Placing a hot iron in cold water has a number of effects. It is very important that an iron plugged in is never plunged into water because it could cause a potentially fatal electric shock.
Hot Meets Cold
A heated iron can reach very high temperatures. The setting for linen is over 200 degrees Fahrenheit and the iron can continue to heat up if left on. Water boils at 212 degrees, so when a very hot iron meets cold water there is a very fast transfer of energy, and the water begins to heat up.
Chemical Reaction of Water
When the hot iron hits the water, the water temperature increases. As the water approaches its boiling point, some water molecules attain enough kinetic energy to reach speeds that allow them to temporarily escape from the liquid into the space above the surface before falling back into the liquid. This is seen as steam.
Chemical Reaction of Iron
No chemical reaction takes place in the iron. As the heat transfers from the iron, the water heats up and the iron cools down. The iron does not change its state. It remains a solid.
Tallulah Roberto has been writing since 1987, with her first job at Home Counties Newspapers just outside London. Roberto holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of East London.