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  • Teresa J.

WHAT IS THAT PINK DISCOLORATION IN MY SHOWER?


Serratia marcescens

There are many types of mold that can form in various environments, such as green molds like Cladosporium, or black mold, called Stachybotrys chartarum.


People often mistake the salmon pink discoloration for being a type of mold but it is actually a Gram negative bacteria called Serratia marcescens. This bacteria often grows in moist environments such as showers, toilets, sinks and other wet areas.


Showers are the ideal area for this bacteria to grow as it feeds on the mineral deposits left behind by the fat solids contained in personal hygiene product residue such as bar soap.

Serratia marcescens can become airborne when there is excess moisture in the air which allows the bacteria to travel through the air. This bacteria is not as dangerous as "black mold", however, there are health risks that "high-risk", immunocompromised individuals do need to be concerned about. A few are listed below.


  • UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections) and Bladder Infections

  • Breathing Difficulties

  • Septicemia (Blood Poisoning)

  • Endocarditis

  • Pneumonia

  • Gastrointestinal Ailments

  • Osteomyelitis (Bone Infection)

  • Infection of Open Wounds or Sores

  • Meningitis

SO HOW DO I GET RID OF THIS BACTERIA?

STEP 1: WEAR GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION

To protect yourself from unnecessary exposure to the Serratia marcescens shower bacteria, wear a pair of protective glasses/goggles and rubber gloves during cleaning to ensure that bacteria cannot get into your eyes or mouth. Make sure that any open wounds are protected to prevent bacteria from infecting your skin.


STEP 2: CREATE A CLEANING MIXTURE

Mix ½ cup of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and add small amounts of water to the mixture until it forms a runny paste.


STEP 3: SCRUB

Dip a nylon-bristled scrub brush into the paste and vigorously scrub your shower tiles, paying special attention to the grout between the tiles.


STEP 4: RINSE

Use the removable shower head (if your shower has one) or a small bucket to thoroughly rinse the shower with HOT water. After rinsing, use a squeegee or chamois to thoroughly dry the walls, shower floor / pan and any areas that are lipped where water can sit.


Tips for Preventing the formation of Serratia marcescens:

  • Drying your shower after each use (with a chamois, towel or squeegee) can help prevent mold regrowth

  • Washing your shower curtains (is suitable) once a month (check if they are machine washable, then run them through a gentle cycle with warm water)

  • Turn on your bathroom’s exhaust fan while showering and for 15-20 minutes after you shower to assist in pulling moisture from the air in your bathroom.

  • Ensure that faucets, shower heads, and toilets are not dripping or running. These are common issues that create a constant source of moisture for bacterial growth.

For FREE, NO OBLIGATION QUOTE for tile and grout cleaning for your shower area, please feel to contact us and we can schedule a In-Person or Virtual Estimate.