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Category: Mildew

The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

[ 1 ] June 25, 2010

Mold and Mildew

Most people don’t realize there are different types of mold. In fact, there’s even a difference between mold and mildew. They are similar in appearance, and most people can’t tell them apart. Mold and mildew are actually different types of fungi. They are also different in texture and color. One thing they have in common is they’re unwanted. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone happy about mold or mildew growing in their home.

Mold and mildew both like warm and moist areas. They also grow in many of the same places. That’s why people get confused about them. Both types of fungi can grow in showers, and on paper and fabrics. However, mildew grows in showers and on fabrics more often than mold does. Both types of fungi can also grow on food items, but mold affects food more often than mildew does.

They both spread when their spores are disturbed. The spores travel through the air and grow wherever the situation is right. Mold is usually black, sometimes green or even blue. Mildew is normally white or gray in color.

Mildew Characteristics

There are basically two types of mildew. Powdery mildew has the appearance of gray or white patches. You might see this type on flowers and other plants. Downy mildew is often found on food. The way it looks will vary depending on the food item. It might look like a hunk of powder or sugar is on the food. It can also appear as chalky looking spots on leaves.

Mold Characteristics

Mold usually looks slimy or fuzzy, and that depends on what type it is. Although it’s usually black, mold actually comes in a variety of colors. It comes in a variety of shapes as well. Usually, it appears as black or green spots in a shower or bathroom. Sometimes it grows in the crevices of bathroom tile. This is usually not a serious health threat. However, it is a serious threat when the situation turns toxic, and mold removal becomes very important.

Toxic mold contains mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can cause all kinds of illnesses. Some people aren’t affected by it at all, but others become seriously ill. Symptoms include headaches, asthma and coughing. Eye and throat irritation can occur as well.

In serious cases, a person could experience trouble with their lungs, rashes, blurred vision or worse. This doesn’t mean you should run screaming whenever you see mold. Just be aware of these symptoms, and take action if you think you’re in danger.

All types of mold and mildew thrive in wet, dark places. Get rid of their breeding grounds, and you’ll get rid of them. Bathrooms are a common problem spot. They are often wet and not well ventilated. Those create perfect conditions for mold and mildew to thrive. Dry the area after each use, and open a window to admit fresh air. If you do this you should not develop bathroom mold in the first place.

Mildew Removal Tips

[ 3 ] May 5, 2010

Mildew Removal

Mildew removal isn’t just as easy as scrubbing down your shower walls. There’s more to it than that. In fact, this particular mold can be found just about anywhere there is moisture – from the bathroom to the kitchen and even your bedroom.

And when it comes to dealing with this bothersome fungus, we tend to just grab a kitchen or bathroom mold removal product and spray away! However, not all cleaners work the same just as not all molds are the same.

And although mildew is not as harmful as some types of mold, they can still cause allergy problems in some people if they’re not cleaned up.

But before you even decide on the right cleaner for this particular type of fungus, you need to know if that’s what you’re really dealing with or if it’s something more serious like a toxic mold. If it’s fuzzy in texture and gray or white in color, then chances are you’re dealing with mildew.

If it’s black or dark gray spots, then you most likely have a toxic fungus know as black mold and you’ll need a more serious mold clean up regimen.

If you know you’re not dealing with a toxic fungus, then it’s probably safe enough to just use a good cleaner designed for mildew. But, you’ll still want to choose the right cleaner even for this job.

For example, a bathroom tile spray, may not work quite as well on a kitchen counter top. And if you’re concerned about the environment or your health, you’ll want to stay away from mold cleaners that contain harmful chemicals like bleach or ammonia.

The good news is many manufacturers including some big name brands are getting on the bandwagon and offering greener cleaning products for just about every household job you can think of, including removing mold.

Still, with everyone wanting to reduce their budget, it’s often more economical to just make your own cleaning products when you can.

If you’d rather save as much money as you can, you might want to try using a simple mixture of hot water and baking soda to get rid of the fungus. If the surface area is more delicate such as a leather purse, you can dry brush the affected area using a soft bristle brush and then wash it using soap and water.

If you choose this method, you should clean the item outdoors to prevent spores from the fungus from spreading to other areas of your home.

Some items that are affected by mildewing may benefit from a mixture of lemon juice and salt, which can be rubbed onto the surface area. However, because lemon is a natural lightening agent, it’s not a good idea to use it on fabric materials since it could fade them.

And speaking of fabrics, if you absolutely must rely on bleach for your mildew removal purposes, a mixture of two tablespoons of bleach and one quart of warm water applied to white fabrics that are affected by the fungus may help.

However, it is not wise to use bleach on other materials since the chemical cannot penetrate below most surface areas where mold tends to hide.