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Pink growth (aka pink slime) in bathtub or shower

Pink growth (aka pink slime) in bathtub or shower


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I was wondering if anybody had studied or was knowledgeable about the pink growth that people often find around water fixtures in their homes, especially bath tubs and showers?

My understanding is that this pink growth is actually a bacteria and not a fungus as many assume (source1,source2). Supposedly, the bacteria, Serratia marcescens is airborne and thrives in areas of retained moisture and fatty residue.

My main questions are:

  1. How ubiquitous is this bacteria? What is the bacteria's geographical range of occurrence?
    • For example, is this species more prevalent in more humid environments?
  2. Are there other species of Serratia that can create similar pink biofilms in tubs? (Are the sources of "pink" separated by geographic location?)
    • Is S. marcescens even forming a biofilm in these pink stains??
  3. What likely introduces S. marcescens into a bathroom?

I ask, because I've seen this bacteria both present or absent from similarly clean or dirty bathrooms, and thus far have not really seen any consistent patterns in the bacteria's spatial occurrence.

Any other interesting facts or sources on S. marcescens would be great!


I live in St. Louis, MO and get this in my bathtub over time, but not in my other sinks. I actually think @Christiaan is correct here, but with a few additional observations:

  1. I don't think it's bacteria. When dry, it's not slimy, nor does it grow back quickly when wiped away. It feels much more like a mineral deposit.
  2. It was no longer pink when using a different shampoo. Upon returning to an older brand, the color returned to pink.
  3. It's only directly around the drain, it isn't on the walls or anywhere else.

These lead me to think it's a mix of mineral deposits from the hard water and potential reactions with certain soaps/shampoos, at least in my case. These are only based on my own observations though, there very well could be a pink bacteria/fungi that tends to inhabit damp areas.


It could be Haloarchaea

  • so @theforestecologist not Bacteria but Archaea!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haloarchaea


Watch the video: Will it Flush? - Pink Slime (May 2022).