Updated at: 19-07-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

What is the difference between mold and mildew? Do you know the difference in color between mold and mildew?

A lot of people use the terms mold and mildew interchangeably. Fungi and wet and humid environments are two of the features that unite them.

Mold comes in a variety of forms, but mildew is one of those forms. Learn more about mildew by continuing to read.

What Is Mildew?

All tiny fungus that produce multicellular filaments, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, are considered molds. In the same breath, the term “mildew” refers to a specific type of mold as well as the process through which mold grows.

While mold can destroy the materials it grows on, mildew has no such effect. Discover the difference between mould and mildew in this article.

Mold Vs. Mildew: How to Get Rid of Them

It is easy to eliminate mildew because it grows in a flat shape. Fabric, leather, plants, and forests are the most common places to find it growing.

It needs organic matter to feed on, a lot of moisture, and a reasonable amount of heat to thrive. The mildew’s reproduction is aided by these environmental circumstances.

How does mildew look?

Colors of mold can range from white to yellow to black to blue to green. The color range of mildew, on the other hand, is limited to white, gray, or yellow, and darkens over time.

See this post to learn what color mold is and how to spot it in your house if you have any questions.

Mildew’s texture could range from fuzzy to slimy, depending on the type of mildew present. It also has a stale, musty odor.

Downy mildew and powdery mildew are the two types of mildew.

The areas of downy mildew appear yellow or white on the surface of the plant. It thrives in moist, humid environments.

Powdery mildew is simpler to recognize because of the gray or white powdery spots that it leaves behind. High humidity and a dry atmosphere are ideal for this plant’s growth.

If left on plants, it can deplete nutrients and water, slowing development or even causing wilting.

Is mildew harmful?

When opposed to mold, mildew is a much less serious health risk. Coughing, sneezing, headaches, sore throats, and breathing difficulties are all possible reactions to mildew spores.

Asthma, allergies, and other preexisting diseases may cause more severe reactions than those who have never had these concerns. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with respiratory issues are most vulnerable to its effects.

Everywhere you look, you’ll find mildew. Large quantities can have a negative impact on anyone’s health, even if they’re consumed in small amounts.

Both the people and their surroundings are affected by mildew. Since it just develops on the surface of a material, it isn’t capable of causing significant harm.

The spores of mildew would be formed within 24 to 48 hours, and they would move through the air.

Mildew Prevention

Even if mildew doesn’t do much damage to its surroundings, it’s best to keep it away from your home.

Take action as soon as you notice mildew spores if you want to prevent being exposed to them for too long. Moreover, here are a few tips for preventing mildew growths:

  1. Keep your kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and other damp areas free of mildew as often as necessary.
  2. Keep the interior of your home dry by using electric lights in places like closets. During bright days, open your wardrobe and let the clothes breathe.
  3. Never leave damp clothing or materials lying around; instead, use a clothesline to dry them. Before storing, completely and quickly dry any garments that have been washed.
  4. As soon as you notice a leak, have it repaired as quickly as feasible.
  5. Open your windows or use exhaust fans to improve the flow of air in your home. Make sure your cabinets and storage areas are dry and well-ventilated.
  6. Keep your house dry using a dehumidifier.
  7. If you have an air conditioner, set it between 73°F and 81°F during the summer and 68°F and 76°F during the fall and winter, respectively.
  8. It’s best to use CLR mold and mildew remover, which helps keep mildew from spreading to new areas. Find out where to purchase CLR mold and mildew remover by reading this post.
  9. Silica gel, molecular sieves, and activated alumina are just a few examples of substances that can be used to absorb moisture. The instructions should be followed and used correctly.
  10. Sprayable fungicides can be used to protect fabrics from mildew. When utilizing this kind of product, be cautious.

If you want to get rid of mildew, use these methods:

  • In the case of garments and materials, it is recommended that you first brush the damaged area outside, then wash and rinse it under the sun. Lemon juice mixed with salt can be used to remove any remaining stains.
  • First, dampen the cloth with an alcohol/water mixture, then wipe the leather; finally, allow the leather to air dry.
  • Soak the damaged area in strong soapy suds, then wipe it with a water-soaked cloth, and finally let it dry in the sun.

What Are The Differences In Appearance Between Mold Vs. Mildew?

In order to distinguish between mold and mildew, one must look at the fungi’s appearance. Mildew is a fungus that thrives in warm, moist environments and can be white, gray, or yellow in color. It has a fluffy or powdered feel to it. To put it another way: Mold grows beneath the surface of damp objects and is typically green or black. It can have a fuzzy or slimy feel to it.

Where Does Each Type Of Fungus Grow?

Mold and mildew thrive in wet, warm conditions. However, each variety appears to have a predilection for where to begin its growth. Fabric, paper, and leather are just a few of the usual household goods that might develop mildew if they are ever exposed to water. Bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and other spaces with a lot of humidity can also be a breeding ground for mildew. Mold, on the other hand, is most commonly found on foods like cheese, bread, and meat, although mildew can also grow on the surface of agriculture, such as potatoes or grapes. Mold can also be found in places that have been moist, such as crawl spaces, sheds, garages, and boats.

What Are The Effects Of Mold Vs. Mildew?

The surfaces on which mold and mildew grow and the people who live nearby are affected in different ways by mold and mildew. When it comes to other surfaces, such as tile floors or bathroom mirrors, mildew can affect the food it grows on, although it usually does not. Mildew spores can cause coughing, a headache, and difficulty breathing in people who inhale them, therefore this fungus can pose a health risk.

Mold, on the other hand, can have more significant consequences. Mold can ruin entire buildings, including houses and automobiles, and it can harm people’s health in the long run. If you’re allergic to mold, you may get symptoms such as difficulty breathing, heart problems, joint discomfort, migraines, exhaustion and depression. Black mold is much more dangerous than mildew. A mold allergy can cause symptoms such as a runny nose and sneezing as well as itchy eyes and throat. Because of this, it is critical to take action to avoid or eliminate mold as soon as possible.

Mildew vs Mold – What's the difference? | Woodard

How Hard Is It To Get Rid Of Mold Vs. Mildew?

It’s also important to note the difficulty in eliminating mold vs. mildew. With mildew, a mildew remover and a thorough scrubbing brush are usually all that is needed to get rid of it. Mold, on the other hand, is a problem that most people should not have to deal with themselves. Professional mold eradication is the best option. Nevertheless, there are mold prevention methods that can be tried without employing a person to do the task.

Mold and mildew protection sprays can be purchased both in-store and online. In fact, Gold Eagle is a great source of such products, making it easy to prevent fungal growth after learning the basics on mold vs. mildew.

10 Types of Mold Colors Commonly Found in the House

Some people think that color may be used as a distinguishing property of molds, but regrettably, this is not the case. Molds can be identified mostly by examining the structure, spores, and growth morphology up close, which is difficult to do without a laboratory. When it comes to determining the presence of mold or toxic substances, color isn’t always the best way to tell the difference. When it comes to mold color, things like:

  • Food supply
  • Relative humidity
  • exposure to light

It doesn’t matter what color the mold is, if it’s in your house, you have an active moisture problem that has to be handled as quickly as possible. Mold can appear in a variety of hues in your home, so here is a list of common mold colors.

Mold Colors

Green Mold

Mold is most commonly found in green. Many molds seem green at some time in their lives, and there are hundreds of thousands of them. In other words, the color of green mold doesn’t tell you anything, but the likelihood is that it’s one of three things:

  • Aspergillus
  • Penicillium
  • Cladosporium

Black Mold

Even though black mold is a well-known mold species, not all black molds are dangerous. All mold should be dealt with as quickly as possible, but poisonous black mold should only be handled by a trained and experienced professional. In order to determine how urgent the removal of black mold is, look for specific characteristics. There are numerous types of black mold that are usually discovered in homes.


The dreaded poisonous black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, is caused by this fungus. It is frequently black or greenish-black in appearance and can be seen growing in leaky locations, old decomposing wood, paper, and food products. As soon as possible, these regions should be addressed to prevent S. chartarum from becoming a concern. After a flood or a leak in the roof, you may notice black mold in your basement. S. chartarum is harmful because it creates a mycotoxin, a fungus-derived byproduct that can be breathed by humans and animals alike. S. chartarum, an indoor deadly mold, has been linked to considerably more deaths than previously assumed, according to research conducted in the United States. There are many possible side effects of exposure to mycotoxins like those found in the S. chartarum fungus.


Although a black mold could be S. chartarum, being aware that it is more likely to be the harmless Alternaria is critical. Alternaria species are often found in the wild, however they have recently been detected in homes as well. Asthma could be exacerbated by Alternaria exposure, although there are few additional health concerns.


Another common fungus, Aspergillus, has been shown to be inhaled by humans on a daily basis. Aspergillosis and other respiratory disorders can occur in persons with pre-existing illnesses who are exposed to substantial levels of the fungus.


It’s possible that black mold in the house is Cladosporium mold, which develops outdoors on decaying leaves. Skin rashes, eye discomfort, and sinus infections can occur as a result of exposure to the mites, which can colonize walls, insulation, and carpet.

Purple Mold

It’s unusual to see mold in purple; however, if you do, it’s most likely Stachybotrys chartarum, a dangerous black mold.

White Mold

Another typical color for mold in the home is white, and it can be one of several forms.


Almost all white mold in your house is Alternaria, so keep an eye out for it. In this case, the color of the mold changes depending on the environment.


Adaptable and resilient, the mold Chaetomium may grow wherever. It may thrive on a wide variety of hosts, but favors moist, gloomy areas. Some people think it looks like cotton, while others think it’s salt deposits on the walls of a cellar. Among Chaetomium’s identifying traits are its smell and the musty odor it commonly causes in basements, attics, and food.


Penicillium, a white-colored fungus, is another multi-colored fungus. Because of the genus Penicillium’s discovery, the antibiotic Penicillin was created. This was a huge stride forward for medical science. Penicillin contains it, however it can cause severe allergic reactions if handled incorrectly. It can be found on food and walls in homes with a high level of humidity.

Blue Mold

Penicillium molds can be found in a variety of colors, including blue.

Pink Mold

If you haven’t washed your shower curtain or bathtub in a while, you may see a stained pink film on them. This is known as “pink mold.” A bacterium known as Serratia marcescens thrives on soap residue, hence the term “mold” is a misnomer. Cleaning your restroom more frequently is the only long-term remedy. While this can cause respiratory and urinary tract infections, getting infected is difficult.

Yellow Mold

Because some molds can be harmful if left unchecked, yellow is a hue to keep an eye out for.


The yellow color of Aspergillus mold might occur. As previously stated, black mold is a common variety of mold found in homes and is generally considered to be low-risk.

Serpula lacrymans

Humans aren’t at risk from Serpula lacrymans in the same way that wooden structures are. A lack of attention to this fungus can result in a disaster for your home if you don’t get rid of it as soon as possible. Under optimum circumstances, it spreads rapidly and devours both indoor and outdoor timber surfaces.

Epicoccum nigrum

Fast-growing yellow mold known as Epicoccum nigrum is found in or near wet drywall and other porous materials such as mattresses and wood. According to the weather and the surrounding environment, the hue might change from yellow or orange to brown in appearance.

Geomyces pannorum

Geomyces pannorum, unlike the other fungi on this list, thrives in colder temperatures. This means that in northern hemisphere conditions, it is confined to damp walls, floors, wood, and paper.

Yellow Slime Mold

Keep a safe distance from any mold that seems to be slimy and bright yellow. Make sure you avoid ingesting or touching it. “Slime mold” is a term used to describe bright yellow molds that aren’t actually molds at all, but rather an unrelated organism. Exposure to slime molds, which can be highly hazardous, should be avoided at all costs. A yellow slime mold should be easy to identify because none of the other yellow molds on this list are brilliant yellow.

Red Mold

Particleboards and drywall that have been damaged by water can be found with red mold. Mold is usually not a steady red color, and it will often change color throughout the course of its life. Due to its widespread distribution, Aspergillus is the most likely culprit when it becomes red. In contrast, if you see red mold on food, it’s likely Neurospora.

Orange Mold

Because of its rapid growth and potential for long-term damage to wood, orange mold is akin to Serpula lacrymans. Tables, chairs, rafters, and floors are all common places where it can be found. Orange mold exposure can aggravate asthma and other respiratory disorders, but it is rarely harmful to health in the long-term..

How Bad Is Black Mold, Really? | HowStuffWorks

Brown Mold

It’s possible to find mold colonies that are brown in hue as well. Many brown molds can spread swiftly on hard surfaces, and while they may cause allergies in individuals, they are generally considered safe. These molds have a distinct musty aroma. The following varieties of brown mold are possible:

  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • The aureobasidium pullulans
  • Stemonitis
  • Taeoniella
  • Cladosporium
  • Mucor***


Brown molds, with the exception of Mucor, are generally safe to be around. Mucor is a form of mold that can sometimes produce a life-threatening blood illness known as mucormycosis, which is extremely dangerous to be around. One of the most difficult molds to identify is this one because it can change color throughout its life cycle.

Test Your Mold

Mold, like fungi, plays a vital part in ecosystems as a decomposer. Even if something is beneficial in nature, you may not want it in your own home. If you notice any type of mold in your home, you should handle it right once since it is doing the same thing it is doing outside. You and your family may be at risk if mold decomposes structural components; other molds are toxic, but all serve as warning signs of more serious issues. It’s important to identify mold correctly to avoid major health hazards and property damage, but color isn’t a good indicator. If you suspect that you have mold in your house, the only way to know for sure is to have it tested. When you send us a sample of your mold, we’ll assist you figure out what the following steps should be, so please do so. Get in touch with us today to learn more.


How do I know if its mold or mildew?

Mold and mildew both have a squishy appearance, while mildew has a more powdery appearance.

It’s always going to look flat, no matter what you do. Mold, on the other hand, is typically elevated and can be green, red, blue, or even black depending on the type of spores that grow. The appearance is usually slimy or furry. Smell is another method to tell the difference.

Which is worse mold or mildew?

Mold is unquestionably more harmful than mildew. While mildew might cause minor health issues for your family, certain forms of dangerous molds can cause major health issues for you and your loved ones, according to American Home Shield. Humans are particularly vulnerable to black mold.

What color is mildew on walls?

Mold and mildew appear in a variety of hues, from white to brown to black, depending on the type of fungus.

Is mildew always white?

It’s common for mold to start out white and then change color after releasing spores. The sort of material it feeds on determines whether certain mold turns black or white during the course of its life cycle. Mold, regardless of its color, should be removed from your home.

How do you know if your house has mildew?

You can use household bleach to see if you have mold or mildew in your home by applying a few drops to the charred area. If after one to two minutes, the mildew begins to lighten, you got it. If the region is still black, dirt is most likely present.

How do you get rid of mildew?

1 gallon of water and 3/4 cup chlorine bleach. Apply to a small area at a time using a firm brush. Take cautious not to get any liquid on the surfaces around you. Scrub and rinse after a few minutes of letting it sit.

Does mildew turn into mold?

Mold may grow from mildew, so that’s a safe bet. You should leave it alone because it’s actually a mold waiting to grow into a full-blown fungus if you don’t.

Does mildew come back

Professional mold cleanup is not a guarantee against mold re-emergence. It’s normal to feel relieved after mold eradication, but it’s crucial to remember what you’ve learned from the mold outbreak. You should take the appropriate precautions to keep the mold at bay.

Can mildew make you sick?

Mildew, like mold, can create health issues if exposed for an extended period of time. Certain fungi create mycotoxins, which can cause mild to severe symptoms in humans, despite the fact that the fungi themselves are not harmful.

Is mold green or black?

Even while black, grey, or greenish mold growth is the most common, it can also be brown, purple, orange, pink, yellow, red, or even a mixture of these hues in some cases. Mold’s color can be affected by its food source, humidity, and even light.


Mold and mildew are two distinct organisms that should not be confused. In order to identify this better, it helps to know the color of mildew and mold.

Molds, on the other hand, are more dangerous to humans and the environment than mildew. However, long-term exposure to this might pose serious health hazards, so it’s important to treat it as soon as possible.