Why Does My Poop Have Steam?

February 15, 2024

When you go to the bathroom, you might see steam escaping from your poop. But don’t be alarmed. The fumes are not smoke, but simply the condensation of water vapor that forms when your body’s temperature changes from warm to cold air. The phenomenon occurs when your poop exits the toilet bowl and comes in contact with cold water in the toilet, which causes it to condense. This vapor then creates the steam-like appearance.

The steam-like appearance of your poop is also caused by the fact that it’s often moist and has indigestible bits of plant material (called cellulose) that can leave behind a residue on toilet paper. That’s especially true if you eat lots of veggies and fruits, which have indigestible fibers in them. That’s why you often see pieces of corn or other vegetables in your poop, as well as other bits of food like whole grains and beans.

If your poop is earth-toned—brown, yellow, or green—that’s normal. But black, red, or maroon-hued poop can indicate bleeding in your colon or small intestine. Tarry poop can be due to things like diarrhea and Crohn’s disease, while bright red blood could mean hemorrhoids or a problem with your liver or gallbladder (which stores bile).

If you do see poop-related staining on clothes, wear gloves and blot it to prevent color transfer. Wash with cool or warm water, and add enzymes or laundry detergent or chlorine bleach to the wash (if you have it) to tackle proteins and food dyes that can turn into poop stains.

Mission

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