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Mold vs. Yeast

Mold and yeast have a few key features in common, but they mean very different things when found in your home. Before we begin dissecting the differences between mold and yeast, let’s take a look at each individually.

What is Mold?

Mold is a multicellular organism that reproduces to form colonies that are invisible to the naked eye at first, but soon will appear as black, green, blue (or several other colors) spots that eventually merge. There are several categories of mold.

A colony of mold is considered to be a single organism. Mold is prevalent everywhere, and there are over 100,000 varieties.

What is Yeast?

Yeast is usually unicellular, although just one cell can is considered a whole organism. Yeast is responsible for fermentation in liquids and for bread rising.

It can be found in most outdoor areas around the world.

Similarities between mold and yeast

  • Same kingdom - Fungi and yeast are both classified in the same kingdom.

  • Odor - Mold has an unmistakable musty odor, sometimes described as earthy. Dry yeast doesn’t have that much of a smell, but if it is moist it has a sweet smell.

  • Food source - Like most other living organisms, both yeast and bread feed on organic matter.

  • Beneficial uses - Yeast is used in the food industry for making bread and alcohol. Many people incorporate nutritional yeast into their diets because it improves digestion and boosts natural immunity. Certain molds can be turned into valuable medicines, such as penicillin.

Differences Between Mold & Yeast

The differences are far more numerous and more important, since distinguishing between mold and yeast is vital to being able to remove them.


Mold spores are not visible until they form a colony. Mold can be a wide range of colors, and when it gets large enough, you will be able to see and feel a fuzzy texture.

Yeast doesn’t have a colorful appearance. It may appear white, cream, or tan, and it has a smooth surface. These features make it very hard to identify on the surface of food or other organic matter.

When yeast begins to ferment another substance, it will look puffy and will produce bubbles.

Favorite Habitats

Mold is found everywhere in nature, but it only form colonies when all the conditions are right. In your home, mold will grow where there is moisture and food (any organic substance). It prefers warm, undisturbed areas. You’ll find mold in your refrigerator and in damp areas of your home like the garage, basement, and bathroom.

Yeast occurs naturally as well. It is often found in soil and on plants and especially fruits, since it loves substances that are rich in sucrose. Yeast lives on the skin and in the body. Imbalances of yeast are responsible for thrush and yeast infections.

Health Risks & Remedies

Mold can be dangerous for humans, but most times it just causes mild allergic reactions. Symptoms of mold allergies can range from runny nose and itchy, watery eyes to coughing, congestion, rashes and even neurological side effects and insomnia.

Treating a person for mold exposure is usually very easy. The symptoms are treatable with nasal rinses, antihistamines, and decongestants. You may need an over-the-counter pain medication for headaches. It’s unlikely that you will need to see your doctor for treatment unless you need to be diagnosed with a specific allergy.

Fortunately, once you remove the source of the allergen, your symptoms should disappear.

Some home remedies will remove mold. A common one is baking soda and vinegar. Other ways to remove mold include bleach, ammonia, and detergents. Just be careful when mixing products, as some combinations can create lethal fumes.

Apply the cleaner of your choice to the molded area, and use a bristled brush to gently scrub the surface. Rinse and repeat as necessary to remove the mold. Wear protective gear when removing mold, and seal off the area so spores don’t spread to other areas.

Of course you can forgo the hassle of doing it yourself and hire a professional mold removal company to do it for you.

Yeast is naturally present within our bodies. It aids in digestion and fights bacteria. When there is an imbalance of yeast, this can lead to an infection that must be treated, as most yeast infections do not go away on their own.

Yeast infections in humans are usually treated with anti-fungals, either in cream or oil form.

Sometimes an antibiotic may be prescribed, but this often leads to good bacteria being killed, creating a pendulum effect of too much and then not enough bacteria in the body.

Basic hygiene is usually enough to keep yeast infections at bay, but not always.

Identifying Mold vs. Yeast

Mold is a household nuisance that can make humans and animals very sick under the right conditions. Learning how to identify it will get you on the fast track to mold removal.

Mold’s musty smell is usually the first sign. If you suspect mold, look for black or colorful spots anywhere there is high humidity or flooding has occurred. In the bathroom, mold can appear in any fixture and will probably be pink or orange, with a slimy texture.

If you don’t see any signs but you are convinced that mold is present, buy a DIY test kit or have a mold expert test for you. Choosing the professional testing route is generally the easier option because if they do find mold, the transition from testing to mold removal is seamless.

Yeast is present in all sorts of outdoor areas, but it is not as likely to be inside your home, so identifying it isn’t quite as important to be able to identify it.

Yeast is often found on grapes, but it is difficult to see because of its neutral color. This is why it is important to wash your fruits before consuming them.

Now that you know the difference between yeast and mold, you probably realize that mold is a much bigger concern for your home. As soon as you notice the signs of mold, have it checked out by Pure Air North Carolina right away.

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