The Difference Between Mold & Mildew.

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi and both will grow in similar conditions. They both can be dangerous to your health and can cause allergic reactions to certain people. How can you prevent mold and mildew from growing in your home?

what is the difference

Comparing Mold and Mildew



Mold: Mold is a fungus that contains multiple identical nuclei. It grows in the form of hyphae of filaments.

Mildew: Mildew is a specific kind of mold, usually with a flat growth habit .


Mold: Mold can appear cottony, velvety, granular or leathery and can come in any shade or color. It will usually have a musky or earthy odor.

Mildew: Mildew appears as a thin, powdery film with white, gray or black color.

Prevention and Control

Mold: To prevent mold in your home, you need to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free. You should check the humidity levels in the house and take the necessary measures to control humidity.

Mildew: To prevent mildew at home, keep all the areas moisture-free. There are mildew removers available at stores to eliminate mildew. To protect crops from mildew use mildew-resistant seeds, remove infested plants, avoid overhead heating.

Biological Differences

Molds obtain their energy from food and other organic matter. Enzymes secreted from the hyphae breakdown complex molecules such as starch, cellulose and lignin into simpler substances, and then absorbed by the hyphae. Reproduction may be sexual or asexual through spores. These spores are airborne and able to survive in extreme conditions. Mold has a musty smell and is only visible to the naked eye when the colonies start growing.

Mildew is found on host plants like beans, maize, potato, tomato, rice and other plants. Mildew also grows on clothing, leather, paper, shower curtains, window sills where the moisture content is high. Reproduction is both sexually and asexually, via the production of spores.


Some of the common mold genera include Acremonium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium, the latter of which includes a species (Penicillium chrysogenum) used in penicillin antibiotics. Examples of mildew include Peronospora sp, Blumeria, and Podosphaera.


Some molds are used in food production. For example, Penicillium is used in the production of cheese, Neurospora in the production of oncom, which is made from the by-product of tofu, other molds in the production of bread, soya sauce and so on. Mildew has no uses as such in food production.


Mildew vs Mold.” Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 9 Jan 2017

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