Five Reasons Your Balloons Keep Popping

Five Reasons Your Balloons Keep Popping

Ideas For Kids Parties is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Popped Balloons
Popped Balloons

What happens to a balloon when it’s been blown up? Have you ever tried blowing up a balloon and then all of a sudden, it pops but you don’t know the reason why?

That is what we will try to answer in this article. So if you want to know why your balloons keep popping plus other things related to balloons, read on.

What Happens When You Inflate a Balloon?

Balloon Inflation Process
Balloon Inflation Process

When you blow up a balloon, you apply tension or stress to the material of the balloon (rubber or foil) as you fill it up with either air or helium.

The process of inflating a balloon stretches it as the air blows into it. If the tension is not high, meaning you have not blown up the balloon to its maximum capacity, it would pop plainly with just a long pop.

On the other hand, if the balloon has too much air, the tension would get higher. This produces a different outcome. When you blow up a balloon to its maximum size and it touches a sharp object, it would generate a loud bang.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Wonder how that would look like? The balloon with a higher tension would break into several different pieces.

Do Your Balloons Keep Popping?

Here are some reasons why.

Popped Balloon
Popped Balloon

Once you blow up balloons, you are forcing air into them. Of course, the air that you inflate the balloons with needs space to stay.

As the air occupies the space inside the balloons, they will expand. This is because of the elasticity of the rubber, which is the primary material of balloons.

When you blow up balloons, the air pressure inside them increases. And then the rubber inflates to its maximum size.

But when you would still keep on blowing up the balloons, they would not be able to get bigger. As a result, the balloons would pop.

Below are more reasons your balloons keep on popping:

  • The air inside the balloons has a higher pressure compared to its surroundings. This is because the elastic pressure of the balloon skin is pulling inwardly.
  • You may have probably over-inflated the balloons.
  • The gas within the balloons expands and causes the balloons to reach their full capacity and eventually pop.
  • They are exposed to hot temperatures.
  • The skin of the balloons has damage, which causes them to eventually pop when blown up.

Related article: The Balloon Formula: How Many Balloons do You Need?

Why do Balloons Pop at High Altitude?

When elastic balloons travel farther and beyond the Earth’s surface, the air pressure around them begins to extremely drop off.

In addition, considering that the air becomes thinner, the surface of the balloons becomes tighter.

This happens because of the gas that is expanding inside the balloons. The expansion triggers off the balloons to get to their largest size that’s why they ultimately pop.

On the other hand, if balloons have already been blown up to their maximum capacity before letting them float in the air, they would pop more quickly when launched.

In general, elastic balloons will go up for more or less 90 minutes before they start popping.

Usually, they go as high as 60,000 up to 105,000 feet in the air. However, these figures may not always be the same because of a variety of conditions, which may include the following:

  • The amount of gas inside the balloons
  • The heaviness of the balloons
  • The season or weather
  • The wind condition

As mentioned earlier in this article, the weather is also one of the factors that affect how long balloons stay inflated. For example, during cold weather, it is estimated that balloons can travel from 35 miles up to more than 75 miles only because of atmospheric wind conditions.

When the gas inside the balloons expands to the stage where there is no longer space for more gas, the balloons pop, which completes its way up.

Proper Care for Balloons

Bunch of Colorful Balloons
Bunch of Colorful Balloons
  • Do not put balloons inside a hot vehicle or leave them in a hot parked vehicle.
  • You must bring blown up balloons either inside the house or to the party venue as soon as you can. This is because inflated balloons can pop if they are out in the open or if they are unprotected from hot metal objects such as canopies, the outer part of a vehicle, or seat belt parts.
  • If you have to transport the balloons via a car, you must turn on the car’s air conditioning unit to let the temperature of the vehicle to go down prior to putting the balloons inside the car.
  • But then again, if the vehicle is without an air conditioning unit, as an alternative, you must open its doors and let the hot air out for a while. You can also opt to travel with your car’s windows being half-open so that air can still enter. You must keep in mind, though, that completely opening your car’s windows may cause balloons to escape.
  • When the temperature is hot, helium inside the balloons will expand. Hot temperatures will make the balloons’ time afloat shorter and will eventually make them burst.
  • During windy days, make sure to securely and tightly hold the balloons in your hands. In addition, wrenching balloons into a vehicle in the opposite direction of the wind will cause your balloons to tear or even pop because of the wind’s force.
  • Most ceilings are not flat. In fact, it is very unusual to come across a flat ceiling. Ceilings with cedars, halogen lighting, soundboards, sprinkler nozzles, Stucco, and other rough ceiling materials can make balloons pop. In addition, when balloons touch a hot light bulb, they could also burst.
  • When you need to bring balloons from one place to another, you must use a big plastic bag. However, you should only use them for transport. You also ought to keep in mind that you should keep balloons in a plastic bag for not more than one hour.
  • When you keep balloons in a plastic bag for an extended period of time, you reduce the float time of balloons.
  • Unlike elastic balloons, you can re-use foil balloons. But then again, because foil balloons are delicate, it is not guaranteed that they will stay inflated the same as they were when they were first used.
  • If you intend to keep your foil balloons and use them again, after using them, you should remove the air from inside your balloons by popping in a long straw into its self-sealing valve. This will let the air come out. Once your foil balloons are all deflated, you may start to flatten and fold each one.
  • Unlike foil balloons, Latex balloons are not reusable, but they are biodegradable. For that reason, it is not uncommon for them to become dull and eventually oxidize as they start to degrade. There are factors that can speed up their oxidation process. These are high humidity, sun, as well as heat.
  • Usually, a typical 11” Latex balloon would stay inflated from 10 up to 12 hours. However, that would depend on humidity and heat. Like what was mentioned earlier, exposing elastic balloons to hot temperatures will decrease their float time.
  • On the other hand, foil balloons can usually last for one week or sometimes longer.
  • If you have Mylar balloons, you must not keep them in a cold place. This is because Mylar balloons will slowly deflate when stored in cold places. 
  • Both sunlight and heat are the kryptonite of elastic balloons. So if you want your rubber balloons to stay inflated for longer, you must store them in a cold room. However, if your balloons are the foil type, you should be extra careful in transporting and storing them because changes in temperature can damage them.
  • For an all-day, outdoor party, it is extra challenging to preserve the life of balloons, especially the elastic ones. And since having a party outdoors means your balloons would be exposed to the sun’s heat, you ought to opt for elastic balloons with light colors because the dark-colored ones heat up faster.
  • It would also help to bring your elastic balloons indoors once the party is over. This is because when the temperature drops, elastic balloons are also prone to shrinking.
  • If you have pets at home, you must keep your balloons in a room where they cannot enter. Remember that your pets, whether cats or dogs, might have sharp nails. As a result, they may possibly puncture the balloons and make them pop.
  • Keeping your pets away from blown up balloons is not only for the balloons’ safety but also for your pets. When balloons pop, your pets might ingest it. Same goes with your kids. Never let them play with balloons alone.
  • As much as you possibly can, you ought to keep your blown up balloons away from awnings, cars, doorways, hot surfaces, metals, pointy objects, as well as sharp surfaces.
  • You or your child must never inhale helium from a balloon. Despite the fact that helium is neither non-toxic nor flammable inhaling it can still cause asphyxiation, which is the loss of consciousness due to insufficient oxygen.
  • You must also not release foil balloons outdoors. When you release them outside and they become entangled to electric lines, they can cause a power outage.
  • Deflated or popped Latex balloons are not safe and must not be played with by children because they present a choking hazard for them.
  • Therefore, as harmless as they may seem, you must still never leave kids unaccompanied with balloons, whether elastic or foil ones.
  • You must not leave children under eight years old playing with Latex balloons alone, especially if they are inflated with helium. The reason for this is that helium can replace the oxygen in the lungs, which can eventually cause a child or even an adult to faint, or worse, to be suffocated.
  • Just so you know, it is illegal to release over 19 million balloons in the air.

Related article: How Early Can You Blow Up Balloons?

The Science behind Popping a Balloon

We have all experienced having a balloon that pops up unexpectedly, and most of us have all been wondering why some balloons keep on popping even if they are not exposed to sharp objects or surfaces.  

But aside from our shared panic and fear of loud noises, which are produced by the popping of balloons, there are even more curious and attention-grabbing logical questions, which are related to popping a balloon, that also need some answers.

In fact, in a recent study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers discovered and learned that the amount of pressure within a balloon unswervingly affects how it would pop.

The researchers recorded their experiments using a high-speed camera, which let them see how a balloon would burst in very slow motion.

How to Deflate Balloons without the Noise in Five Easy Steps

  1. To begin with, put both your index and middle finger around the opening of the balloon, just higher than the knot. Then squeeze it.
  2. Stretch out the opening of the balloon using your middle and index finger. And then use both your thumb and ring finger to hold it.
  3. The next step would be to press your thumb and ring finger together against the opening of the balloon, just under the knot. And then pinch it.
  4. Now use a pair of scissors to cut just under the knot.
  5. Then voila – just let go!

Related Questions

Can balloons last in high temperatures?

In hot weather conditions, elastic balloons will usually last outdoors for only one day. This is because hot temperatures make Latex biodegrade faster.

Which rise higher – balloons filled with helium or oxygen?

Because of the fact that helium is lighter than oxygen when you inflate a balloon with helium, it will certainly rise higher than the one that you blow up with just oxygen.

Ideas For Kids Parties is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *