How to Prevent Balloons from Deflating

How to Prevent Balloons from Deflating

Deflated Balloon
Deflated Balloon

Perhaps you want to throw a party, and you want to prepare as early as you can to avoid the last-minute rush. And one of the things that crossed your mind is to inflate balloons a few days ahead of the party. Yes, that would save you time. But did you know that blowing up balloons several days before the event could lead to baggy and half-inflated balloons? Do you know how to prevent balloons from deflating?

Balloons, whether Later or Mylar, are a party staple. But then again, half-inflated and droopy balloons will definitely deflate the mood of the party. And you don’t want that to happen to the party that you are hosting, do you?

If you have an upcoming party and you want to know how to prevent balloons from hasty deflating, then continue reading on. By knowing and following a few simple and inexpensive steps, you certainly will be able to keep your balloons inflated and prolong their life.

How do you really prevent balloons from deflating?

But before that, it would be helpful if you would familiarize yourself first with different balloon types.

Different Types of Balloons

  • Air-filled Balloons

As its name suggests, this balloon type is filled with just plain air. For that reason, these balloons do not float in the air. But then again, this type of balloons is what people use to create different figures. Also, because air-filled balloons cannot fly, they are ideally used as decorations on the floor.

  • Foil Balloons

Imagine the foil that you often use in the kitchen? That is as shiny as this balloon type. On the other hand, unlike air-filled balloons, foil balloons are filled with helium. Because of that, they have a prolonged inflation time. In fact, they can stay afloat for several hours. Some foil balloons are just plain, while the others come with cool patterns and prints. So if you are planning to have a themed party, it would be easy for you to look for foil balloons that would match your chosen theme. 

  • Latex Balloons

These balloons resemble the shape of tears. When you opt to use this balloon type, you can fill them with either helium or just air. Latex balloons are sustainable because they are created from trees that produce latex. But no, people do not need to cut these trees to get latex. In fact, because they are left unharmed, they can still produce latex for several decades more.

  • Metallic Balloons

If you want to add a touch of sophistication to your party, use metallic balloons, which are chic and glossy. Usually, metallic balloons are filled with helium.

Ways to Prevent Balloons from Deflating

Latex Balloons
Latex Balloons
  • Blow up the balloon and tie its bottom securely by doing a tight knot. This will prevent the air from escaping the balloon. If you want to be more creative by tying a ribbon to the bottom of the balloons, you must still tie a knot because it will keep the balloons more securely closed than tying a ribbon only.
  • Did you know that aside from your hair, there are more ways in which you can use a hairspray? You can actually use it on balloons, too. Spray the balloons with a mist of any hairspray. This interesting technique will help keep the air from escaping the balloons.
  • Once all the balloons have been blown up, you can store them in a large plastic bag until the time for the event. Doing this will help prevent the balloons from being half-deflated and droopy. You must tie the bottom of the plastic bag securely with the inflated balloons inside.
  • Do not store inflated balloons near sharp objects or under direct lights. This is because the heat from the lights can cause the balloons to pop. Aside from that, sharp objects can puncture the balloons, which can also cause them to deflate.

Related article: How Early Can You Blow Up Balloons

Why Does a Helium Balloon Deflate Faster?

Helium balloons start to deflate after a few days. On the other hand, latex balloons that are filled with air can stay inflated for a few weeks. How cool is that!

But what is the reason why helium balloons deflate faster? The answer? Well, it has something to do with the nature of helium as well as the type of balloon.

The reason why helium balloons deflate faster is because helium atoms are very small that they can escape between spaces in the balloon’s skin.

Below are other factors that affect the longevity of balloons:

  • The coatings on the internal part of the balloon also affect how long it would last. Some treat helium balloons with a gel, which helps hold the helium inside the balloon much longer.
  • Temperature affects how long a balloon would last, as well. When the temperature is higher, the motion of molecules inside the balloons increases. This causes the rate of diffusion as well as the rate of deflation to increase.
  • Pressure also plays an important role when it comes to prolonging balloons’ life. When there is an increase in pressure, latex balloons are able to expand. But then again, when latex balloons expand, the gaps between latex molecules also increases, causing the gas to escape and the balloon to deflate faster.
  • On the other hand, a foil balloon cannot expand. That is why, when there is an increase in pressure, instead of deflating, foil balloons just pop.
  • Helium balloons deflate more quickly than balloons with air because helium atoms are small enough to escape between spaces in the balloon.

Why Balloons Slowly Deflate

Can you really prevent balloons from deflating?

Balloons are not perfectly airtight. When the balloon’s surface begins to stretch as it is being inflated, it becomes so thin. And yes, there begins to be microscopic holes, where gas escapes through. The air molecules begin to slowly disperse and escape through the surface of the balloon, which has invisible holes. So balloons eventually deflate.

This process of gradual gas leakage is not so slow with Mylar balloons that are filled with helium. The reason is that it is easier for helium to escape the balloon compared to regular air.

Other Creative Ways to Reuse Latex Balloons

Creating a Pinata Out of a Balloon
Creating a Pinata Out of a Balloon
  • Create a piñata out of the old and used balloon.

To make a piñata, mix two cups of water, eight cups of flour, and one cup of glue. And then dip old newspaper strips into the mixture. After that, lay the sticky strips of paper onto the balloon (ideally, three to four layers of paper) and let it air dry. Once it is dry, paint it with different patterns and drawings.

  • Cut it into small pieces, and use it as party confetti.

Although this is a creative idea, doing this is not recommended if you have younger kids or pets in the area for safety reasons.

  • Use old balloons for balloon darts.

You should hang the used balloons up and buy some kid-friendly darts. To add more challenge and more fun, you can give prizes to those who win.

  • Create a stress ball out of the used balloon.

After using balloons at a party, you can gently undo the knot to allow the air to come out. You can either fill them with flour or rice. Once you have already filled them with air, tie their opening tightly.

  • Use old balloons as ice packs.

If you and your family are going camping, of course, you need to pack some cool beverages in a cooler. You may use old balloons filled with water as reusable ice packs.

What to do with Old and Used Foil Balloons

Foil Balloon
Foil Balloon
  • Gift wrap

You can use the old foil balloons as a gift wrap or a gift bag for presents, like a bottle of wine.

  • A Streamer or a gift basket packaging

To create streamers out of used foil balloons, you can cut them into strips and hang them as decorations. You can also use the cut shiny strips to decorate a gift basket.

  • Use the image on the foil balloon as a memento

If you want to remember a special event for all your life, or if you want to remind your child about his particular birthday party, you may cut an image out of one foil balloon and keep it in a frame. Your first step to doing this would be to deflate foil balloons and then to carefully cut out the images on them.

Helpful Tips to Prevent Balloons From Deflating in Hot Weather

  1. If you want to prevent your balloons from deflating and to keep them longer, you must only buy high-quality ones. Always keep in mind that good quality always makes a big difference. Also, when you invest in top-quality products, you are sure to get your money’s worth.
  2. As much as you possibly can, try to avoid using latex balloons. This is because after only a few days of leaving them outdoors, they can already totally break when you touch them as compared to foil balloons which are long-lasting.
  3. Sometimes, especially when you blow up balloons a few days before your party, it would help if you underinflate balloons. This is because when they are underinflated and are exposed to heat, they still expand.
  4. However, before underinflating balloons, it is ideal that you overinflate them first. And then just release the air gradually until they are a little underinflated. This technique would help balloons to expand more easily, without them being brittle. Keep in mind that the process of underinflating does wonders for your balloons unless you over inflate them first.
  5. Use balloons which are two sizes bigger than you would usually use.
  6. When blowing up balloons, it is better to inflate them with the same air temperature as they would encounter outside. Doing this can really help balloons in retaining their shape better.
  7. Helium and the heat outdoors do not mix. But then again, if you have to use latex balloons filled with helium, opt to use bigger balloons (24 inches big) but blow them up to only about 16 inches. What you should do is to over inflate them with air first, release the gas, and then re-inflate them with helium.
  8. Balloons, especially latex ones, will not last outdoors for the night. This is because the cold air will shrink them and then the next day, they will expand because of the sun’s heat. As a result, they will burst. But then again, you can still avoid that by simply storing all your balloons indoors throughout the night.
  9. Use white balloons as much as possible. This is for the reason that they reflect the sun, and they fade less compared to colored ones and those with patterns. However, this would still depend on the occasion where you will be using balloons.
  10. If it is possible, do not opt for dark-colored balloons. Did you know that dark balloons will absorb heat more and pop more rapidly? As an alternative, you could use white balloons and just use dark-colored ribbons as an accent to them.
  11. You must not forget that high temperatures make the balloons’ leakage process faster. And when gas leaks out of the balloons, they cannot stay afloat for a long time. Think of ways where you can shade your balloons to slightly delay the leakage process.
  12. Never try to splash balloons with water to cool them down. This is because when the water dries on the latex balloons, they become sticky. And when balloons stick together, they can pop like crazy. Just like latex balloons, foil balloons are not perfect either. Even if foil balloons last longer outdoors, the heat of the sun can affect their shine and color. That means every day, their shine decreases.
  13. Whenever possible, use some kind of framework to give your balloon decor structure that can withstand wind and heat. This can also be helpful for helium-filled balloons that will lose float time in the heat.

Related article: Five Reasons Your Balloons Keep Popping

Other balloon-related questions:

  • Why do balloons stick to the wall?

The reason why balloons stick to the wall is because of the formation of static electricity.

  • Why does my hair stick to a balloon?

The answer is static cling. This happens because the balloon is charged by rubbing it on your hair. 

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