What Is Difference Between Mold And Mildew? A Helpful Guide

The appearance, texture, kinds, effects, and area where it develops are some factors that can help identify what is difference between mold and mildew. It is easy to tell that every surface is already clean once you have finished sweeping and wiping the dust, but are you sure that removing the dust is the only thing we should focus on when cleaning?

Mold and mildew need to be taken sincerely and seriously by people as they are both forms of fungus that can risk your health. Are you even aware that despite this similarity of being a fungus, they have characteristics that make them different?

what is difference between mold and mildew

It is not easy to differentiate a mold and mildew if you are unaware of these two. Continue reading this article to be familiar with what you need to know about mold and mildew!


Appearance And Scent Of Mold And Mildew

If you think that the appearance of mold and mildew is the same, then you are wrong. Mold and mildew are different in smell and appearance, such as color and texture.

Mildew only appears in yellow or white to a grayish color and is said to be dry, rough, and powdery in its texture. Moreover, you can immediately identify mildew due to its strong, unpleasant odor and stale scent. 

On the other hand, mold looks slimy or fuzzy and usually appears in colors green and black, but there are also white, blue, brown, or yellow. Mold also has a musty and earthy odor that produces a more intense smell than mildew.

For your reference, the color of a mold varies depending on where it will develop. If you are interested in the color variations of mold, you can check out what color is mold for a more detailed explanation.


Kinds Of Mold And Mildew That Makes Them Different

Mold and mildew also contain categories that make them different from each other. This article will provide a short and brief discussion about the classification of mold and mildew to make it easy for you.

Take your time to be familiar with the following names of the kinds of mold and mildew stated below.

The standard mold types are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys Chartarum. These may be hard to pronounce but what’s important is you are aware that these five differ in aspects like their texture, color, and place where it develops.

Moreover, the ordinary and usual kinds of mildew only vary into two, which are powdery and downy mildew. Powdery mildew affects mostly plants, while downy mildew mainly affects agricultural goods.

Are you curious about more detailed information that will explain each kind to you? You can check out how to identify black mold vs mildew to understand the deeper meaning of each kind.


Where Does It Develop?

Mold and mildew are also different when it comes to where they can grow and develop. If you think that these two grow in the same environment, well, you might be right in a way. 

Mold is known to grow in places containing moisture. Some examples are roofs, pipes, and windows where leaks due to flooding are visible. 

Moreover, mold also grows in paper, wood, paints, carpet, fabric, wallpaper, dust, and cardboard. It can also be visible to food such as meat, bread, or cheese. 

On the other hand, you can find mildew in dry areas such as damp areas, floors, ceilings, walls, and areas with high humidity. It can also grow on agricultural surfaces, wherein potato is one of the best examples. 


Differentiating The Effects Of Mold And Mildew 

Both mold and mildew affect the health of human beings. However, these effects differ as one can be milder and the other can be worse. 

Mildew can harm someone’s health, but it can be considered mild and light compared to mold. However, remind yourself that being a tiny particle does not mean that it is already safe. 

Mildew causes people to have coughs, colds, sore throat, headaches, and problems concerning breathing. Severe issues may present to pregnant, infants, the elderly, and people with existing conditions like allergies, asthma, and respiratory problems. 

On the other hand, mold could have worse than the effect that mildew can bring. Mold can bring you respiratory problems, allergies, joint inflammations, heart problems, fatigue, depression, and dizziness.  



Cleaning means removing all dirty particles, including the possible mold and mildew that you can acknowledge in some areas of your home. It can now be easily identified as you are now aware of what is difference between mold and mildew.

Both of them may be fungi, but they are still different due to many reasons and aspects. Knowing their kind, appearance, and texture can help you identify what you should do and avoid. 

Identifying the difference between the two can help you protect yourself. You can also share your knowledge about these with others.

It is best to be aware of the differences between mold and mildew as they may be beneficial not only for the idea of hygiene and cleanliness but also for your health and well-being.

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