Pink Mold: Everything to Know

It sounds relatively harmless, looks absolutely horrendous, and is something that is most likely to be found in the bathroom. But what exactly is pink mold and what can be done to remove it from your home?

Pink mold is far from being the most common type of infestation that you are likely to face, which can make it all the more confusing when you do. However, with the help of this guide, you should have a clearer understanding in no time. Here’s all you need to know.

So, What Exactly Is Pink Mold?

Despite the name, the pink mold isn’t actually a mold at all; it is a type of water-borne bacteria known as Serratia marcescens, which looks like a fuzzy slime. The pink appearance is caused by a red pigment, which is why the sludge can often appear to be slightly orange too.

Pink mold is scientifically known as Aureobasidium. While it is most commonly found in bathrooms on the tile grouting and on the shower curtain, the bacteria can grow in virtually any part of the property where damp and moisture are present – including external spaces.

The pink mold may be combined with white or gray mold too.

Why Is It Dangerous?

Aside from looking rather nasty and being a huge source of embarrassment when guests are visiting, growing bacteria can pose a host of threats to your health. Some of the conditions and health problems that can be caused by Aureobasidium are;

  • Respiratory problems.
  • Inflammation and infection in the lungs.
  • Bleeding in the lungs.
  • Allergic reactions that cause coughing and sneezing.
  • Hives and rashes.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Stomach ache, nausea, diarrhea.
  • Bladder ailment and infection.
  • Meningitis.
  • Blood poisoning, septicemia.
  • Pneumonia.
  • And more.

Pink mold is most dangerous to infants and the elderly, but it can cause health problems to anybody of any age – especially those with low immune systems. Therefore, if prevention isn’t possible, it’s imperative that you attend to the problem ASAP. The longer that your family is exposed to the bacteria, the more severe any damage will become.

Besides, leaving pink mold to grow is just plain nasty.

Spotting Pink Mold

Early detection is arguably the most important step to successfully beating the current infestation and preventing repeat damage. As with most bacterial situations, pink mold usually starts off as little dots in a localized area. Remember to keep a watchful eye over the most perpetually-moist areas within the bathroom and home.

When you do spot an issue, it’s vital that you treat it immediately. It doesn’t take long for small spots of the pink mold to grow into vast areas of sludge and slime. For many, calling professional cleaners will be the best solution, mainly because it guarantees a quick and thorough removal that should bring peace of mind.

Nonetheless, many others will take the DIY to pink mold removal, and it can be a lot simpler than you might first fear.

How To Remove Pink Mold The DIY Way

Pink mold can appear in several places. Ultimately, though, it’s likely to be a hard surface such as the wall tiles or the shower curtain. Treatment can vary slightly depending on where the bacteria is located and how widespread it has become.

First and foremost, though, you must prepare for the job at hand by putting on gloves, a breathing mask, and goggles. Otherwise, you could be asking for even more trouble. After this, the following procedures should be adhered to:

Removing Pink Mold From Tiles & Hard Surfaces

  1. Create a paste consisting of 4 parts baking soda to 1 part detergent.
  2. Scrub the paste over all affected areas.
  3. Let it sit for a minute or two.
  4. Rinse the paste, bringing the mold with it.
  5. Create a new paste of 1 part vinegar (or bleach) to 1 part water.
  6. Spray the area with this new paste.
  7. Let it soak for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing once more.

Removing Pink Mold From Shower Curtains

  1. Carefully remove the shower curtain, being sure not to touch the pink mold.
  2. Check the washing instructions of your shower curtain.
  3. Put the shower curtain, along with three small towels, in the washing machine.
  4. Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the machine, onto the shower curtain.
  5. Use ½ cup of detergent in the machine’s liquid tray.
  6. Set the machine to a low (but warm) temperature and place on a delicates cycle.
  7. Once finished, hang the shower curtain to dry outside or in an airing cupboard.

Of course, some homeowners will prefer to replace the shower curtain altogether, especially if it was a cheap one. This is equally fine, but you should be sure that the pink mold hasn’t spread to the walls and other parts of the bathroom.

Once the initial job is completed, you’ll want to think about keeping pink mold at bay forever.

Preventing Future Episodes Of Pink Mold

After successfully removing the pink mold from your home, you should follow this up by taking the necessary steps to prevent further problems. Here are five simple tips to help prevent pink mold from surfacing in the future.

  1. Leave the door and windows open for 15 minutes, allowing the room to air.
  2. Put the extractor fan on to help dry out any liquid or moisture.
  3. Check for leaking pipes and additional sources of added moisture at all times.
  4. Wipe the shower clear of soap and shampoo as these offer a breeding ground for bacteria.
  5. Do not let water sit in the room for long periods, even in the sink and bathtub.

When these ideas are used to support the aforementioned cleanup and removal process, you cannot go far wrong.

The Final Word

The good news is that pink mold isn’t the most common or the most dangerous type of bacterial infestation. Nonetheless, when it does surface, the threats are big enough that you need to act quickly.

Whether that’s via a DIY route or a professional one, getting the situation under control will save a lot of hassle in the long run.