toilet seat discoloration pink purple

Why is my toilet seat turning pink or purple? [Reasons + Prevention]

toilet seat discoloration pink purple

So you just used your toilet and found a pink or purple stain on the seat?

You are not alone!

The discolored toilet seat is a widely debated topic on the internet, and both men and women have been victims of this bizarre phenomenon.

But why does toilet seat discoloration take place? The reasons could be many – ranging from airborne bacteria to acidic body sweating and reaction of toilet cleaning detergent to stains caused due to the jeans or undies dye on your butt.

Let’s dig into the details and learn what is this magical thing causing your toilet seat to turn purplish-pink!

1). The pink stains could be due to Serratia Marcescens (an Airborne Bacteria).

If you are an individual with no medical conditions nor do you use any commercial bathroom cleaner, then “Serratia Marcescens” could be the possible cause of the toilet turning pink. This airborne bacteria thrives in moist conditions, which is why it is usually found in bathroom toilets.

What is Serratia Marcescens?

Serratia Marcescens is a bacteria found naturally in soil, food, and animals. The bacteria thrive on moisture, dust, and phosphates and require almost nothing to survive. Serratia is easily carried in the air and will search for a moist place in which to grow. It also feeds off oily compounds such as soap or shampoo remnants.

Serratia Marcescens is most attracted to places like toilet bowls, bathtubs, sink drains, showerheads, and even your pet’s water bowls. The pink or purple color is caused by the formation of the pigment when the bacteria colonize. The color (how dark or light) is dependent on the room temperature – making the toilet seat discoloration range from light baby pink to dark purplish.

The majority of people face this problem when leaving the windows of the bathroom open. This causes the anaerobic bacteria to enter through the window vents and sit on the moist toilet of your bathroom – forming a pink or purple ring around the inner toilet bowl right above the water line or even on the toilet seat.

*Do you know? In ancient times, Serratia Marcescens inspired claims of “miracles”. The red pigmentation on bread in the humid climate was believed to be the blood of Jesus Christ!

2). Hormonal changes might be causing the toilet seat discoloration.

a Girl sitting on flush toilet

Hormonal shifts are also an essential aspect of this. That’s why the highest percentage of people who reported a purplish-pink toilet seat were pregnant women. The elevated levels of hormones that are present during pregnancy may be the cause of this. So, as the skin interacts with the toilet seat’s coating, it may induce a difference in color. Apart from the toilet seat, one might see colored stains on their white bedsheets and clothes.

When you are pregnant, remember that it will go away as soon as the hormones start to balance. It would also be prudent to notify the gynecologist and inform them about the experience. You may need to get your hormones monitored, particularly if you’re not expecting them.

3). Your sweat glands might be secreting some substance that is probably pH-variable.

Are you taking some kind of supplement? If you’re taking prenatal or progesterone or other medical supplements, it might be coming out your skin pores, and just reacting strangely with the toilet seat. Other than the toilet seat, you might notice a slight purple tint on your clothes or bed sheet as well.

Here’s why this happens?

This is attributable to the prenatal supplements, multi-vitamins, or vitamin water you might be consuming. Every person has different responses to this, some people do, and some people don’t. When a man or woman takes vitamins/prescription drugs of some kind, this imbalance the natural acidity of their body. As a result, your body starts to excrete vitamins (or too many) through your sweat glands.

This reaction of your skin against other elements is visibly noticeable as a pink or purple tint, especially when you sit down on your white toilet seat or sleep on white bedsheets.

Do you want this to stop?

When a person has so much acid in their bloodstream, their body can often cause things that come into contact with it to either fade or change a pinkish tint. You can purchase acid testing strips and check your saliva in the morning on an empty stomach. This will demonstrate just how acidic your body is.

If it is very strong, aid by drinking lots of water and consuming fresh green veggies. This way, you will neutralize the high acidity of your body and maintain an optimal body PH. Don’t panic, this isn’t toxic. It’s just the body telling you are getting too much of something, and it’s trying to sweat out the excess intake through your pores.

4). Your dark-colored jeans or underwear could be the culprit.

Sounds funny, right?

But it has been the case with many people!

Dark-colored jeans or underwear could leave a dye on your butt cheeks and thigh. This dye would transfer on the toilet seat as soon as you sit to do your thing. Therefore, before jumping to any conclusion, make sure you have ruled out this possibility.

5). You could be suffering from Chromhidrosis – sweat glands disorder.

Chromhidrosis is a sweat gland disorder that causes yellow, blue, black, green, or purple colored sweat in people. These colors are due to a pigment called lipofuscin that is formed in the sweat glands. Lipofuscin is common in human cells, but individuals with Chromhidrosis have elevated levels of lipofuscin which causes discoloration of the sweat and body oils.

*People suffering from this sweat glands disorder would possibly also find blue streaks on their skin, clothing, and bed sheets and not only on the toilet seat!

Chromhidrosis can be treated with topical medication, such as applying Capsaicin Cream 0.025% twice a day to the affected area. However, it is best to consult a dermatologist for its cure.

Other reasons include:

  • Rust or minerals in the water
  • Discoloration from commercial cleaning chemicals
  • Substance (soap/lotion/cream) from your bottom

How To Get Rid of Pink Stains From Toilet Seat?

You can or simply can’t get rid of pink stains on the toilet seat. It all depends on the stain’s source. If the tint is shifted from your pant’s dye or other alike sources, it can be easily removed. However, if the purple or pink tint has occurred due to Serratia Marcescens (bacteria) or from your sweat excretion, then you can only prevent it from developing but can’t eliminate it.

Here’s what you can do to remove purplish-pink stains from your toilet seat:

  • Invest in a good quality toilet bowl cleaner or a disinfectant cleaner with bleach. A regular household bleach would also work well.
  • Squirt the cleaner on the stained surfaces. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so that it disinfects the surface and fights against the purple tint.
  • Use a soft bristle brush to gently scrub the affected surface. Avoid exerting too much pressure or using hard brushes, as these could scratch the toilet seats and may remove the protective coating of the toilet.
  • Flushing toilets that are not frequently used can also help decrease bacterial growth.


There are several reasons behind your toilet seat turning pink or purple. Different theories include the formation of Serratia Marcescens (bacteria) in the toilet bowl; your sweat glands interacting with the toilet seat’s coating; hormonal changes due to pregnancy; acidic body PH caused due to supplements intake; or simply a dye from your blue jeans.

why is my toilet turning pink purple

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