pink mold in sink

What Causes Pink Mold in Bathroom Sinks? (& How to Remove)

In Cleaning, Home Tips by Jamie

Have you ever glanced into your bathroom sink and felt that sinking feeling when a slimy, pink growth stares back at you? That growth is what people commonly refer to as pink mold, and it’s a common problem in most people’s bathrooms.

Pink mold is caused by bacteria called Serratia marcescens. This bacteria thrives in environments that are moist and humid. They also feed off of fatty oils, so the residue from the soap you used to wash your hands is feeding this bacteria.

If you’ve noticed a growth of pink mold in your bathroom sink, then don’t panic, because you’re in the right place. Are you wondering what causes pink mold in bathroom sinks, and how you can get rid of it? Our guide will give you the details you need to know about pink mold in your bathroom sink.

What is Pink Mold?

Pink mold isn’t actually a mold at all, though that’s what it’s most commonly known as. The truth is that pink mold is actually a bacteria known as Serratia marcenscens. This airborne bacteria thrives in wet, humid environments and feeds off of fatty substances, such as soap scum. This makes your bathroom the perfect place for it to grow and thrive.

Is Pink Mold Dangerous?

While pink mold isn’t nearly as dangerous as some other molds that you’ll commonly find in bathrooms, such as black mold, it does still have the potential to cause adverse health effects.

Is Pink Mold Dangerous

Pink mold can cause respiratory issues, urinary tract infections, wound infections, gastrointestinal issues, and rashes. If you see this growth in your bathroom sink, then it’s important to take the necessary steps to remove it and prevent it from reappearing.

Are Pink Stains and Pink Mold Different?

Yes, pink stains and pink mold are very different. Pink mold is a distinctive growth of bacteria that often appears slimy. You can see pink mold growing over time, and you’ll notice appearing on other surfaces in your bathroom as well if it’s not eliminated quickly. Pink mold can grow on your bathtub, shower drains, and even your shower curtain.

Read our guide on 5 ways to remove pink mold from your shower curtain in this article. 

Pink stains are simply that- stains. Anything from hair dye to a powerful pink-colored toothpaste can stain the inside of your bathroom sink. A stain won’t appear slimy or have any texture to it at all.

What Causes the Pink Mold in a Bathroom Sink?

Pink mold in a bathroom sink is caused by environmental factors. What is commonly referred to as pink mold is actually a type of airborne bacteria known as Serratia marcenscens. This type of bacteria is a microorganism that travels through the air and is therefore impossible to see before it attaches itself to a surface and beings growing.

Your bathroom sink provides the perfect ecosystem for Serratia marcenscens to thrive. It’s wet, humid, and full of fatty particles from soap and other products that you’ve used. This is why people will often find pink mold in their bathroom sink before they notice it in any other areas.

How to Remove Pink Mold from Bathroom Sink (Step-by-Step)

Thankfully, it’s easy to remove pink mold from your bathroom sink. All it takes is some cleaning supplies, a bit of elbow grease, and some time. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide for how you can remove pink mold from a bathroom sink.

1. Get Your Cleaning Solution Ready.

Your first step for removing pink mold from your bathroom sink is to prepare a cleaning solution. You have a few options that will effectively remove the pink mold from your bathroom. Each cleaning solution will work well to remove the pink mold, so it’s purely up to you which you choose.

Here is a list of the most effective cleaners you can use:

  • Mix 1 part bleach and 1 part water to fill a spray bottle.
  • Mix 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water to create a paste you can apply.
  • Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar to fill a spray bottle.
  • Fill up a spray bottle with just hydrogen peroxide.

2. Apply Your Cleaning Solution

Apply Your Cleaning Solution

Once your cleaning solution is ready, it’s time to apply it to your bathroom sink. Use your spray bottle to spray the entirety of your bathroom sink and make sure you’re getting the rim of it and around the drain, as those areas can be easily overlooked.

If you’re using a paste created from baking soda and water, then smear that over every inch of the inside of your bathroom sink. Don’t focus your cleaning solution only on the areas where you can visually see the pink mold. Remember, this mold comes from a microorganism so it could already settle onto other areas of your sink and you simply can’t see it yet. That’s why it’s important to cover your entire sink.

3. Let The Cleaner Sit For 10 Minutes

Leave your cleaning solution to sit in the sink for at least 10 minutes. This will give the cleaner a chance to penetrate through the mold and begin killing it. If you can let the solution sit for longer, then great! 10 minutes is the minimum, but you can leave it to sit for up to half an hour if the pink mold growth is particularly thick.

4. Scrub Your Sink

Scrub Your Sink

Now comes the step where you’ll need to pull on some rubber gloves and apply a little elbow grease. Use a scrub brush or a rag to scrub your sink thoroughly. This step is very important for removing all the pink mold, so make sure you take your time.

5. Rinse Your Sink With Hot Water

Fill up another spray bottle with just hot water, or simply run the hot water from your sink, and allow it to rinse away all traces of the cleaning solution and mold. Keep rinsing until your sink looks and smells free of cleaners.

6. Look For Pink Mold

Give your sink a chance to air dry and then check it over for any remaining spots of pink mold. If you see any of it remaining, then you’ll need to repeat steps 1-5 again. You may need to repeat this process a few times if you have a large growth of pink mold, or it’s settled in some hard to reach places.

How Can You Prevent Pink Mold in your Bathroom Sink Drain?

Since your bathroom sink drain is a particularly hard-to-reach area, it’s likely that pink mold can grow there. The best way to prevent pink mold in your bathroom sink drain is to change the environment in your bathroom so that the bacteria can’t grow there.

You can do this by lowering the humidity in your bathroom with a dehumidifier, wiping the inside of your sink after use so it stays dry, and limiting how much soap and other substances you allow to go down the drain. You can also use a drain cleaner monthly to help prevent the build-up of pink mold.

Pink Mold in Sink FAQs

Does Vinegar Kill Pink Mold? Member's Mark Distilled White Vinegar 1 gal. jug, 2 ct. A1

Vinegar works very well to kill pink mold. You can use regular distilled vinegar and you don’t need to dilute vinegar when you’re using it to clean away pink mold.

Does Bleach Kill Pink Mold?

Bleach is an incredibly powerful cleaner and works very well at killing pink mold. However, bleach is a strong chemical, so you’ll want to dilute it with water when you use it.

Dropped Toothbrush in Pink Mold Sink, What Should You Do?

If you’ve dropped a toothbrush into a sink with pink mold, then you should throw the toothbrush away. Don’t bother trying to clean and sanitize the toothbrush because it would be very difficult to remove all traces of the bacteria from the bristles. Your best bet is to dispose of the toothbrush and get a new one.

Is Pink Mold Dangerous for Your Pets?

Pink mold can be dangerous for you and your pets. It can cause serious health complications, including skin irritation and respiratory problems. If you’ve discovered pink mold in your bathroom sink, then make sure that you keep your pets away from that area until you’ve cleaned away all the mold.

Can I Use a Magic Eraser on Pink Mold? 100 Pack Magic Sponge Eraser Extra Thick and Long Lasting Melamine Cleaning Sponges in Bulk - Multi Surface Power Scrubber Foam Cleaning Pads - Bathtub, Floor, Baseboard, Bathroom, Wall Cleaner

Magic erasers are actually great at removing mold and mildew. You can use this for pink mold, but you’ll want to make sure to dispose of the magic eraser in an outdoor garbage once you’re done cleaning with it. This will help ensure that any remaining living bacteria on it doesn’t reattach itself to your sink.

Final Thoughts

Discovering pink mold in your bathroom sink can be disturbing. You probably wonder what causes pink mold in bathroom sinks, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it. Our comprehensive guide covers all the details you need to know about pink mold in bathroom sinks and gives you the information you need to take care of the situation.

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.