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Black Spots in Sink

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We have been getting these weird black spots in our sink. When washed away, they run like mascara. I can't figure out where it is coming from and I am worried it could be harmful to our health if it is indeed coming from the water.

We recently had this sink put in, and some of the original plumbing was replaced. It doesn't happen anywhere else in the house. The photo was taken after getting home after work, that morning I had washed out the sink. Does anyone know what is causing this?

By Stella from Manchester, WA


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By Stella Bella [119]04/01/2011

Our medicine cabinet came with 3 cubbies with dark brown baskets that fit into them. I was washing the sink and wiping down the medicine cabinet when I finally discovered that these baskets had flakes of stain that were falling into the sink every time I pulled one out to get something. I don't get into the baskets everyday so, this is why that some days I would see a lot of black spots and others I wouldn't see any.

I am relieved to find this out and now don't have to worry that there is something toxic coming out of our faucet.

Thank you to all of you who offered your advice.

Recent Answers

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By Linda Merling V.01/12/2015

I have the same problem and after reading the answers, and none of them make sense for my sink. I think it is droplets from when I apply mascara over the sink in the morning. I use Blinc, which I love, but it may be flicked on the sink when I use it.

By Ginger04/02/2011

Mystery solved! Thanks for the update.

The stain on some baskets can be difficult if not impossible to get out of fabrics or carpet. I once had a section of new Berber carpet stained indelibly by a large dark reddish-brown basket I had placed on it. Since then I have avoided stained baskets, no matter how attractive they look.

By Judy = Oklahoma [57]02/18/2011

Hard to tell from the picture, but does it look like maybe something dripping out of the faucet & splattering? Try putting your finger or some toilet paper up inside the faucet & see if you get this black stuff. We get the same kind of stuff dripping down from one of the faucet handles in out bathtub & it's from the black rubber gasket that needs to be replaced. Try what the others suggested & plug the sink to be sure it's not coming up from the drain, but be sure to check the faucet spout too.

By Sherri [6]02/18/2011

Does your cat sleep in the sink? It looks like blood from flea dirt. If so, please give your cat a bath and apply some advantage to prevent fleas. Good luck.

By Alicia [6]02/17/2011

To me it looks like your drain is "burping" this stuff out. I agree with other poster. Try plugging the plug and if it doesn't happen you know it's coming from the drain. It is probably the old pipes breaking down and this stuff is coming up. You likely have lots of pipes that need replaced or they may start leaking soon. Hate to say it but you will probably have to call a plumber.

By Linda [36]02/17/2011

Looks like something is crawling down into the sink. If it was clean that morning and not used - how did it get from the edge of the sink to the drain? That wouldn't be dripping water I would think.

By Angie02/17/2011

As the other poster mentioned, find out where it's coming from first, from the plug hole or out from the taps.
I get limescale on my sinks, it looks a bit like your picture. Sediment or rust in the pipes can cause problems. Alternatively, check your ceiling and walls nearby in case anything is crumbling and falling in the sink.


If you are sure no one will be using the sink while you are at work, you can find out if it is coming from the drain by making sure it is clean before you leave, make sure the faucet isn't dripping and close the plug on the drain. When you get home, if the sink is clean, it is coming from the drain. If you ever hear gurgling coming from the sink, it might not be vented properly.

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