Here’s What That Pink Slime In Your Bathroom Really Is

It can be dangerous but thankfully it's easy to get rid of.

Breaking down the pink slime mystery

Ever notice red or pink slime forming inside your toilet or on your shower walls? You may dismiss it as one of those tough-to-clean spots in your home, but this icky substance isn’t just dirty—it can be dangerous.

It’s a bacterium called Serratia marcescens, and it can grow in wet areas. Chlorine in city water helps prevent it. But if you have an activated charcoal filter, you’re removing the chlorine, according to the North Dakota State University Extension Service. Water from a private well has no chlorine either. This bacterium has been known to cause pneumonia, wound infections and urinary tract infections in hospital settings, so it’s important to get rid of it.

Pink slime stains are easy to remove with a general-purpose cleaner containing chlorine bleach. You can also add 1/4 cup of bleach to your toilet tank, let it sit for 20 minutes, and then flush the toilet a few times to remove all the bleach. Don’t leave it in your tank—it can damage rubber valves and seals.

Want to get rid of pink slime for good? Try these 10 bathroom cleaning tips and tricks.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman