pink mold in the shower make you sick?

Pink mold can lead to various health complications, including allergic reactions and respiratory problems. It can also lead to infections and can be particularly dangerous if it gets into an open wound.