How to Get Rid of Pink Mold in Your Toilet

Keeping your home clean is a never-ending job. Removing buildup from your toilet is one of these jobs that needs to be done every so often. Build up can be many things, but a common issue is pink mold.

To remove pink mold from your toilet you will first need to use mix baking soda into the toilet bowl. Next, you need to scrub the toilet free from the pink mold. Then, you will need to kill the spores and microscopic remains with a disinfecting solution such as bleach.

There is a step-by-step guide to this process at the end of the article. First, I will answer frequent questions like: Where does Pink Mold comes from? How can you prevent Pink Mold, and whether Pink Mold is linked to diabetes.

What is Pink Mold?

Pink Mold is a term that refers to a pinkish-grey buildup in your home. Pink Mold is quite common, and often shows up in kitchens, basements, and bathrooms because they are damp. It can be a variety of things including bacteria, fungus, and hard water deposits. You can usually tell what you are dealing with by examining the texture and placement.

Mineral Deposits

If the Pink Mold is gritty in texture, this is usually a mineral deposit. The pink color usually comes from high iron content in the water. Another sign that you may be dealing with mineral deposits is that it appears everywhere in the home at around the same rate.

Bacteria Growth

Slimy deposits are most frequently a bacterium like Penicillium or Serratia Marcescens. These are usually benign, but the bacteria should be eliminated to prevent damage to your home. Bacterial growths are quite easy to kill off with bleach, so you should be able to keep them from reoccurring with frequent cleaning.

Fungal Growth

True fungal Pink Mold is going to have a slightly fuzzy texture. This is the most difficult to deal with, as fungus reproduces via spores. Its exceedingly difficult to completely eradicate spores, as they are durable. They can also live dormant for months. Bleach is a good first line of defense, but if that does not work you can turn to fungicides. Repeat applications may be necessary.

Is Pink Mold Dangerous?

Your toilet does not contain enough mold to hurt you. Most bacterium mistaken for Pink Mold is benign, and the only adverse impact of Mold itself is allergy like symptoms from high exposure. If you have a chronic condition like asthma, you may notice these symptoms of mold exposure earlier. These symptoms include:

  • Respiratory issues (coughing, wheezing and infections)
  • Allergic reactions (hay fever)
  • Reoccurring pneumonia and bronchitis

Again, the amount of mold required to produce this reaction is much more than you will find in a toilet, so if you are experiencing these symptoms, you should carefully examine your home for other problem areas.

Common locations for mold include your shower, around the water heater, the washing machine, and under the refrigerator. If none of these areas are the culprit, you may need to consult a professional or see a doctor.

What Causes Pink Mold?

Pink mold likes to show up in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms for a reason. To grow, both fungus and bacteria require damp, dark, warm conditions. Easy access to organic material (like in a kitchen or bathroom) will accelerate the growth further.

Fungus reproduces via spores, which are too small to see and remain airborne. Bacteria is also microscopic and omnipresent, so given ample conditions it is impossible to entirely prevent growth of Pink Mold.

Is Pink Mold Caused by Diabetes?

A common myth is that if you are experiencing a Pink Mold problem, then someone in the home has diabetes. However, this is not necessarily true. There is no study that links the growth of Pink Mold to the presence of a diabetic. In fact, most homes occasionally deal with Pink Mold in the toilet.

However, if you feel that mold is appearing far more often than it should in your bathroom, then it may be worth it to check in with a doctor. This is because of a phenomenon called Glycosuria. Glycosuria is the presence of sugar in the urine, and usually occurs because the body is trying to expel excess sugar it cannot process.

Sugar is one of the most effective foods for bacteria and mold, so a high sugar content in urine can contribute to rapid growth of Pink Mold in your toilet. Glycosuria is common in undiagnosed diabetics, but it can also be linked to other medical conditions.

How Can You Prevent Pink Mold?

Preventing Pink Mold is all about making the environment less pleasant for fungus and bacteria.

Limit Standing Moisture

This is the most important thing you can do. Standing moisture not only encourages the growth of mold, but it will also damage many things in your home. If you can, always wipe up leaks and spills immediately. You can also rinse sinks and flush toilets that are used infrequently to prevent standing water in them.

Keeping your home well ventilated will help evaporate off excess moisture more quickly as well, so opening windows and using fans is a great idea.

Cleaning Frequently

Fungus and Bacteria both become more established over time, and thus harder to remove. Frequent cleaning will not only kill off many types of bacteria, but it will also keep growth that does occur from becoming too stubborn. Scrubbing surfaces prone to growth frequently with an abrasive cleaning tool (like a toilet brush or steel wool) should be sufficient.


Mold prefers dark conditions to grow, and sunlight kills off many types of mold and bacteria. Occasionally opening blinds in rooms that are prone to being dark can go a long way.

Young man cleaning toilet bowl in bathroom pink mold

How Can You Get Rid of Pink Mold?

Despite your best efforts, you will still occasionally have to remove a stubborn growth of Pink Mold from somewhere in your house. It is difficult to keep up with every single place it might grow. When this happens, a simple procedure can remove it, and prevent it from regrowing. First, you will need to gather the following common household supplies:

  • A scrub brush or steel wool pad.
  • A spray bottle to apply cleaner
  • A bowl for the baking soda paste
  • A mask*
  • A set of gloves*
  • A towel
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Baking soda

*When you clean up Pink Mold its likely to produce airborne particles that you will inhale due to proximity. For this reason, I always advise a mask and gloves to prevent exposure.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Pink Mold from Toilet:

Now that you have your materials together, you can begin. These instructions are geared toward removing Pink Mold from a toilet, but the same method can be used for any hard surface. To remove Pink Mold from a shower curtain or other soft surface, see our article on the subject here.  

1. First, mix water and baking soda in the bowl to create a paste. Then, set it aside.

2. Mix water and bleach in the spray bottle. A 50:50 ratio is ideal. Then, set it aside.

3. Next you will want to put on the mask and gloves. You will agitate spores as soon as you start to mess with the Pink Mold, so you should keep them on until you are completely finished cleaning up.

4. Take the baking soda paste and the scrub brush/stool wool pad. Dip the tool in the paste and use it to scrub the Pink Mold as hard as you can. Continue until no visual evidence of the mold remains. Depending on how established the growth is, removing it may take a while.

5. Put the tool into the bowl and set them aside. Try not to let the tool touch other surfaces, as this may encourage mold growth in those areas.

6. Spray the effected location(s) thoroughly with the bleach/water mixture. Let this stand for 15 to 20 minutes.

7. While you wait, you can also disinfect the brush/pad you used to scrub off the mold. Rinse it thoroughly in your disinfecting mixture. Let it air dry in a well-ventilated area.

8. Use the towel to wipe up the disinfecting mixture from the surface and let air dry. If possible, ventilate the area.

Related Read: How to Clean Pink Mold from Shower? (With Video Guide)

Final Thoughts

Pink Mold is a frequent problem in homes because it refers to a slew of things like bacteria growth, mineral deposits, and fungal growth. While a little mold will not hurt you, it is still unsightly and should be removed as soon as possible to avoid spreading.

Once you have killed the mold and bacteria with bleach, it should not come back. If the stains are due to mineral deposits, they may be harder to prevent. In all cases, preventing standing water in your home and scrubbing regularly can keep everything spick and span for longer.