The pink ring in your toilet bowl is more of a cosmetic problem than a hazard alert. If you see a pink ring inside your toilet bowl, around the sink, tub drain, shower curtains, or other surfaces; don’t panic. You can easily remove it with a commercial cleaner.
In this article, we will discuss the causes, removal, and prevention of pink ring stains in the toilet bowl.
Let’s begin our discussion with causes!
Causes of Pink Ring Stains in Toilet Bowl
Pink residue, stains, or rings are generally not a water quality problem. Hard water minerals or lime deposits do not cause it. Hard water causes black rings. A pink ring is not the result of mold growth.
It is usually caused by airborne bacteria known as Serratia Marcescens. This bacterium is anaerobic, meaning that it can grow without oxygen. Serratia Marcescens is found naturally in soil, food, and animals. It can travel by air and particularly likes the moist, less ventilated, dark, and damp environment.
The biggest concern while dealing with bacteria is that proper ventilation doesn’t help as it travels in the air. So, if these bacteria are present in your environment and you open windows for a long time, bacteria will travel inside your home and grow in moist places.
The pink bacterial ring looks like mold, but it is not mold. Mold is a fungus; mold can take orange, brown and black colors. It can be white or red as well. Pink rings specifically mean Serratia Marcescens’s presence.
Pink rings may also develop due to high iron content in water. Homes with well water and copper plumbing have high iron content water.
Pink stain and ring removal are easier than removing black/brown rings. A commercial cleaner will mostly work. You can also try another method for stubborn stains. We will walk you through both methods.
Method 1: Commercial Cleaners
Splash foam cleaner is a convenient and no-hands-involved way to make your toilet look new.
It is a powder-based water-activated cleaner that your pour into the toilet bowl and let it fizz for 20-30 minutes. You then flush the toilet to reveal a clean toilet with all the stains and rings disappeared.
Just a Pro Tip: Scrub with a toilet brush before pouring the powder to loosen the stains. Oxo’s toilet brush is great for toilet cleanup. Its bristles clean the bowl and rim effectively.
The toilet cleaning system comes with a cleaning wand, pre-loaded (with cleaner) scrub heads, and a storage canister. You don’t need any additional cleaner to work with it. The scrubs are loaded with bleach that effectively removes pink stains, black rings, and deposits inside the toilet bowl. It disinfects the toilet bowl to keep bacteria, fungus, and other germs away from your toilet.
Lysol toilet bowl cleaner is yet another effective way of removing pink stains from toilet bowls. This is a labor-intensive method and requires generous physical effort. Pour the liquid along the toilet rim and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Once the liquid has settled over stains, scrub to clean the toilet.
Method 2: Bleach, Baking Soda/Vinegar with Disinfectant
Baking soda, vinegar, and a powerful disinfectant are great for pink stains that are not removed by commercial cleaners.
You will need plastic gloves, safety goggles, a face mask, a bucket, some rags, a cleaning brush, vinegar & baking soda, hot water, bleach, and a disinfectant.
Follow the steps below to see how this method works.
- Flush the toilet once to refill the bowl with clean water. Now scoop the water in the bowl using a cup and absorbent rags or sponges.
- Pour baking soda into the empty bowl followed by vinegar. This will create some bubbles in the bowl.
- Pour bleach in the bowl slowly to ensure all the parts are wet; pay special attention to pink areas. (Never use bleach in a toilet tank).
- Scrub toilet bowl with special focus on the pink stains.
- Let the toilet sit for 30-60 minutes. Scrub again if you see pink stains.
- Flush the toilet. Pour some bleach or disinfect the toilet with a commercial cleaner. It will kill any remaining bacteria.
- Flush the toilet again. Repeat the process if needed.
Important information: You can use this method to remove pink stains caused by iron in your water. Ironically, you would never know what’s causing the pink stains unless you get a sample tested from a laboratory. So, one method works for all kinds of pink stains.
- Use chlorinated/bleach tablets to keep your toilet clean.
- Deep clean and disinfect your toilet when it is visibly dirty or wash at least once a week.
- Wash all the things in your bathroom when you see pink rings. Bacteria can reside in sinks, on curtains, and in bathtubs. Disinfect them regularly to kill bacteria.
- Try to keep your bathroom dry as much as possible. Wipe floors and walls after a shower, wipe faucets and sink and reduce humidity using an exhaust fan.
- Throw away porous materials such as rags and mats if you suspect bacterial or fungal growth in your bathroom.
- Ventilation won’t help with Serratia Marcescens as it is airborne. However, ventilated bathrooms are less susceptible to mold growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Serratia Marcescens harmful?
Generally, it is not harmful to healthy adults. However, it can cause certain problems like urinary tract or bladder infections in people with a weak immune system.
How can I remove pink stains in the toilet tank?
Pink stains usually don’t appear in the tank. If you notice them in a toilet tank, use a bleach-free cleaner or vinegar and baking soda to remove them.
Do pink stains come back?
Pink stains don’t come back if you clean your toilets regularly with a chlorine/bleach-based cleaner.
Can I remove the Pumice stone to remove pink stains?
Pumice stone is great for removing hard water rings and stains in the toilet. Pink stains don’t need it. However, the stains will be removed due to scrubbing, which can also damage the finish. So, it is better to avoid abrasive cleaners while cleaning pink stains.
Is a pink ring in the toilet bowl a sign of diabetes?
No. Pink rings are not related to diabetes. Mold rings can allude to diabetics. That too, only if you have all the other factors in control. You can read more about it here.
Pink stains are the easiest to deal with it. You won’t even notice them if you regularly clean and disinfect your toilet. So, don’t worry if you see pink stains in the toilet bowl. Just scrub them away with a good cleaner.