Efflorescence. As in: "The white, fluffy stuff on the basement floor was not mold, but in fact was efflorescence." Yes folks, I had mixed emotions on Monday. Happy because the Iowa State Extention office guided me in the direction of efflorescence (a good reference website - http://www.aldonchem.com/popup-ab-efflorescence.htm ) and it tuns out that is exactly what is on my basement floor! Ha woo! So all this time I was actually feeding it by watering it with whatever I had plus water, because - what efflorescence is, is when water has travelled through concrete, in this case, and has carried with it salts. The water evaporates, but leaves behind the salt which is the white fluffy stuff that I have mistaken for mold. So cleaning it is not quite as easy as you'd think, but I have used Dan's handy dandy brush to brush off the efflorescence, and - who knew?! - it hasn't come back. All this time...yi. Anyway - different websites recommend different cleaning and removing tips, most of which call for very strong acid not reccommended for use in enclosed basements such as mine. So - I might try a vinegar solution, or just clean water to rinse off the residue and keep an eye on it.
You may ask what the mixed emotions were that I was talking about earlier...well...my hopes and dreams of A)being a mold farmer and B) being involved in a very high tech and rare scientific discovery leading to a life of wealth and dry basements for everyone is no longer a reality for me. Sad day. :-(
Well, I'm off to bed, very happy that I have a new big word to throw around at work. We needed a new one...we were getting tired of our other big words - like thorax, affluent, and magenta.