Electricity furnishes the energy that powers small appliances and other electrical devices. Current flows to the device through the hot (typically black) wire and returns through the neutral (typically white) wire. The power that moves the current is called voltage.
In most household systems, the hot wire has about 120 volts and the white wire has zero volts. The difference in voltage between the two wires moves the electric current and powers your appliance.
There are three types of small, portable, or household appliances. Some appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers, heat something. Other appliances, like food processors and vacuum cleaners, move something. A few appliances, such as hair dryers, do both.