Orange Mold

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Occupation:
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Orange Mold
    What causes "Orange Mold" in a shower?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2016
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    There are a couple of molds that are orange and they'll form on any surface under the right conditions...I seriously doubt the material leaches color. Once they get established, it is tough to get rid of them.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    At the school I went to on Shluter stuff, they had a cardboard box covered with Kerdi and thinset used as a drink cooler. The water never was anything but clear, and the color of the membrane had not changed over the months that box had been in use. they had to replace them periodically because of flex...the box became more of a bowl than a square box...not because it got wet, but because of the weight of the water and drinks it held over time and the constan flexing.
     
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I'm starting to see some orange spots on the grout on my KERDI shower but I think it is iron staining. I plan to hit it with some Super Iron Out soon. I need to get more aeration before the precip tank of my iron filter to combat the iron.
     
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I am familiar with a pink mold in showers. My initial take on orange is "is it rust??". But the one and only solution to mold is drainage and VENTILATION!
     
  7. Smooky

    Smooky In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Iron bacteria will usually cause yellow, orange, red, or brown stains. It can also produce a slime.
     
  8. Smooky

    Smooky In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I found this on a site about counter tops.......One curious fact that sometimes results in rusty stains is that Carrera marble and other white marbles contain iron deposits. If these are consistently exposed to water long enough to oxidize the iron, then the rusty water is carried to the surface and can stain.

    This is much more common on floors, where a flood or leak could saturate the marble or trap water under the tiles providing enough moisture to oxidize the iron deposits within.
     
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
  10. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    OT, but a chemical test ?
    I have cleaning fluids that when they react with Iron...the cleaning fluid turns purple.
     
  11. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Occupation:
    ditto
    Location:
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    urinating = makes this bacteria grow faster.

    I think. Have a study done to prove it. Or collect anecdotal evidence.


    Interesting about the iron test and purple.
     
  12. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Actually the chemical is not a iron test.....per say, but when in use, when it hits iron, it reacts to it....and then turns from green to purple.

    I briefly skimmed the thread but I'm going to assume there exists some sort of iron test out there to confirm his suspicions, hopefully without causing more staining.

    I love Carrerra Marble in aot of things. I would never want it myself though. Too soft, too much maintenance, etc..
     
  13. jsbsmarcescens

    jsbsmarcescens New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2017
    Location:
    North Central Texas
    I joined this forum just to post the solution to this problem; a solution that works so well everyone should know about it. The post above correctly identifies the culprit as bacteria named serratia marcescens, but does not give this wonderful, bleach-fumes-free, easy, permanent solution for getting rid of it. I found many inquiries about how to clean off this common problem, but only found the answer in one place, which is why I'm spreading the news around.

    Some key words to help people find this page: pink orange deposit growth mold bacteria shower tub grout serratia marcescens prevent rid.

    This works so well it is effectively MAGIC and deserves the widest possible dissemination. I'd been cleaning off this slimy stuff for fifty years and assumed it was in the water and left a deposit when it evaporated, like hard water calcium deposits. That is wrong. It is a harmless little beast once thought so benign it was intentionally injected into aquifers to trace the flow of water underground. It eats the fats in bar soap, so step one is to rinse out your shower each time you use it.

    If serratia marcescens eats bar soap, it would appear to make sense to throw the soap out in the back forty and switch to body wash, which I read is made from petroleum, but I found it is not necessary. We inadvertently bought some Sam's Club Members Mark "Moisturizing Body Wash With Shea Butter" and only recently found shea butter is a fat, yet and our problems are gone! So I suspect you could still use bar soap if you rinse and spray every time.

    Despite our mistake, we have not a trace of anything in our shower after two months, not even dirt, and I haven't cleaned it once, yet it looks clean as a whistle. Normally it would at least have dingy stuff where we stand that would have to be scoured off, and sometimes the orange and black bacteria and mold. Ever since the first days of using the spray, the tile and grout have looked brand new. Not only are the beasts are gone, but so is the dirt! I attribute this astonishing lack of grime to the vinegar, which I learned from my research is a terrific cleaner of almost anything.

    As to the magic spray, let me give credit where credit is due. I did not come up with this formula, I only modified it to improve it based on more research and two months of experience. It was originally posted on this forum by a member named jadnashua. I used that info and added what I found during two months of experience and extensive searching elsewhere.

    Jadnashua said you have to start with a clean shower, so scrub everything thoroughly one last time.

    He also said to apply it liberally to a dry shower, but I have found it works fine sprayed on immediately after showering and I don't spray much. I rinse first with a handheld sprayer we already had, then spray enough magic stuff to lightly mist everything. I only rinse and spray where tiles stay wet a long time, from 18" down incl the tile floor, then walk away. Hydrogen peroxide used to be used to bleach hair blonde, so we substituted a white rug outside the shower door and we keep our towels away from it.

    The original poster did not say how often we should spray. I have been spraying every day since it takes less time than drying the shower. Rinse, spray, walk away.

    Hydrogen peroxide is part of the formula. It is water with an extra oxygen molecule, making its formula H2O2. It hates sunlight, air, physical contact with other substances and even sitting unopened on a shelf, all of which make it lose its extra oxygen molecule. That turns it into H2O, plain water; useless for our purposes. For that reason, I make up the solution without hydrogen peroxide, adding it only when I fill my handheld Walmart spray bottle. A sprayer full lasts at least a couple weeks. H2O2 will be plain water a month after opening it, and after about six months unopened on the shelf.

    BUY THE FOLLOWING:

    1. One HALF gallon of the cheapest vinegar you can find.

    2. Boric acid. You will need one cup for the first batch. Boric acid is a powder and for many years was dusted around the house to kill roaches, but it is one of the safest chemicals there are for humans, so no precautions are necessary. You will find boric acid ($3 in July, 2017) in Walmart sold as Enoz Roach Away. It comes in a bright yellow, 16 oz. by weight, plastic bottle that holds two cups. My Walmart stocks it in two locations: Insecticides, where it was sold out, and Food, which was not.

    3: A quart or two (but no more because it goes bad) of hydrogen peroxide. In July of 2017 it was 88 cents a quart in the Walmart pharmacy First Aid section. It is sold in dark plastic bottles to protect it from light, it must be used within a month after opening and it must be recapped tightly.

    4: An excellent 88-cent Walmart clear plastic empty 32 oz spray bottle with volume marks in ounces and mL. Mark it SHAKE WELL with a Sharpy.

    5. Find a spare one gallon jug, rinse it and label it SHAKE WELL.

    DIRECTIONS FOR MIXING

    In the gallon jug, add one half gallon of vinegar and funnel in one cup of boric acid. Shake well. Not all the boric acid will dissolve. You now have half of your magic mixture. You will make the complete mixture in the spray bottle as required. To fill your sprayer, shake your gallon jug and fill the sprayer half full with the vinegar boric acid mixture. Without touching the mouth of the hydrogen peroxide bottle to the sprayer, fill the rest of it with H2O2. Shake. The spray will leave a barely visible white coating of boric acid after it dries.

    The hydrogen peroxide is an odor free bleach substitute. It and the vinegar strip the cell walls from the S. marcescens and the boric acid keeps it from coming back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
Similar Threads: Orange Mold
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Orange build-up on showertile grout Apr 14, 2014
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Please help!!! Is this toxic mold behind a tiled shower? How to fix it? Oct 24, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Black mold(?) on OSB of outside wall behind tub... Jul 6, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Curb leaking and mold. What to do May 9, 2016
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Basco bypass shower door drip molding sought Aug 14, 2013

Share This Page