The PartyWorld Guide to Using Helium Balloons

Collaborative post by PartyWorld. Helium balloons are a perennial party favourite, guaranteed to be a winner amongst guests and giftees. They add a joyful touch to party décor, giving instant party atmosphere and bringing a smile to every face. But we often get asked questions about these fantastic party centrepieces. From how long they will last, to tips for getting the most enjoyment out of your new floating friend, here is the PartyWorld guide to the helium balloon.

Image of a blue helium balloon tank

Why choose helium balloons?

Helium balloons stand out from ordinary balloons. With their ability to float and maintain height, they give structure and presence to a décor scheme. PartyWorld stocks a huge range of different helium balloons, meaning you can choose one to suit your party theme and give your decorations real impact. From Harry Potter to Batman, your helium balloon can be themed to match your party vibe; or perhaps you are celebrating a special age, in which case, you could choose balloons emblazoned with the appropriate number to scatter around your venue. From graduations to new arrivals, weddings and anniversaries, there is the perfect helium balloon to help you celebrate. Helium balloons are a stylish and magical way to add a touch of sparkle to your special occasions.

What about the helium?

You will need to buy helium in order to inflate your balloons. However, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. At PartyWorld we sell a variety of different sizes of helium canister / tank to suit your needs. The helium tanks are lightweight and effortless to transport. They are easy to use, safe, and recyclable. To inflate, simply wrap the balloon tightly around the canister’s nozzle, to ensure no helium escapes. Once it is full, be ready to tie the opening up tight/

Is there anything else I need?

Ribbons are an essential, in order to tie up your balloons – pick colours that coordinate with your party theme for extra sparkle. Weights are also a good idea, to stop your balloons spending the whole time up on the ceiling where you can’t see them properly! 

Which balloons should I choose?

With a wealth of helium balloon options out there, it’s worth noting the differences that different materials and sizes of balloon produce. Float times vary a lot between latex and foil balloons, with latex balloons much more prone to leaking helium. 

Latex balloons 

You can expect a latex balloon to last between 6 and 12 hours (with a smaller balloon having a shorter float time than a larger balloon). As latex is porous, helium will immediately begin to seep out of the surface of the balloon. Balloons that are of poorer quality will leak more badly, and so may not float for as long as stated above. Remember that while a balloon might float for 12 hours, it will likely only look good for the first two-thirds of that time! 

Is there a way to make latex balloons last longer?

Yes! There is a treatment called Hi-Float, which can be sprayed inside latex helium-filled balloons and will form a coating to help retain the helium. This can extend the life of your latex helium balloons by up to 25 times! 

Foil balloons

A well-filled foil balloon can last up to a week! In this way, foil helium balloons are seen as the gold standard for floating fun. It’s worth noting that environmental conditions also affect the float time of your balloons, with temperature and altitude in particular playing a role. Larger foil balloons will float for longer, as more helium is used to inflate them.  

Confetti balloons

Confetti balloons can last less time than foil balloons, as the extra weight of the confetti tends to drag them down sooner. We’d also recommend using a mixture of air and helium to fill your confetti balloons. This is because, if you use only helium, all the confetti will pile up at the bottom of the balloon and you won’t be able to see it. To encourage some confetti to spread around and stick to the interior sides of the balloon, try putting in a few pumps of normal air before filling the rest with helium. Rubbing the sides of the balloon to create static can also help the confetti spread around. 

How much helium do I need?

At PartyWorld we have two options to cover your helium needs. 

Standard helium balloon tank

  • This canister is estimated to fill up to 30 X 9" latex balloons (6-8 hours); 20 X 10" latex balloons (12 hours); 15 X 11" latex balloons (12 hours); 12 X 18" foil balloons (1 week)
  • Float time varies: 6-12 hours approx for latex balloons, foil balloons are 1 week approx.
  • Please note, the number of balloons inflated figures are estimates. The actual yield may vary by 10% or more. Float times may vary greatly depending on inflation size, temperature, elevation and atmospheric conditions. Float times indicated are indoor estimates at room temperature.

Large helium balloon tank

  • This canister fills up to 50 X 9" latex balloons (6-8 hours); 40 X 10" latex balloons (12 hours); 25 X 11" latex balloons (12 hours); 20 X 18" foil balloons (1 week).
  • Float times and inflation yields may vary as stated above. 

When party planning, factoring in the right amount of helium is essential to ensure your event really takes off! 

Top tips for having the best helium balloons at your event

  • Inflate your balloons as close to the event as possible, to maximise float times.
  • Don’t under inflate your balloons! It might seem like you’re being careful, but really they won’t have enough helium to gain maximum float. Under-inflating will drastically reduce the float time of your balloons. 
  • Don’t buy economy. With balloons, quality is really important – cheaper items will simply leak helium so fast they won’t add any lift to your event! 
  • Watch the seams of foil balloons – over-inflating can lead to popping, which is the last thing you want. The seams should tell you when the right amount of helium is inside – they will look filled out but not over-straining! 

Safety tips for using your helium tank

You can recycle your canister at most household recycling centres, but before you take it, ensure that the tank is completely empty and you’ve marked it as empty clearly on the casing. 

  • Never inhale the helium from your helium tank
  • Do not let children operate the helium tank
  • Do not use the canister near any naked flames
  • Do not pierce the canister

So now you know how to get the very best from helium filled balloons at your event, what are you waiting for? Check out the amazing PartyWorld selection of foil balloons, latex balloons, themed balloons and confetti balloons – as well as all the helium tanks, weights and ribbons you’ll need – and watch your party take off! 

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