Recently updated on August 5th, 2022
Have you ever found a weird pink slime in your bathroom when cleaning? If yes, there’s a good chance that Serratia Marcescens has made its way into your home. Many of us believe that it is a type of mold or rot. Still, in reality, Serratia Marcescens has the power to cause significant health issues and discomfort in your life.
If you’re worried now, fear not! We’re here to help you and guide you out of this situation. In this article, we’re going to explain how to get rid of Serratia Marcescens from your bathroom, what it is precisely, and how to prevent it from coming back.
Let’s get right into it.
What is Serratia Marcescens?
To put it simply, Serratia Marcescens is a common type of bacteria. It was discovered back in 1819 in Italy by Bartolomeo Bizio. These bacteria love damp environments, which is why they are found in bathrooms. For example, you might have seen a pink tinge near your sink or in the corners of your shower and dismissed it because you thought it was residue from your soap. Unfortunately, we are here to tell you that you need to proceed with caution because they are a form of harmful and potentially dangerous bacteria!
Serratia Marcescens manifests as a light pink or a pink-orange film. These bacteria tend to feed off materials that contain phosphorus or various other fat-containing substances, like soap. As a result, it tends to lingers in bathing areas.
Facts About Serratia Marcescens: The Pink Stuff in Your Toilet, Shower, or Sink
Even though we have emphasized that you need to proceed with caution when it comes to these bacteria, we have not given you much information about it. Here’s a list of facts about Serratia Marcescens, the pink stuff that you’ve been finding all over your bathroom.
Serratia Marcescens can be found in many places.
While many of you may believe that this pink stuff is found only in your bathrooms, Serratia Marcescens can be found in your everyday environment. For example, it could be floating on the water of your fish tank or in the pond near your house. You can also find it in animal and human feces. Serratia Marcescenscan also be found after remodeling a home or constructing a building in some situations.
Serratia Marcescens is airborne.
While this bacterium thrives in places with phosphorus and fatty substances, it’s also important to note that it is airborne. As a result, you might notice that you find pink stuff all over your bathroom during the summer or spring when your windows are open more often during the day. It can become airborne from a variety of sources.
Serratia Marcescens has produced epidemics all over the world.
Since this bacterium has the power to grow in multiple areas around a house or hospital, it has caused epidemics all over the world. These range from spreading in emergency rooms and critical care wards to affecting farmers after growing in soil.
Is Pink Mold Bad For You?
The answer to this question depends on the status of your health. Suppose you are someone who eats nutritious food, exercises regularly, and maintains a healthy lifestyle. In that case, there is a high possibility that Serratia Marcescens will not affect you or your health drastically. When compared to black mold, this pink mold is not as harmful.
However, if you are prone to urinary or respiratory infections, this pink mold will affect you. For example, it could lead to urinary tract infections. It could worsen your condition and cause breathing problems if you have asthma. Additionally, suppose you live with older people or young children. In that case, there’s a chance that they are more susceptible to getting sick.
It’s also important to note that Serratia Marcescens can cause your eyes to get infected if you wear contact lenses. Since these bacteria thrive in moist and damp places, you must remember to keep your lenses and lens solution in a different room. This is because the bacteria might grow on your contacts and cause an infection in your eyes.
If you enjoy using a dehumidifier at home and notice pink mold in your bathroom, please stop using the dehumidifier immediately. You must do this because Serratia Marcescens can develop in the dehumidifier and circulate your house. Unfortunately, since the bacteria takes some time to develop, it might take several days or even weeks for you to notice it spreading all over your house.
Still, while Serratia Marcescens has the power to cause various health conditions, it may not drastically affect you. Therefore, to prevent any health problems from occurring, make sure you get rid of them as soon as possible.
Also read: How To Get Rid Of Sewer Flies In Bathroom
Serratia Marcescens Toilet Cleaning Methods
While there are several ways to get rid of Serratia Marcescens, it’s important to note that you must only attempt to do so if there is a small amount of it in your bathroom. If there is too much pink mold in your bathroom and other areas of your home, we would highly recommend that you hire a professional cleaner. They will clean your bathroom thoroughly and ensure that Serratia Marcescens does not return.
Before trying any methods mentioned below, please make sure that you wear protective gear. These include rubber gloves, protective glasses, a surgical mask or an N95 mask, and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or throwing away.
Here is a list of toilet cleaning methods that will help you get rid of Serratia Marcescens:
Use water and white vinegar
One of the easiest and quickest ways to get rid of Serratia Marcescens is to use a combination of water and white vinegar. The vinegar has acidic properties that work wonders when you want to disinfect and clean your bathroom simultaneously.
For this method, you will need:
- One or two cups of white vinegar
- One or two cups of water
- A spray bottle
Make sure that you combine equal parts of water and white vinegar. We’ve mentioned different volumes of liquid depending on the size of your bathroom and the amount of pink mold in it.
To clean your toilet and bathroom using this method:
- Mix the water and vinegar in the spray bottle and shake it to combine the two liquids.
- Spray the mixture all over your toilet and bathroom areas infected by the pink mold.
- Spray a generous amount.
- Use a brush with soft bristles and scrub all the infected regions well.
Rinse your bathroom with plain water once you are sure that the pink mold is gone.
Use chlorine bleach
Bleach is another wonderful product that helps get rid of Serratia Marcescens. Please proceed with caution when using bleach! It would be best to keep your bathroom window open so that the room is well-ventilated. Since Serratia Marcescens is airborne, we’d advise against turning on a bathroom fan if you have one.
To try out this method, you will need:
- 100ml of chlorine bleach
- Ten liters of water
- A bucket and mug
Combine the chlorine bleach and water in the bucket, and pour the contents of the bucket all over your bathroom. To rid your toilet of the pink mold, spray a generous amount of chlorine bleach into the toilet bowl, taking care to spray some under the rim of the toilet bowl. You must also add a quarter of a cup of chlorine bleach to the toilet tank and let that sit for 15 minutes. Do not let the bleach sit in the toilet tank for longer than 20 minutes. Otherwise, the rubber valves will get damaged.
Let the bleach sit in your toilet bowl and bathroom for around 20 to 25 minutes, then rinse it with plain water. Flush your toilet twice to remove the bleach from the bowl and empty the tank.
Our third recommendation is to combine borax in water and use it to clean and disinfect your bathroom. Borax is easy to find in hardware stores, and it is easy to use. Please make sure that you keep it away from young children and pets when you use it to clean your toilet.
For this method, you will need:
- One cup of borax
- One bucket of water
Combine the borax with the water in the bucket and pour the mixture into your toilet and all over the bacteria-infected areas of your bathroom. Let it sit for about half an hour, then rinse your bathroom with plain water.
How to Keep the Pink Mold From Coming Back
Even though we’ve provided you with a list of methods to get rid of the pink mold, it can still come back after a thorough cleaning. Therefore, it is essential to remember that to keep it from returning, you must take a few preventative steps. They are as follows:
- Make sure that your bathroom stays dry. Keep your bathroom door open after taking a shower or washing your bathroom. If you have an exhaust fan, make sure you turn it on and let it run for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Since Serratia Marcescens thrive in areas with high amounts of moisture, it’s essential to keep your bathroom as dry as possible so that it cannot return.
- Close your shower curtain after bathing. If you keep your shower curtain open, you prevent it from drying quickly, thus allowing Serratia Marcescens to thrive in a wet environment.
- Make sure you clean up the soap and shampoo from your sink and shower regularly. This prevents the Serratia Marcescens from eating and thriving in your bathroom.
Also read: How To Get Rid Of Leeches In Bathroom
Chlorine bleach kills Serratia Marcescens.
It causes urinary and respiratory infections and, at times, pneumonia.
This article walked you through a simple explanation of what Serratia Marcescens is and how it affects human beings. Since this pink mold often grows in bathrooms, we walked you through an explanation of how to get rid of it and what products to use. Even though it can be harmful to your health, we hope you use our methods and stay healthy!