New stain around your toilet bowl? Not sure how to clean it? Well, like everything else when it comes to owning a house, certain things mean different kinds of issues. For a toilet bowl stain that’s really no different. Even though our tap water is clear, it can still create stains.
A bowl can have a different color stain ring that signals what your specific issue is. Read below to identify what your issue is, and how to rectify it today!
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Pink Toilet Bowl Stain
Pink stains in the toilet bowl can show up around the top of the bowl, or at the waterline where the water rests in the toilet. The pink toilet bowl stain is most commonly a bacteria, Serratia marcescens, to be exact. Serratia marcescens is most commonly found growing in your bathroom. It’s areas of growth are the tile grout, toilet water line, toilet basin, and shower corners.
Serratia marcescens typically manifests itself as a pink, orange, or pink-orange discoloration. It also produces a slimy film that feeds off of phosphorus-containing materials or fatty substances (soap or shampoo residue). The good news, is that this type of bacterium is considered generally harmless in the household. It also doesn’t have much to do with type or quality of water coming into your house, this bacteria is present in the air.
Oddly enough, the reason why it changes color is due to the pigment being affected when the bacteria begins to colonize. Back in the middle ages, it caused reports of “miracles” to happen in damp climates where it would grow on bread. The locals would be convinced that the red pigment was the blood of Christ.
How To Clean A Pink Toilet Bowl Stain
We recommend chlorine beach and a soft plastic-bristled brush. Dip the brush into the bleach and scrub until the toilet bowl is clean. If the area is hard to reach, use a soft-bristle tooth-brush by sticking it in the chlorine bleach first.
We don’t recommend using a metal brush or a brush that’s harder than porcelain, as you could end up damaging the toilet. We also don’t recommend pouring chlorine bleach into the tank or tossing a chlorine bleach brink into your toilet. Chlorine damages the rubber parts of your toilet, which could cause those parts to deteriorate quickly.
Red or Orange Toilet Bowl Stain
Typically red or orange toilet bowl stains consist of high concentrations of iron in the water. Iron in the water can cause red, yellow, orange, tan, or rust colored stains in sinks, toilets, and other fixtures. Again, your tap water may appear that it’s clear, because soluble iron doesn’t oxidize until it hits air, which means that water high in iron could still appear clear.
If the iron had oxidized prior to coming out of the tap, that’s when your water could look dirty/murky. The water will likely have a reddish-yellow tint to it, just like rust. Well water is common to having high iron, but city water could also have it too.
How To Clean A Red or Orange Toilet Bowl Stain
While you can clear the immediate area with chlorine bleach and a soft bristle brush, like we would if the toilet had an orange stain, we would also recommend considering having your water tested, and if needed a water filtration system that has a strong iron filter in it. This way, you can get clear, stain-free water.
Black Or Brown Toilet Bowl Stain
These kinds of stains are typically caused by high levels of manganese. These colors commonly get mistaken for high level of irons depending on how strong/weak the tint of the stain is. If you have well water, this is often mistaken for iron, because both iron and manganese consistently show up in well water.
How To Clean A Black Or Brown Toilet Bowl Stain
If you have well water, research and look into purchasing a water treatment system if it’s affordable for you. Like we said above, Manganese is often with Iron, so an Iron type filter can usually handle both issues at the same time.
Green or Blue Stains
Notice that we did not say “green or blue toilet stain.” That’s because this is usually a sure sign of a water problem, and you should contact an expert as soon as possible. Typically a green or blue water stain is usually caused by having water that’s slightly acidic or corrosive. If low-pH water is flowing through your copper pipes, it can cause certain metals like cooper and lead to creep into your home’s water.
The water issue is magnified if you have hard water. Those high levels of cooper can mix with other hard water minerals, causing a multi-colored scale buildup. Instead of seeing a white scale buildup, you would get a blue or green scale on your faucets.
How To Clean A Black Or Brown Toilet Bowl Stain
We recommend consulting with a water expert as soon as possible. A water softener can take care of the hard water minerals and help balance the pH levels of your tap water. A water expert may tell you to get a more power water filtration system so you can again drink your water. With the right water filter, they can remove copper, leader and other contaminants a weaker water filter won’t be able to remove.
Any type of these water stains above could be an indicator of a different water problem. Learning how to diagnose the corresponding issues can get you a good head start in planning for a water correction solution. You want to take the right precautions to ensure that your family’s drinking water is safe and clean!