What is the red stuff in my toilet and shower?

First off - I am quite certain this is NOT RUST. I am quite familiar with rust and rust stains in the washroom and this definetly isn’t it.

Inside my toilet bowl and on the floor/tile of our tub red stuff forms after a short while (3-4 days) after cleaning. It cleans quite easily and I don’t need any wicked chemicals or hard scrupping to remove it. It is kind of a “bright” red, lighter than rust in color… almost has a pinkish hue.

Any idea what it is? Is there some kind of bacteria or something that is comonly this color found in washrooms/showers?

Just to remind you: IT IS DEFINETLY NOT RUST.

If it matters, I’ve only seen this in our new home (brand new, just built). The pipes are all plastic, save a very short stretch of pipe off the hotwater tank that is copper. The water in our city is chlorinated and flouride is added. It has quite a low iron content though, IIRC.

Sorry to issue a WAG here, but I’m pretty sure it’s algae.

I’m pretty sure it’s lead. I’ll go find a cite now. . .

Or a slime mold. In my climate it takes several weeks for it to start devloping but yours may make it form quicker. There is probably bacteria in it as well.

No, it’s not lead. It is some sort of organism. It will grow on the insides of wet cups and so forth, too–basically on any damp thing, just like mildew.

I get the same crap in my bathroom. I’ve found it happens especially in the areas of the tub where water my sit for a while and also on my calk around the faucets. I concur with An Arky that it is most likely an algae. The onlly thing (so far) that I’ve found that kills it is any bathroom cleaner as long as it is accompanied by feverish scrubbing. Bleach will get rid of it almost instantly, but I’ve found, finally, the thing that will prevent it and that’s Clean Shower or products like it. Sorry couldn’t be of more help.

Of course all I found was a message board that said it was iron so I’ll just shut up now since I don’t know what in the hell I’m talking about.

Around San Francisco, even the mold is gay. :slight_smile: We get a pink mold/algae that’s usually fairly uniform in appearance in addition to the regular blotchy black stuff.

Give it a squirt with bleach - if it disappears, it’s mold.

If you see red stuff in your toilet and shower, and you feel faint, then I can only conclude that you’re bleeding.

I thought it might have been colloidal copper, did a search and found this. Says it could be colloidal iron or iron bacteria.


You could put a drop of nitric acid on it. If a blue solution is formed, then its probably copper. Watch out for the NO2.

I get the same stuff around plugholes and where the water trickles at the end of flushing the toilet. You can see traces wherever water pools for long. It isn’t a living thing because it doesn’t spread, it’s just a stain. It’s something local because when I lived a few miles up the mountains it didn’t happen. The club nearby has the same stains in the washbasins in the toilet. I find that lemon juice gets it off best.

I doubt that it is the cause of bernse’s problems, but Serratia is a bacteria that can make the things it grows on turn red. As the link above(briefly) points out, this is a likely cause for some of the “miracles” where “blood” appears on bread, etc.

Iron-related or iron-precipitating bacteria are one possibility:

The color could also come from a red algae.

Ah, so not only is bernse bleeding, but it’s from his stigmata!! Who’s going to be organizing the bus tour?