While we tend to use the terms “mold” and “mildew” interchangeably or even together, there are subtle differences
Mold, mildew, green gunk, black blobs – it’s all the same, right? While we tend to use the terms “mold” and “mildew” interchangeably or even together, there are subtle differences.
As this article points out, solid surfaces such as walls, floors and even fruits and vegetables are usually described as “moldy,” whereas a shower curtain or bathtub is usually seen as having “mildew” on it.
In truth, you house probably has more mold than mildew. Scientists use the term “mildew” to describe plant diseases.
This article from eHow.com offers some great ways to determine what’s mold and what’s mildew:
- Color: mildew is usually black or gray, but molds are typically black, white, gray, green, red or even blue (hmm, makes us think of blue cheese).
- Location: you’ll probably find mildew on nonfood surfaces – on plastic, fabric or paper and in showers, closets or the refrigerator.
- Dangers: mold can actually be quite dangerous, causing allergies and even serious health problems. (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a great sitepacked with information on mold.)
- Mildew: true mildew is found on living plants. You may have seen a powdery mildew on your roses or other flowering plants. That furry mildew often found on grapes and potatoes is called “oomycota fungus.” Think we’ll stick with the term “furry mildew.”
So what to do about mold or mildew in your house? Scrub hard surfaces with a disinfectant solution. For your plants, try pruning, giving the plants more air flow or apply a sulfur-based fungicide.