how to clean orange stains in the shower

How to Clean Orange Stains in the Shower

Finding orange stains in your shower can often be confusing and maybe a little disconcerting, but most of the time it’s nothing to worry about at all.

In this article, we’ll explore the causes of orange stains in the shower and what to do about them.


What Causes Orange Stains in the Shower?

Orange stains in the shower usually come from the build-up of iron and magnesium in your water.

This iron and magnesium is invisible to the naked eye, but can have a reaction with the leftover soap around your drains and in the bottom of the shower and can cause an orange mark to form.

If the marks are not caused by iron and magnesium, they may have been caused by pink mould, which can present as orange a lot of the time. This mould is not actually a mould but rather a bacteria called Serratia marcescens.


Are Orange Stains in the Shower Dangerous?

orange stains in the shower

If your stains are caused by iron and magnesium build-up, then they are harmless and not a health concern.

However, if they are pink mould then they could be more concerning, as with most moulds it could be bad for your lungs if you breathe it in too often.

If you suspect that your orange stains are being caused by pink mould, you should clean them immediately as thoroughly as possible and should also contact a plumber or specialist to check what in your water is causing this mould.


How to Clean Orange Stains in the Shower

Whether the orange stains are caused by iron and magnesium build-up or pink mould, the cleaning methods are very much the same.

The methods below are excellent for killing bacteria and eradicating any remaining marks and germs.

1. Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar

clean orange stains with bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar

White vinegar is a trusted household cleaning agent and can work in conjunction with various other products to ensure an excellent cleaning solution.

In this case, you are going to create a paste by mixing one cup of white vinegar with equal amounts of both table salt and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

The bicarbonate of soda and vinegar will react when mixed together and create a nice foamy paste.

Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the paste into the entire affected area and then let it sit for around 10 minutes before you rinse it away with warm water.

The orange-stained area should be back to its original pristine, shiny white!


2. Lemon juice

cleaning shower orange stains with lemon juice

Lemon juice is a highly effective stain remover. If you need a quick solution to the orange stains but don’t have access to any household cleaning agents, grab yourself a couple of lemons and squeeze them into a spray bottle.

Fill the rest of the spray bottle with warm water and spray the entire, orange-stained area of your shower with the citrussy solution.

Wait 10 minutes for the lemon juice to sink into the stains and then scrub the whole area with a soft bristle brush before rinsing it with warm, clean water.


3. Bleach

cleaning shower orange stains with bleach

When using bleach, it is important to be as safe as possible. If you’re putting the bleach into your shower, then it’s important to do it in a way that will not harm the drain or pipes in the shower but will still fully eradicate the bacteria in the area.

To make sure you’re using bleach safely, it is best to dilute it. Mix one cup of bleach into around 5 litres of lukewarm water. Wear gloves when working with bleach and be careful not to expose your skin or eyes to it.

Dip a soft bristle brush into the bleach mixture and scrub it into the areas that have been stained orange in your shower.

Let the solution sit for at least 10 minutes before you rinse it away with warm water. Be careful not to leave the bleach for too long as it could start to cause damage.


How to Prevent Orange Stains from Forming in Your Shower

orange stain in the shower prevention

If you’re concerned about these stains and would prefer not to be constantly cleaning the orange marks from the bottom of your shower, then it’s worth following a couple of simple steps to prevent the orange from forming in the first place.

Most of the time these marks are caused by the bottom of your shower being left wet after you have finished showering.

If there are places in your shower where the water sits for a long time after the water has been turned off, then they are likely to begin to have a build-up of either mould or iron and magnesium.

The easiest way to avoid this is to add one simple step to your shower routine. Simply wipe down the drain area or any particularly large puddles in the bottom of your shower before you get out.

You can do this using a squeegee to push the water down the drain, or you can use a cloth or towel to remove the water from the area completely.

If you’re really struggling and are finding these stains too often then you could consider a water filtration system. A new or upgraded filtration system should even out the iron and magnesium levels in your water.



Finding orange marks in your shower can be both unpleasant and frustrating, but luckily these stains are easy to tackle and there are various easily accessible household cleaners that will help you to eradicate those pesky orange marks.