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Science in Doing Household Chores

Is there a link between Science and household chores? Yes, our mothers may not know the Science behind, but there certainly is a link.

  1. Drying clothes – With washing machine, the clothes are not dripping water after washed, but they are still damp. I especially like my clothes to dry under the Sun. Even without the Sun, we can still do some changes in hanging the clothes to let them dry faster.
    • Thick clothes dry slower, so they should be put nearer to airy area or window. Reason: Airy area has more air flow and thus faster drying. Sunshine shines through window, thus clothes nearer to window will dry faster.
    • Spread out the clothes as wide as possible to get a larger surface area.
    • If you want to dry your clothes in minutes, iron them. The heat from the iron will dry them.
  1. Drying dishes – Same philosophy with large surface area, dishes should be put in a way that has large surface area to dry them. For cups and bowls, put them upside down so that the water will not be trapped inside them and make it slower to dry.
  1. Sweeping and mopping the floor – The reason why your mum ask you to off the fan when she is sweeping the floor is to avoid the dust being “fly” here and there. When mopping the floor, the fan is on to help to create an airy environment to dry the floor faster.
  1. Taking care of plants + watering – Plants need water, sunshine or light, air, soil and space to grow.
  • Water the plants in early mornings or late evenings to avoid evaporation on a hot day.
  • Put the plants outside or near the window to get as much free sunshine as possible.
  • If your plant is not growing even though you have given it water, sunshine, air and soil, look at the flower pot. Is it too small for your plant? On the other hand, if you want a small plant, just give it a small pot, it will live (but not grow) happily.
  1. Keeping the air in the house fresh – Open the windows and doors to let the air flow. Air-conditioned rooms are usually stuffy, thus the windows and doors must be opened regularly so that there is air change and the rooms will be less stuffy.

The Science

The drying process is the evaporation process, in which the liquid phase (damp water) changes to gas phase (air) at temperatures below the boiling temperature at a given pressure. Evaporation usually occurs on the surface.

To increase evaporation rate:

  • Increase the surrounding temperature
  • Increase total surface area
  • Increase air flow (wind / fan)
  • Decrease the humidity of surrounding air


Science is not difficult to learn. If you are able to link it to daily life, you will remember the facts better. You may even have the interest to create something to facilitate your life.

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