The Pink Scourge

We’ve all seen it. How did it get there? How do you get rid of it? And why does it look like Barbie put it there?

The pink stuff you find in the shower or tub and inside the toilet bowl right at the waterline is actually a bacteria. Nope, not a mold as it is commonly misnomer-ed. The fancy scientific name is serratia marcescens. And everyone is going to tell you to use bleach on it. Everyone except me, of course.

As it turns out, my favorite, ultra-safe antibacterial and what seems to be the flavor du jour is a great way to treat it. Tea Tree oil is an antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral.  Just don’t do what I did the first time. I used Dr. Bronner’s with Tea Tree oil. I completely forgot that the pink bacteria feeds off of soap. The pink stuff flourished quite nicely after I fed it so well.

Tea Tree oil can be a bit expensive, so you can use our old standbys, vinegar and baking soda on a weekly basis to keep it down to a minimum. Also, letting the affected areas dry out well, or even drying them with a towel can help starve the bacteria. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t keep it from coming back. It can be living in your pipes or water heater. Which means not even bleach will kill it. So there.