Have you ever been faced with an orange stain in the shower? It’s not a pretty sight … especially first thing in the morning before you’ve even had your morning coffee.
Your reaction — after an initial disgusted “eewww!” – is likely to consist of wondering why that orange stain in the shower has even appeared and whether there is an easy way to get rid of it. Will you need some kind of super strong cleaner? Is there something in the water? And if so, do I need water treatment?
Well, if you’ve got the questions, we’ve got the answers. So keep reading or reach out to an expert plumber in Ottawa on the Out of This World team!
An orange stain in the shower will most often come from one of two sources:
1. Iron in the water. Your household water supply might contain high levels of iron, which combine with leftover soap scum to form a rusty orange deposit on plumbing fixtures, tubs and sinks. Even if the water is clear when it first comes out of your faucet, it may turn orange upon exposure to air (oxidation).
2. Pink mould. Technically, pink mould isn’t really a mould; it’s a water-borne bacterium (serratia marcesens) that can build up on your shower wall, floor, or curtain, as well as other areas of your bathroom. Pink mould’s not exactly pink either; it is often orange or reddish.
Although iron-based stains look unattractive, Ottawa drinking or bathing in the water won’t make you sick. Pink mold, on the other hand, can be responsible for a whole host of health problems, including assorted infections, respiratory illnesses, and gastrointestinal ailments and it would be good to reach out to a plumber or water treatment specialist.
In addition to orange, several other water stain colours could show up in your bathroom or kitchen:
Blue or green stains are the result of mildly acidic tap water which leaches lead or copper from your plumbing pipes.
Brown or black stains come from excessive manganese in the water.
Finally, the very common white stains are due to hard water, containing high levels of calcium and magnesium.
Iron stains are best caught early. In the beginning stages, this type of staining can easily be removed with white vinegar or lemon juice. Once it has set, try scrubbing with CLR. White vinegar is also good for getting rid of mild pink mould infestation. For more serious cases, use bleach.
SAFETY ALERT: Wear PPE while cleaning moulds and bacteria. And never combine chlorine bleach with acids like lemon juice or vinegar! Together, they form a dangerous gas. Launder a pink mould-y shower curtain in your washing machine on “Delicate”; then air-dry.
For starters, keep your shower clean and wipe it dry after use. If you continue to find orange stain in the shower, take the following steps:
Step 1. Test your water. Do you live in the Ottawa area? If so, Out of this World will send a licensed plumber to test your water for free.
Step 2. Install some form of water treatment or softener. Depending on your water test results, we’ll recommend the right water treatment or water softener to solve your orange stain problems in your Ottawa, Barrhaven, Kanata or surrounding area home.