Learn what evaporation is through simple evaporation examples found in the world around you. See why hand sanitizer, line drying clothes and puddles drying up are simple examples of evaporation you encounter every day.
Real-World Evaporation Examples
Before looking at a bunch of evaporation examples, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what evaporation is. Evaporation happens when liquids change into gas. It is part of the water cycle. One common example of evaporation is the steam rising from a hot cup of coffee. This heat rising out of the cup helps the coffee to cool down. Explore other fun examples of evaporation found around the globe.
Have you ever noticed that ironing slightly damp clothes works best to get the wrinkles out? This is due to the evaporation of the water in the clothing. It creates a steaming effect making your damp clothes dry and wrinkle-free.
Glass of Water
You can find another example of evaporation in a simple glass of water. Fill a glass with water and leave it next to a sunny window. You’ll find that over time; the water starts to disappear in the glass. This is evaporation at play.
Process of Sweating
You are a mechanism of evaporation when you sweat. When you get hot, you sweat to cool down. How does it work? Pretty simple, actually. When you are excessively hot, water leaves your skin through your pores. The water then evaporates off your skin, cooling you down. The body is pretty amazing, right?
Line Drying Clothes
Have you ever dried your clothing on a line in the summer? Your clothing gets dry because the water evaporates out of the clothing due to the sun. The sun heats the clothing turning the water into vapor.
You might not realize it, but your kettle whistles when your water is boiling due to evaporation. The water starts to evaporate into steam and causes the kettle to whistle, letting you know your water is ready.
Drying of Wet Tables
When you go to a restaurant, a server wipes down your table before seating you. However, after a bit of time, the table is no longer wet. The reason your table didn’t stay wet was that the water evaporated due to heat in the air.
Drying of a Mopped Floor
When a kitchen or bathroom floor is freshly mopped, you need to avoid it. However, after 10 or so minutes, you notice the floor is pretty dry. The heat in the air warms the water droplets, so your floor doesn’t stay wet.
Melting a Glass of Ice
As you might be starting to realize, the heat in the air around you makes evaporation happen in many instances. This is true with ice. If you fill a glass with ice, it will melt. Some cups negate the heat to make the ice last longer, but eventually, the heat gets in, and your ice will melt thanks to evaporation.
Puddles Drying Up
After a good rainstorm, you can have a lot of fun with puddles. However, once the sun comes up, your puddles are gone. The heat from the sun evaporates the water. This is why evaporation is so important to the water cycle.
You might notice that when you use hand sanitizer, your hands are dry pretty quickly. Why? Alcohol has a lower evaporation point than water, so it evaporates rather quickly from the heat of your body. This is also true of nail polish remover.
When you are in a hurry, you probably blow dry your hair. The heat from the blow dryer quickly evaporates the water molecules in your hair to get you on the road quicker.
Evaporation vs. Condensation
Condensation and evaporation can get confusing. Why? Because they both involve the change of liquid from one state to another. However, while evaporation is the change from a liquid to gas, condensation is the change from vapor to liquid. For example, clouds are an example of condensation. The clouds you see are water vapor cooling to create water droplets.
Understanding Evaporation Examples
Once you know what evaporation is, you can find a lot of different examples in the world. Look around and see if you can find a few examples of your own. And when you are done with evaporation, you might check out chemical reaction examples.