15 Crucial Differences between Mold and Mildew(With Table)

Both mold and mildew have a nasty appearance in the affected region. Besides that, mold and mildew are types of fungi. 

Both mold and mildew are quite common in our home and garden. Differentiating between the two terms is quite difficult since they are used interchangeably.

So, what is the main difference between mold and mildew? The former grows in damp areas whereas the latter grows on food. Molds grow in multicellular filaments form and mildew experience flat growth. 

This article provides a detailed explanation of the differences between mold and mildew. Take the time to read through it and get to grab the right concepts. Remember to read through the similarities between mold and mildew. 

Comparison Table (Mold vs Mildew)

Basic Terms




It is a type of fungi that contains multiple identical nuclei.

It is a type of mold marked by a flat growth pattern.


Fuzzy and Slim.  


Growth Pattern

Burrows under the surface of the host.

Grows flat on the surface.












Exposure Symptoms

Respiratory issues


Sore throat

Joint pain

Heart issues



Respiratory problems

Sore throat

Growth Host

Common on food like bread or cheese.

Common in damp areas like bathroom walls or basement walls.

Prevention and Control

Finish all perishable food in three days.

Keep all the areas dry and moisture-free.

Keep all areas dry and moisture-free.

Use mildew removers to eliminate them.

Avoid overhead irrigation to prevent mildew growth on crops.


Use for food and antibiotic drugs production

No Use.

What Is Mold?

Mould is a species of fungi that have multiple identical nuclei. They normally have filamentous hyphae structures.

Molds occur in different colors such as grey, green, black, yellow, blue, and brown. They occur mostly on food and other organic matters like clothing, ceiling, floors, and papers.

Areas that are damp and dark create an ideal environment for the growth of molds. If they are not taken care of earlier, they can cause damage to the house.

Some of the diseases caused by the growth of molds are respiratory problems, allergic reactions, fatigue, sneezing, sore throat, sinus, coughing, mental status change, inflammation, breathing problems, and pain.

The most wonderful thing about molds is that they are used in the production of food and antibiotic drugs.

What Is Mildew?

Mildew is a species of mold that normally have a flat growth. They have a powdery and white color appearance.

However, the color appearance tends to change gradually from white to yellow then brown, and finally to black. Mildew is quite common in plants and crops where it causes a lot of damage.

Unfortunately, mildew also causes health-related issues like coughing, sneezing, allergic reaction, sore throat, headache, and pneumonia among others.

The good news is that mildew can easily be controlled by exposing the affected area to sunlight to get rid of moisture.

Also, you can buy mildew removers from the stores and get rid of them. Uproot the plant with mildew to avoid exposure.

Main Differences Between Mold and Mildew 

  1. Molds have a growth pattern of multicellular nuclei with filamentous hyphae structures while mildew has a flat growth pattern.
  2. Mildew has a downy or powdery appearance while molds have fuzzy appearances.
  3. Molds occur in orange, green, black, brown, blue, and yellow colors while mildew occurs in white and grey colors.
  4. Molds are used in the production of food and antibiotic drugs while mildew has no use at all apart from causing damages.
  5. Molds can be controlled and prevented by keeping the home dry and free from moisture whereas mildew can be controlled by the use of mildew removers.
  6. Molds are used in the production of cheese and some medicines while mildew has no beneficial benefits
  7. Mildew become lighter after bleaching while molds retain their color after bleaching
  8. Molds cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, inflammation, and migraines whereas mildew causes coughing, sore throat, respiratory problems, and headache.
  9. Molds cover organic matter then decompose them while mildew make the organic matter become brown or black  in color
  10. Mildew grows on the surface of organic matter while mold penetrates the organic matter to get attached. 
  11. Molds have irregular shape spots while mildew have a regular flat pattern 
  12. Molds are fungi while mildew is a type of mold 
  13. Molds are more harmful since they grow on food while mildew is less harmful since it grows on a surface 
  14. Molds are difficult to eliminate whereas mildew is easy to eliminate 
  15. Molds release toxins whereas mildew do not release toxins 

Similarities Between Mold and Mildew

  1. Both are types of filamentous fungi
  2. Both grow on damp and organic materials
  3. Both spread easily and difficult to remove
  4. Both cause health problems
  5. Both are not resistant to heat 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Mildew and Mold the Same Thing?

Yes. They are both fungi. The only difference is that molds are green or black while mildews are white or gray in color. Molds grow on food while mildew on a damp surface. 

  • Which is Worse Mold or Mildew?

Molds. They normally grow on food surfaces and this can cause health hazards. Mildew can easily be identified and eliminated on the damp surface, unlike mold that causes decomposition. 

  • Does Vinegar Kill Mildew?

Cleaning mildew with distilled vinegar help to kill them and also do with a nasty mildew odor.

  • Can You Kill Mold with Bleach?

No. Molds grow deep into the porous surface and bleaching will only kill the porous surface. Besides that, bleaching help to foster the growth of molds on the surface. 

  • What Kills Mold Besides Bleach?

The most effective chemical for killing molds are white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Bleach cannot kill molds since they grow deep in the porous surface. 

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Both molds and mildew belong to the fungi kingdom. Getting the facts right about the two will help to control and prevent diseases in our homes.

Besides that keep your home dry and moisture-free to prevent molds. Use mildew removers in case of mildew growth.

More Sources and References

  1. Mold and Mildew in Florida Buildings. Journal Sage 

  2. Humidity Requirements for Mold Growth. NCBI

  3. Mildew. Moldbacteria Facts

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