Balloons are decorations often used for birthday parties and other entertaining occasions. Inflating them isn't always much fun, as it usually takes a lot of breath or a good pump as well as time and patience. Whether you need a balloon or a hundred and whether it's for decorations or a science experiment, there are many ways to make inflating easier and even more entertaining.
Method 1 of 4: Inflate a balloon by blowing into it
Step 1. Stretch the ball
If you stretch the balloon all over the place with your hands before blowing into it, you will be able to inflate it with your mouth much more easily, as the latex will loosen up and resist less to the force of the incoming air.
Stretch the ball in all directions, being careful not to tear it. Do not stretch it too much, as it may burst when you inflate it. Just shoot a few shots in all directions
Step 2. Pinch the neck
Hold the neck of the balloon firmly between your thumb and forefinger to hold the balloon in place while you inflate it. Take its end about 1 cm below its opening, placing your index finger above your thumb.
Step 3. Inhale
Take a deep breath and place the opening of the balloon between your lips, closing them around the latex. They should be just beyond the opening, against your thumb and forefinger.
Step 4. Blow out
Blow into the balloon to inflate it with the air that is in your lungs. This is the same action you would use to puff up your cheeks, but you have to send the air into the balloon and keep the cheeks relaxed.
- Try to keep your lips tight when inflating the balloon. Your cheeks will fill with a bit of air, but should not swell too much. It is the ball that must grow!
- Think about how a trumpeter blows his instrument. Maintain good tension in your facial muscles, especially if your lungs are not very strong or if you have trouble inflating the balloon.
- Tighten your lips tightly around the neck of the balloon to maintain pressure.
Step 5. Overcome the initial resistance
For reasons that are the subject of more scientific debate than you might think, the first blow of air in a balloon is always the most difficult. When you have overcome this first resistance, the balloon will suddenly start to inflate. It takes time to get used to this phenomenon. Keep blowing until the balloon inflates. Use this experience to help you with the next one.
- If you still have trouble inflating the balloon after the first attempt, try gently pulling on its neck while blowing on it a second time.
- If you're having a hard time, stretch the neck of the balloon and hold it closed between your thumb and forefinger to take a breath.
Step 6. Take breaks
If you need to pause to catch your breath with each stroke, keep the balloon closed by squeezing its neck between your thumb and forefinger. Release the pressure when you blow into the ball again.
Step 7. Stop on time
When you feel the surface of the balloon is taut and the latex resists the introduction of more air, you are done. If the neck of the balloon is inflated to the point where it is much wider than it started out, you have inflated it too much. Let some air out until the neck is flat again.
Step 8. Tie off the balloon
When it resists the introduction of more air, it is quite inflated and you can tie it up. Once you're done, start pumping up the next one (or the next ninety-nine!).
- Pinch the bottom of the ball's neck between your index and middle fingers.
- Stretch the neck and wrap it around your index finger and thumb.
- Pass the opening of the balloon through the loop you have formed and remove your fingers while pulling on the neck to tighten the knot.
Method 2 of 4: Inflate a balloon with a hand pump
Step 1. Attach a balloon to the pump
Place the balloon opening around the tip of the tool. The tip should be ridged to hold the latex securely.
Step 2. Start pumping
If the pump is operated with your hands, pull the lever out and push it in to retract it. If it is a foot pump, activate it with your foot and release it. You don't need to stretch the balloon before inflating it.
Step 3. Tie the balloon
When it's swollen enough, tie it off using wikiHow tips.
Method 3 of 4: Use a helium cylinder
Step 1. Attach the inflator to the bottle
It is a small metal tube that has one end threaded and the other with a thin end cap. Screw this tube firmly into the threaded opening at the top of the helium cylinder.
Step 2. Install the nozzle
Most inflators come with two conical plastic tips. The thinnest is for aluminum balloons. The larger one is for latex balloons. Firmly install the nozzle suitable for your needs on the end of the inflator.
Step 3. Open the faucet
Rotate the valve at the top of the helium cylinder counterclockwise to open the safety valve and send gas to the inflator. You will hear a short “pop” when the valve opens, but if the sound lasts longer, there is a leak. In this case, close the tap and contact the cylinder manufacturer.
Step 4. Place a balloon on the mouthpiece
Put the tip of the inflator into the opening of the balloon, pushing it in enough to hold it in place. Squeeze the opening of the balloon between your thumb and forefinger to hold it even more firmly.
Step 5. Press down on the nozzle
Use the hand holding the neck of the balloon to gently lower the nozzle of the inflator. The end of it will open and send a jet of helium into the balloon. Stop pressing when the balloon is sufficiently inflated.
Be careful, because a full helium bottle can fill a balloon very quickly! Don't be surprised if you bust a few before you get the hang of it
Step 6. Tie off the balloon
If it is a latex balloon, tie it normally: wrap the neck around two fingers, pass the opening through the loop and pull on it to tighten the knot. Most aluminum balloons have an automatic closing system and you only need to press the opening to close them.
Step 7. Shut off the gas outlet
When you have finished inflating the balloons, carefully seal the helium bottle to prepare it for return by taking the following steps.
- Rotate the valve at the top of the bottle clockwise to turn it off.
- Press down on the nozzle to expel any gas remaining in the inflator.
- Remove the nozzle and unscrew the inflator.
Method 4 of 4: Do a science experiment
Step 1. Fill a balloon with baking soda
Put two tablespoons of baking soda in a latex balloon that you haven't inflated yet. Insert a funnel into the opening of the flask to facilitate the process. Two tablespoons comes down to about 30 g.
Step 2. Put vinegar in a bottle
Take a small, empty, clean, dry plastic bottle. Pour 120 ml of vinegar inside. A funnel will facilitate this step. Remove the baking soda residue before pouring in the vinegar.
Step 3. Attach the balloon to the bottle
Pass the opening of the balloon around the opening of the bottle to secure it tightly. Let the balloon body hang down on its side, being careful not to drop any baking soda into the bottle.
Step 4. Put the baking soda in the bottle
Raise the flaccid body of the balloon and pull it up slightly so that the baking soda falls directly into the bottle. Be careful not to pull too hard, as the ball could come loose.
Step 5. Observe the reaction
You can inflate a balloon with vinegar and baking soda thanks to the expanding CO2 produced by the chemical reaction between these two ingredients. Children will find it especially entertaining to watch the balloon inflate as if by magic.
- You can try to bite the opening of the balloon very gently to hold it in place as you blow into it.
- Very small or very large balloons may resist inflation even more at first and you may need to blow several times to break this resistance. Long, thin balloons for making animals and other sculptures are particularly difficult to inflate.
- If you often have to inflate a lot of balloons, consider purchasing an inexpensive pump. It will be worth it. Store the tool somewhere where you can find it easily.
- If you have to blow up a lot of balloons, and you work in a facility such as a school, ask children for help. Most elementary school children love to blow up balloons and will be happy to help.
- Some people may feel dizzy when they inflate balloons. If you're feeling dizzy, take a break and take some time to catch your breath.
- Some people cannot inflate balloons at all because of the effort involved. If this is your case, don't worry. Find a pump or ask someone with larger lung capacity to help you. We don't all have enough breath to blow up balloons.
- Do not over inflate the balloon, as it will burst. If you inflate it too much, you will know it very quickly!
- Do not blow too hard (if your cheeks are completely swollen, then you are breathing too hard), as this can put too much pressure on your sinuses.