Picture this: You’ve just woken up and head to your bathroom to take a shower, only to be greeted with a film of black slime surrounding your drain and what looks like pink mold on your shower curtain and tub. “Yuck! What IS that?” If this scene sounds even a bit relatable, you may have some underlying water quality issues in your home. The good news is that the pink or black slime you may be finding around your water fixtures is relatively harmless and actually a very common problem most homeowners experience from time to time. However, it can be pretty gross, and you’re likely looking for a way to knock it out. Let’s take a look at exactly what the pink and black slime is and the steps you can take to get rid of it.

What Exactly is that Pink Mold in My Shower?

The “pink mold” you may find in your shower actually isn’t mold, but a very common strain of airborne bacteria that’s found throughout the world. The bacteria, Serratia marcescens, cause that pink or even red slime you might find in your shower, toilet bowl, or around other water fixtures. The bacteria are abundant in nature, so it is commonly found in water and dirt. Because it’s airborne, Serratia marcescens also can be transferred into your home relatively easily even through an open window or door.

The bacteria start to produce a pink pigment when the growing conditions are just right. Places such as the bathroom can be ideal growing environments for Serratia marcescens because the bacteria thrive in a wet area with fatty particles to feed on, which is exactly what substances such as soap and shampoo provide.

What About the Black Slime in My Sink?

If you’re finding black residue around your water fixtures, it’s most likely because of the trace levels of manganese and/or iron in your water supply. Put simply, the manganese found in your water supply is oxidizing, and bacteria are feeding off of it – which causes the unsightly black gunk forming around your faucet. Again, the good news here is that similar to Serratia marcescens, manganese in your water and the bacteria feeding off it are both essentially harmless. However, there are some things you can do to help alleviate the black slime appearing around your water fixtures and even remove it altogether.

How to Get Rid of It


Some simple cleaning measures can be taken to temporarily remove the slimy pink or black films on your water fixtures. Use a soft scrub brush and cleaning solution of 50-50 warm water and white vinegar to remove the residue, then try and keep the area as dry as possible moving forward. Let the vinegar and water solution soak for 10 minutes before scrubbing for the best results. Bleach also can be used to clean off the residue, but make sure the room is properly ventilated before you start cleaning with it.

Of course, it’s difficult to keep a shower dry all the time. If you have a fan in your bathroom, try turning it on while you shower to avoid excess humidity build-up. When you’re done, try to remember to towel dry or squeegee the damp areas of your shower. You can also remove Serratia marcescens from your shower curtain by giving it a quick run-through in your washer. Be sure to check the curtain’s label first to avoid any unwanted damage.

Let Us Test Your Water Today

If you just can’t seem to shake the black or pink slime from your water fixtures, the team at Kinetico Water Systems of SWFL can help determine the source of the problem and discuss possible water filtration solutions. Contact us today for a free water analysis to get started. We can help provide you with an accurate home water test and determine what exactly you may need to improve your water quality.