Black stuff “growing” on bathtub & tile

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    • #273616

      I’ve had this problem for 2 years; I’ve contacted every expert and tried every chemical I can think of…I’m at my wit’s end! I have black stuff growing on my bathtub, the tile around the tub, the built-in soap dish, and the caulk. I took a slide of it to a fungus specialist, and he couldn’t see any cells or spores, but he said that the fact that I see it growing larger and darker every day is a good indication that it’s alive. It starts to grow back as a grayish blush within a couple of days of a good scrubbing, and gets bigger and blacker every day. Nothing I’ve tried works, and no one has been able to help me. I’m not even positive at this point that it’s alive, but I don’t know what else would grow bigger every day. I hope someone can help me… Thanks!

    • #288153

      Karin: I have come across similar
      ocurrances of this type condition in the Middle East. It is known in my Country as the “Camel Curse”. It has to do with some organisms that live in the gastric system of Dromedaries. This organism is also present in the saliva of the camel. Should a camel drink from a
      stored water supply, this organism in the saliva will contaminate the entire water supply and cause black
      velvet material to grow in and on all areas near that have a high humidity.
      If you look in the toilet tank you will probably find the breeding site for the problem that you are having. Try putting one or two of those blue or green tank type toilet deodorizers in the tank
      and see if that doesn’t turn the tide of battle for you. And in the future allow no camels to drink from your toilet tank.
      May the bluebird of hapiness sing at your 150th birthday celebration..Akmed

    • #288154

      Karin, Try a strong bleach solution use 1 cup of household bleach to 1 gallon of water. Take an old sock and with some gloves on your hands get the sock soaking wet. Place the sock or socks on the spots and leave for two hours. Now scrub the areas this should kill the organism.

    • #288155

      No scrubbing needed, just spray …. leave for five min’s …. hose off.
      The bacteria will also grow behind the silicone seal around the bath, but you need to remove the silicone, clean and dry behind the old silicone, then put new “anti fungal” back in its place.

    • #288156

      Thanks all for your replies…unfortunately, 100% bleach is something I tried early on, letting it sit for an hour, then scrubbing…neither this nor any other chemical has any effect! Sigh…

    • #288157

      I doubt your problem is biological, seems like a water soluble salt is precipitating out and then getting black (darker) as it oxidizes. I Loooove the “Camel’s Curse”, ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,lol

      OK, what to do? First, get an analysis of the water, look for manganese, iron and copper. The solution is easy, once you KNOW what you are addressing. I can be reached at

      I just peeked into this group because someone told me that there was a question on Legionnaires’ Disease that I could answer… Camel’s Curse, HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA…

    • #288158

      I too LOVED Akmed’s response!
      Thank you, Akmed, for a good laugh. I am trying the blue toilet tank thingies…and I’m also going to spray some Camel-Be-Gone around my house…darn camels!

    • #288159

      2.5 years ago my local water supply replaced chlorine with chloramine. As it turns out, chloramine makes the black rubber inside water heater hoses disintegrate, leaving an oily black substance in bathtubs. Replacing the hoses to the water heater fixed the problem,

    • #288160

      Karin, Interesting thing about chlorine and chlorimine this is the result of city water treatment trying to reduce the overall THM amounts in tap water

      Trihalomethanes (THM)
      This poses one of the largest threats to mass populations of people who reside in municipalities that use primarily surface water treated with chlorine. Trihalomethanes (THM’s) are the byproducts of chlorine’s use in treating drinking water, what is left of the chlorine after it kills bacteria reacts with the dead organic content in the water. Portions of the residual become trihalomethanes. Chloroform is the best known example. THM’s cause 10,000 cases of colon and bladder cancer annually. The chlorine industry strenuously opposes closer regulation of THM’s. The detected increases of THM’s presence in numerous large-scale water treatment systems have sparked the use of chlorimine for disinfecting. Chlorimines residual does not react with the remaining dead organic content like chlorine. The result is less THM’s present in the finished drinking water. One drawback to the use of chlorimine is that it needs a significant longer contact time with granular activated carbon (GAC) filters to be removed from the water. This posed a huge problem to the kidney dialysis industry that uses treated tap water for process makeup water. Because many facilities would use water treated with GAC filtration sized for chlorine removal. The longer contact time for the removal chlorimine required resizing of pretreatment.

      It has it’s ups and downs


      [Edited by daveroconn on 19 October 2000]

    • #288161


      Is the black stuff ‘on’ the grout around the tile, tub, and soap dish? Or is it ‘in’ or ‘behind’ the grout?

      If the black stuff never really goes away, especially with 100% chlorine bleach, it may be behind the grout and tile.

      This would be mold and mildew because moisture is getting where it should not be getting and then not drying out. If this is the case, it could be caused by excessively porous grout (possibly too much water mixed in by the tile setter to make it workable longer). This lets the water in through the grout and lets the water get behind the tile and other accessories. However, the evaporation time is longer and before this happens, the shower is used again, replenishing the water which did evaporate out and adding more water to it behind the tile.

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