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Slimy residue around the sink? Here's How to Clean It

August 08, 2022

Have you ever found the sink area a little slippery and slimy, something in not-so-pretty pink? If yes, you are not alone in this situation; most Indian household goes through this albeit gross situation. But, if you are ignoring the trouble by thinking of it as just a slimy residue, then let us tell you that it is a harmful bacterium that can risk your and your family's lives. The bacteria grow in watery places around the sink, taps, faucets, showers, and bottled water containers. Scientifically, this bacterium is also known as Serratia marcescens. Even while washing the sink, ensure that you wear gloves because contamination of the pink slime can cause severe diseases like urinary, biliary, and respiratory tract infection, wound infection, peritonitis, and intravenous cathedral-related infection. 

Busting the myths: 

No issue gets its way from creating myths and misconceptions; this is also not an exception. So let's take a detour and learn about some myths and facts about pink slimy residues: 

Myth: Pink slimy residues grow due to mold and mildew. 

Fact: Serratia marcescens is an airborne bacterium. 

Myth: Pink slimes only grow in the washroom and sinks. 

Facts: This bacterium can grow in damp environments, so a water filter is not always the best solution. 

How to clean: 

Dry out the bathroom 

Turn off the water. The first step in getting rid of Serratia marcescens is making sure that the area where it's growing is dry. Next, use a paper towel or clean cloth to wipe down the entire sink and surrounding area, including any faucets or taps that may have been used recently. Next, clean your surfaces with bleach—the cleaner, the better—and then allow them to air dry before using them again. 

Turn off the faucet: 

This will stop any water spraying from your sink, and you won't have to worry about filling up a bathtub with pink slime. 

Open the drain stopper: 

Open the drain stopper to let any water out of the sink that may still be running after turning off the faucet. 

Remove any hair and debris: 

If hair or debris is in your sink, use a scrub brush to remove it before you clean it with soap and water (or bleach). 

Clean out soap residue: 

Use dish soap to clean any soap residue from your sink's surface by pouring some dish soap into a bucket. Keep swishing it around until it dissolves completely into a foamy solution that can be washed away easily with warm water and a sponge or rag. 

Cleaning solutions to remove pink slimy residues: 

Bleach and water: 

  • Mix a solution of one part bleach and 10 parts of water in a spray bottle. Spray the sink, then let it sit for 30 minutes before wiping it down with a rag or sponge dampened with the bleach mixture. Ensure no residues are left behind. This can be done multiple times over several days if needed, but it is best to wait at least 24 hours after it first appears before attempting to clean it again. 
  • After waiting 24 hours or more (depending on how long you notice the slime), scrubbing the sink with an abrasive cleaner is recommended. Use caution around your drains as they could become clogged if you scrub too hard. If abrasive or non-abrasive cleaners, remove any leftover slime from your sink or tub walls after waiting 24 hours or more (depending on how long you notice the slime). 

Vinegar and water: 

Ensure to grab a pair of gloves before preparing the mixture. Mix white vinegar with warm water or disinfectant. Spray the mixture on the area and let it soak for 10 minutes. The next step is a rigourous one; scrub until the stubborn slime is gone. Rinse well and pat with a microfibre cloth to dry. Make sure the place is dry and well-ventilated. Slime residues can also contaminate human health, so use plant-based washroom cleaners like TheBetterHome's organic toilet cleaner with no chemicals or preservatives. 

The pink slimy residue serves as the breeding ground for most of the illness-causing bacteria. Though it is labelled as a mold, this is not a fungus. These little guys thrive in shady, warm places and feed on fatty substances like soap residue. It is not a matter to be worried about because there are few ways to prevent this bacteria build-up.  

  • Open the windows and make that space well-ventilated, especially after the shower. 
  • While cleaning, make sure no soap residues are left. Use an after-shower cleaner or any toilet cleaning powder to get rid of soapy residues.  
  • Rinse the floor well to remove soap scum; you can also try a squeegee on glass and the floor to limit moisture and slippery floors. 
  • Pat a towel to dry the area around tub spouts, drains, showers, and handles. 

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