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Pink Mold - Causes, Dangers, and Removal Guide

Mold is everywhere around us, all the time. When we say “mold”, we actually mean mold spores. These tiny, airborne particles are flying around us 24/7.

Now, typically, these spores are pretty harmless. But the problem starts when these spores find themselves in an environment conducive to mold growth.

This is when what most people call “mold” grows – a group of mold spores that form a colony on a given surface and start growing on it.

Mold can be in various colors – white, black, green, orange, and the topic of today, pink.

Today we’ll dissect everything you need to know about pink mold – what causes it, how dangerous it is, and how to remove it. Let’s go!

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pink mold on bread

What is Actually Pink Mold

Now, pink mold is not actually mold all the time. Many times, you might be dealing with Serratia marcescens, a bacteria, often having a pink or reddish pigment (like you can see on the example picture above).

This is not a fungus, while another common pink and moldy thing people stumble upon, Aureobasidium pullulans, is actually a fungus.

Aureobasidium is a group of mold colonies, while Serratia is made up of biofilms – microbial communities.

We’ll go over both of these and examine their dangers (or lack thereof) and removal techniques.

What Causes Pink Mold

Pink mold, or any other type of mold for that matter, is usually caused when a room has higher levels of moisture than usual.

This typically happens when weather conditions with high levels of humidity go on while the room where mold is ought to grow in is poorly ventilated. Think of bathrooms or basements.

Water damage, AKA a significant level of unwanted water intrusion, like leaks from pipes or appliances, sump pump overflows, or backups from your toilet, can provide that moisture too.

Temperature and plant life also matter more or less, but the presence of moisture is crucial for mold development. This also helps you understand how to get rid of mold. But more on that later.

Lastly, mold only grows on organic matter – food, cotton, wood, and others.

Is Pink Mold Dangerous

Firstly, Serratia marcescens is generally considered to be of low pathogenicity, meaning it does not usually cause disease in healthy individuals. However, for those with compromised immune systems or those who are undergoing medical treatment, this bacteria can cause some problems.

This also goes for most molds. If you’re generally a healthy person, you are likely not going to experience any health problems. But this changes if the mold you’re dealing with produces mycotoxins, like black mold, or if there’s just a lot of mold. 

But speaking of our pink bacteria, infections caused by Serratia marcescens can include urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, wound infections, and bloodstream infections.

Again, this is mostly tied to people who are being treated or who have had surgeries.

Then there’s our actual pink mold Aureobasidium pullulans. This mold is not known as a significant mycotoxin producer, and it’s generally considered a low-risk mold.

Though it can still cause damage to your items and perhaps trigger some reactions for certain folks, so it’s still recommended that you approach it with caution, especially if you have allergies or asthma.

Are There Other Types of Pink Mold

These two are the most common types of pink mold. You’re very unlikely to encounter other types of mold that are pink in color.

However, note that mold’s color is influenced by other things than just the mold’s species. The type of material the mold is growing in, the nutrients it consumes, and other surrounding conditions influence its color. 

The color more or less doesn’t matter, unless it’s black, dark green, or dark brown. Then you need to be very careful, as those black molds are mostly toxic.

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As soon as you call the number below, you’ll be connected with a professional restoration company in your area. Free, with no advertising or commitment.

How to Remove Pink Mold

Pink mold removal techniques will first depend on where the pink mold actually grew.

Examining Aureobasidium pullulans, this fungus mostly grows on:

  • Window frames
  • Shower curtains
  • Wet walls, cardboard, or fabric

Similar settings are for Serratia marcescens:

  • Bathrooms – Shower curtains, tiles, grout, and around sinks and faucets.
  • Kitchens – Areas around sinks, near leaky faucets, and in the vicinity of dishwashing areas
  • The soil of indoor plants
  • Damp cardboards, fabric, or walls again
  • Humidifiers
  • Window sills

So, the removal approach will be slightly different, but the essence remains the same – you need to first get rid of the moisture source and then kill the mold.

Moisture sources can be plentiful:

  • Condensation
  • Leaks
  • Poor ventilation

And more. So figure out exactly what caused that moisture and then get rid of it. 

Then you need to kill mold. White vinegar is great for this, mixed with water. Spray or rinse it on an affected area, leave it to dry, and then repeat.

This process should be repeated until the mold is completely removed. This DIY approach is enough for most pink mold situations.

Make sure that, now that you know what the moisture source was, the mold doesn’t come back again. 

So, if the cause was poor ventilation, open your windows more or get a bathroom fan installed.

Maybe your humidifier causes your indoor humidity levels to be too high. In that instance, use it less or stop using it completely. 

Conclusion

And there you go! Hopefully, this post was helpful enough for you to take some action and get rid of pink mold. 

Sometimes it might also be easier to throw away that shower curtain or fabric if you don’t mind replacing it. Other than that, follow the steps in this guide and you should be good.

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