How to Blow Up a Balloon: Balloon-Blowing Techniques

How to Blow Up a Balloon: Balloon-Blowing Techniques

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how to blow up a balloon - a little girl in pigtails blowing up a red balloon
How do you blow up a balloon? Should you use your mouths, helium tanks, or pumps?

How to blow up a balloon: this is a deceiving task. Balloons are celebratory add-ons to birthday parties and other fun special events. But then again, blowing them up is not always a fun thing to do. 

If you’re blowing balloons you need a good pair of lungs or a balloon pump. Not only that—do not forget that inflating balloons requires a lot of time and patience. That is why you need to know some balloon techniques so that you can blow them up fast.

Regardless of where you intend to use balloons, you can learn easier ways on how to blow up a balloon. We listed them below.

How to Blow Up a Balloon

Balloon-blowing can be a challenge, whether you do it with your mouth, a balloon pump, or a helium tank.

Inflating a Balloon with your Mouth

how to blow up a balloon - three kids blowing up white and red balloons at a white living room
Here’s how to blow up a balloon using your mouth: Breathe deeply. Start blowing. Don’t exert too much effort!

Blowing up balloons with your mouth will need some practice, but you will definitely get there.

Start with a 9 or 11-inch latex balloon.

There are people who choose jewel-toned balloons because the latex feels slightly thinner—that’s why latex is easier to inflate. 

Step 1: 

Slightly stretch the balloon with your hands before starting to blow. This will help the latex to warm up; thus, it will be easier to fill it with air. 

Place the whole opening of the balloon between your lips. Hold it closely with one hand. This will stretch the balloon’s neck.

As a result, the air will flow nicely into the hole.

Step 2: 

You can now begin to blow the balloon. However, you may experience a slight resistance before the inflation starts. 

You must never attempt to blow up a balloon with all your strength. That will give you a headache, particularly if you start blowing forcibly before the inflation starts.

The trick here is to start the flow of air and then keep on blowing.

When the inflation begins, pause on each breath to inhale. Once you do this, pinch the neck or opening of the balloon with your fingers close to your mouth.

This will avoid the air from flowing back out. Blow up the balloon until it feels full, but you should also see to it that you can still stretch the neck. This will keep the balloon from blasting.

Also, this will allow you to tie off its end.

Step 3: 

The balloon is now inflated, so the next thing to do is to tie a knot in the tail.

Now you have completely done it—a perfectly inflated balloon.

Blowing Up a Balloon using Helium

how to blow up a balloon - a hand holding a red helium tank with balloons at the back
Inflating balloons using a helium tank is not that complicated! Just secure the neck.

Listen up! When blowing up balloons with helium, make sure the neck stays stretchable—same as when you are blowing it up with your mouth.

The neck of the balloon will go around the nozzle on the helium tanks. Make sure there is some space between the inflated part of the balloon and the neck that is wrapped around the nozzle. 

When you have blown it up, then you can already tie it. You may also add a ribbon to it.

However, you have to tie it fast because failing to do so will only make the air escape the balloon.

How to blow up a balloon: The real challenge

Yes, blowing up balloons can be both time-consuming and tiring. Still, you should not be disappointed because you will eventually get used to it.

In fact, there are some people who love blowing them up. 

Wanna know where the real challenge lies? 

It’s when you have to tie them as fast as you can to keep the air from escaping the balloons. 

On the other hand, some people prefer tying up balloons rather than blowing them up because inflating them manually makes them lightheaded. 

But then again, eventually, with some practice and patience, you will learn how to effectively blow up balloons fast.

The Pros of Blowing Up Balloons with a Pump

balloon pump with deflated latex balloons on grey table
Using a pump to blow up a balloon is safer than using your mouth.
  • Using a pump is more ideal for your health.
  • When you have a pump, you can also teach the kids how to blow up a balloon. By doing so, they will feel that they are contributing to the preparation. 
  • Through a pump, a defective balloon will not explode in your eye.
  • Using a pump is more hygienic, which prevents the spread of germs. Ideally, though, you shouldn’t blow up a balloon if you are sick.
  • With a pump, there is no moisture or condensation inside.
  • Use a pump if you’re still learning how to blow up a balloon… or even permanently, for safety reasons. Balloons bursting in the mouth can cause choking.
  • If you suffer from asthma, blowing up balloons by mouth is dangerous for you.
  • Meanwhile, if you have glaucoma, manually inflating balloons by mouth could be dangerous for your eyes.
  • Pumps let you keep talking while the balloons are being blown up. An automatic pump gives you the freedom to intermingle with guests or other people.
  • When you use a pump to blow up balloons, you won’t need as much stamina.
  • Here’s why you shouldn’t just blow up a balloon with your mouth:
    1. This can increase sensitivity to latex on lips as well as other areas in the mouth. Plus, the possible inhalation of the powders used in its production can get into the lungs and have adverse effects.
    2. Blowing up balloons hard may cause the blood vessels of the eyes to burst.
    3. When you inflate balloons with your mouth, the intense pressure on your abdominal area can cause small blood vessels to rupture. In other serious cases, this can cause doctors to suspect cancer of the intestines.

The Cons of Inflating Balloons with a Pump

  • Some balloon pumps are bulky, so they are not portable. 
  • Blowing up balloons using a pump is a little bit slower than manually inflating them.
  • A balloon pump always has the possibility of breaking down.
  • When kids are left unattended, they will always be curious and play with your pump. That is regardless of how many times you tell them not to. This may possibly result in accidents or could cause a breakdown, as well. 
  • Floor pumps easily get dirty because children often like to stand on its base. And the most challenging part is to actually get the children to leave and stop playing with the balloon pump.

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How Long Do Balloons Stay Inflated

how to blow up a balloon - colorful balloons tied with strings, floating up to the ceiling
The party may end, but some balloons will stay high even for days.

If you are interested in knowing a number of factors that affect how long balloons last, keep on reading.

Latex Balloons Filled with Helium

When filled with helium, an 11-inch latex balloon will usually float for more or less 18–24 hours. However, if your balloon has a metallic or pearl finish, its typical flying time decreases to only about 16–18 hours. 

Then again, you can prolong the floating time of your helium-filled latex balloons. You can use the un-inflated balloon, a product called Ultra Hi-Float. 

This product for balloons comprises a water-soluble plastic, which dries inside the balloon to form a coating. That coating inside the balloon helps to retain the helium molecules locked inside.

Latex Balloons Filled with Air

Air-filled latex balloons do not float. However, they have the benefit of staying inflated for longer as compared to helium-filled balloons. 

In addition, air-filled balloons can stay blown up for up to several days or even weeks, provided they are in the right conditions.

What Happens when Balloons are Exposed to Ultraviolet Light and Air

Latex balloons are made from pure latex rubber, which is a natural material that is completely biodegradable.

However, when a latex balloon is exposed to daylight or air, the countdown on the balloon’s life kicks off. And that is regardless of whether or not the balloon is blown up.

This is why it is necessary to keep un-inflated balloons in an air-tight container or bag. In turn, you must store them inside dark places such as a cabinet, drawer, or in other places.

In addition to that, when a latex balloon has been blown up, whether it’s filled with just air or helium, the balloon will gradually start to lose air and begin to deflate.

Types of Balloons: Their Similarities and Differences

Balloons are pleasing to the eyes, especially the colorful and shiny ones. Both kids and adults like them.

When you are planning to shop for balloons for a party or event, it will be useful to be familiar with the different types of balloons available in the market today.

Through this, you will know the ideal balloons that match your party or any special event that you are planning to celebrate.

The three main types of party balloons are cloud-buster balloons, latex balloons, as well as Mylar balloons. 

3 Main Types of Balloons

1. Cloud-buster Balloons

how to blow up a balloon - cloud buster ballloons
Cloud-buster balloons are eye-catching because of their size. | Photo Source

Chloroprene balloons or cloud-buster balloons are made of excellent quality latex. They have the ability to resist the damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Also, these balloons are ten times more durable than other typical latex balloons. 

Their floating time depends on their size; but when you store them properly and keep them in good condition, they can float up to 3 weeks.

Here is a quick guide to how long a cloud-buster balloon can stay inflated:

  • 4 feet – more or less 4 to 5 days
  • 5.5 feet – more or less 7 to 9 days
  • 8 feet – more or less 18 to 21 days

Cloud-buster balloons are sturdy. You can even try learning how to blow this balloon up to nearly perfect sphere shapes. That is why people often use them for outdoor special events. 

You should know, however, that they are non-customizable. That means for you to make an even more attractive set-up for your next party, you ought to buy colorful display banners.

They should go along with the balloons and tie together the theme of your party.

2. Latex Balloons

how to blow up a balloon - deflated colorful latex balloons
These are the very balloons you grew up with.

Latex balloons are the most common type of balloons. These blow up to an oval shape and are made of recyclable latex.

You can easily personalize latex balloons by printing your artwork design, business logo, or greeting on their surface. 

In addition to that, latex balloons are available in sizes that range from 9 inches up to 18 inches. The most common and popular size is the 11-inch customized latex balloon and the 9-inch ones.

In general, latex balloons hold helium excellently. In fact, it can last for up to 10 hours to 14 hours of float time.

But then again, a number of factors affect their floating time—particularly, how much helium is used or how the latex balloons are sealed. 

Also, if ever the cost is concerning you, just keep in mind that smaller balloons will use less helium.

Another thing is that latex balloons are also very flexible that you can still use them even without helium. Sounds amazing, right? 

Lastly, making use of balloon accessories, such as a helium tank, is popular because you won’t need to purchase or rent helium tanks anymore. 

The result? You save time, energy, and money. You can blow up latex balloons with the use of regular air and by using an air inflator, a foot pump, or hand inflator. 

3. Foil or Mylar Balloons

star-shaped mylar balloons in gold and silver
Mylar balloons are popular even with adults.

Mylar balloons are costlier compared to latex balloons. There is no question, though—they have a higher quality with a metallic finish and feel. 

Aside from that, they also have much wider print spaces as well as longer float times. Through their cute, bright, and shiny features, Mylar balloons are truly an attention grabber. 

They will make any party venue prettier and eye-catching.

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The Difference between Latex and Mylar Balloons

Mylar balloons, also known as foil balloons, aren’t compatible with balloon cups and sticks. 

In addition to that, unlike the flexible latex balloons, foil balloons do not fasten very well on the balloon cups.

Still, custom-built Mylar balloons are the most attractive when you blow them up with helium gas and tie them up with a nice ribbon.

However, you must always be mindful whenever you shop for Mylar balloons.

That is because low-cost and low-quality Mylar balloons are not always the best deal—they are going to have a very short float time.

Also, some might have defects and pin-holes, which will allow air to outflow and eventually cause the balloon to deflate.  

Once you buy Mylar balloons, try to look for those with self-sealing valves, which is an extremely convenient feature. 

Additionally, you save a ton on helium, as well, because Mylar balloons use 25% less helium on each balloon. This allows you to inflate up to 30% more balloons per helium tank. And with that, you can save more or less 22% on helium expenses.

How to Blow Up a Balloon and Use it for a Special Event

how to blow up a balloon - blue, white, and gold balloons decor in a 5-year-old's party
You can do a hundred things with balloons as decorations for your party!

Balloons have always been stealing the show at any fun event or special occasion. Whether the event is held at home, outdoors, or at a rented venue, they bring an amazing presence to lighten up the party. They set the festive mood to any event.

Listed below are several ways on how you can use balloons for an event that will mark its existence in the mind of each and every attendee—whether a kid or a young-at-heart.

1. Decorate according to your special occasion.

When you choose the right balloons for your next special event, you can get the most out of them. Plus, you can get what you paid for. However, most people would rather choose random balloons for a party.

But then again, when you decorate your party venue with eye-catching and colorful balloons, this will effortlessly grab the limelight of your special event. 

You can also give your partner or your friend a balloon bouquet as a gift. 

Balloons come with different colors, shapes, message, as well as quality. Whenever you are about to choose balloons, keep the event or occasion in mind, so you can make the most out of the balloons that you bought. 

To make the best use of balloons for your special event, look for the perfect ones that match the occasion and the party theme.

2. Choose a theme.

The color of balloons plays a vital role at any party because it gets the attention of guests, especially when they are properly set up.

Lively colors are always the go-to colors for balloons, especially for events, like kid’s birthday parties. 

Also, when choosing balloons as a decorative solution for your upcoming event, you ought to pick the perfect color theme. There are wide selections of colors available from which you can choose.

When the theme of your party is rainbow, make sure to coordinate with it using vibrant balloons. 

3. You can hang up balloons in a number of ways.

You can hang balloons in different ways. In fact, you can make them the main decoration that would prettify your party. 

To hang balloons, it is not necessary for you to have helium balloons to float on the ceiling. With only the simple elastic balloons, you can still have that helium effect.

Through a double-sided tape, stick the balloon upwards to the ceiling and leave a ribbon on each of the tips of the balloons.

Hanging balloons is one of the best ideas in surprising your loved ones for their birthday or on any special occasion. 

Here are ways on how to blow up a balloon and keep it inflated and afloat.

  • Tie a ribbon or string on the balloon’s end, and attach it to chairs or tables in your garden.
  • Tie the ribbon on the ends of the balloons and place them on the wall. 
  • Attach different sizes and colors of balloons to the wall to make them look as if they are bubbles.

4. Enhance and prettify your balloons.

Balloons may be the best decoration for your party. But did you know that you can beautify a balloon as well? 

Listed below are a few exciting ways how to blow up a balloon and beautify it.

  • Using a string or a ribbon, you can tie up balloons to create a garland out of them.
  • On plain balloons, you can sprinkle some glitters or put some paint to make them look more eye-catching.
  • You can also decorate your balloons using paper cuttings and attaching them to the balloons.
  • To keep your party venue simple and coherent, you can make many balloons of the same color instead of having many colorful balloons. 
  • If you know how to form different shapes using balloons, you can create some and use them as decorations to your party.

These are only a few of the many ideas that you can do with your balloons. In fact, there is so much to do with balloons. Yes, the ideas are limitless.

5. You can create a centerpiece with balloons. 

Run your imagination in every probable way, and create your own balloon centerpiece. 

There are a number of ways of using your balloons to form your centerpiece. You may create an animal shape, flower, or any other forms that you want to. 

6. You can use balloons as prizes for games and other activities.

Balloons are not only for decorative purposes; they can also be the best prize or gift at a party.

When you organize games at your party, you can also give balloons as prizes. 

There are also a number of fun games where you can use balloons. For instance, you can organize a game where the participants would have to burst balloons. 

Bottom line

white, pink, and silver balloon decor at a girly party setting
Balloons are here to stay… Any party seems empty without them!

A party will not completely be a “party” and have that festive mood without balloons of different colors and sizes. However, blowing up balloons is not only time consuming but is also tiring. 

You have multiple options for inflating your balloons. You can either inflate them manually with your mouth or make use of a pump.

Either way, one thing that you should also make sure of is their longevity. To make the most out of buying balloons, you should know how to make them stay inflated or afloat longer. 

The existence of balloons with different shapes, sizes, and colors gives a happy party vibe and steals the limelight. Wherever your special event is, you can basically display balloons around the venue. 

Related questions

Is it true that hair sprays can help balloons from deflating?

Yes. You can spray balloons with hair spray to help keep the air from escaping them.

Which balloon deflates faster: a helium balloon or a latex balloon?

Latex balloons filled with air, unlike helium ones, can stay blown up for up to a few weeks. This is because helium atoms escape balloons because they are very small.

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 and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc.

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