If water boils at 100 degrees C then why do we see steam when we shower/wash our hands sometimes?


If water boils at 100 degrees C then why do we see steam when we shower/wash our hands sometimes?

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Because water doesn’t have to boil to evaporate. This is a very, very common question on this sub; please search before posting.

H2O at gas state is actually invisible. What you see in steam is actually micro droplets of water, at a temperature below 100ºC. Clouds, for example, is micro droplets of water in the air at a temperature far below 100 ºC, and also has the same visual aspect of steam. At Gaseous state, molecules of h2O are too spaced from each others to reflect light, so that explains why we can see them. Hope this helps

The hotter liquid water is, the faster it wants to evaporate. The hotter air is, the more water vapor it can contain.

So washing your hands with hot water will create make water want to evaporate into the warm air right next to the water. But when that water cools down (by mixing with the cooler air all around the room), the water vapor starts to condense back to liquid. These tiny liquid droplets are what we see and call steam. *True* steam, evaporated water or water vapor, is invisible.

It’s just evaporated water, not steam. When warm moist air mixes with the surrounding cold air, the water can condense into what is basically a small cloud. That’s why it usually happens when it’s rather cold.

evaporation can happen at nearly any temperature found on earth.

the relative temperature of the water, the humidity of the air(how much water is in it) and pressure of the air(low pressure boils water faster) can cause evaporation.

when you see steam your seeing condensed water not water vapor.

when the air in the bathroom gets hit with warm water the water evaporates into thin air that was warmed by the water, but as the high humidity air cools, or contacts something cool the ‘dew point’ is reached(water is squeezed out of the air by pressure cooling by constricting. the coolness lessens the amount of water it can hold and the water condenses into tiny droplets(just like clouds) this is how steam becomes visable.