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josie's avatar

What is that black stuff in the toilet bowl?

Asked by josie (30931points) July 16th, 2010

I visited my girlfriend’s son at college a couple of weeks ago. Nice kid – academic olympian, but otherwise clueless and maybe a little spoiled (nothing he won’t get over). He lives in an apartment with a couple of other guys. Not surprising I suppose, it was a hygienic nightmare. As is so often the problem, none of them had actually had any “training” as to how to clean their space so I went out and bought some cleaning materials and showed them how to do it, and then made them go to work. The question came up “Josie, what is that black stuff that grows down on the inside edges of the toilet bowl, where the water comes out during a flush?”
It also appears as a ring around the water line sometimes. I know it will show up if you give it time, but I don’t really know what it is. Anybody know?

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16 Answers

janbb's avatar

I would think, without seeing it, that it is mold and/or mildew. Get Tilex Mold and Mildew, spray it inside the toilet, leave for 20 minutes and scrub it down. If they do that regularly and the black is gone, that’s what it was.

dpworkin's avatar

It could be tarnished metallic residue from very hard water. Does it happen where there are other drips, like the kitchen sink, or the bathtub?

Aster's avatar

Mold, I believe.

jazmina88's avatar

mold..i thought it was poo remnants.

ucme's avatar

BP’s oil slick? Shit, that stuff travels fast.

MissA's avatar

The thought of mold spores checkin’ out my butt for habitation is just, just horrible. I’d rather consider @dpworkin‘s suggestion that it might be metallic residue.

Regardless, I’ll keep cleaning my commode enthusiastically.

I realize that there are arguments against its usage, but bleach is my toilet’s best friend.

Blotto's avatar

Squid ink that somebody added to the reservoir.

Stinley's avatar

It’s mildew – a fungal mould thingy. Your bum never gets down there to touch it so it’s out of harm’s way. Looks gross though. Any bleach cleaner will get rid of it. You could put one of those things in the tank that turn the water blue to prevent it – similarly there’s a cage you hang on the bowl with the stuff in it or i’ve seen an advert for ones that stick on the bowl. Can’t use these things myself as they would damage my septic tank. Have to stick to the old loo brush and a good scrub.

seazen_'s avatar

Gel bleach works well. It is super concentrated and of course kills everything. Don’t dilute it: just spritz it around the area and leave on til the next flush. Repeat the next day. Good for shower tiles and hard to get to spots like under soap trays and in cracks in the tiles.

Bad for the environment, but then mold spores are bad for your health and can cause/stimulate asthma.

wilma's avatar

Gel bleach? I don’t think I’ve seen that. I’m in the U.S. I wonder if we have that here, it sounds like a useful product.

seazen_'s avatar

Google it for more products; here’s one in the states.

seazen_'s avatar

It’s what I live for. Bleach.

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