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What is Pink Mold — And How Do You Get Rid of It?

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Have you noticed the grout in your shower turning an odd shade of pink? Or maybe your toilet bowl is suddenly sporting some strangely rosy hues? Although we love the sweet shade in a bouquet of flowers or a pretty throw pillow we’ve picked out, finding pink in your home when you didn’t put it there can be quite alarming.

The good news is that unlike the dreaded black mold, this “pink mold” isn’t a sign of anything super-dangerous. In fact, it isn’t mold at all. It got its nickname because it shows up in the same moist areas where you find forms of mold, but it’s actually a biofilm produced by a bacteria called Serratia marcescens.

The bad news? Bacteria like this can be persistent and difficult to eradicate completely if not treated correctly. If you’ve ever tried getting rid of it by just scrubbing it away, you’ve probably felt frustrated when it pops back up after a short time. 

But according to the experts on handyman Bob Vila’s website, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure your bathroom stays free of pink mold. They recommend using a mixture of baking soda and dish soap on the initial stains. Next in your battle against the biofilm, you should disinfect with bleach to make sure any lingering germs don’t spread and you keep the icky bacteria away for good. The website advises mixing bleach and warm water in a spray bottle and misting it all over the area. Let that sit on the surfaces for about 10 minutes to really soak in and find any hidden bacteria, then use a brush to gently scrub it all away before rinsing. 

Another crucial way to keep pink mold from growing in your bathroom is managing the amount of moisture that gathers in there. You might think opening a window is a good idea to air out the steam while you shower, but it’s actually better to use a fan — bacteria can make its way into your home through that window in the first place. Washing your shower curtain on a regular basis, wiping away soap residue before it settles, and repairing any leaks ASAP are also smart ways to stop pink mold before it starts. 

Now the only shades of pink you’ll have to worry about spotting in your home are the ones you picked out! 

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