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Quick TIPS/ Number 1 Rules for Latex
Latex lasts 6-10 hours depending on outside temperature
Many hospitals do not allow latex balloons due to latex allergies
Latex balloons pop and are a choking hazard for infants, toddlers, and pets
QUICK TIPS/ Number 1 Rules for Mylar
Mylar lasts 1-7 days depending on outside temperature (although it will only look fresh and plump the first few days)
Mylars SHOULD NOT be released outdoors. They cause power outages when they fall or blow onto power lines and are terrible for wildlife.
Mylars do NOT like to have drastic temperature changes. For example, if they are blown up in a cold, air-conditioned store, then moved to a hot car. Most will deflate almost instantly.
Tie mylar balloons below the hole at the bottom if you plan on refilling your mylar
Working at a party store for almost 10 years has taught me a lot when it comes to blowing up balloons. I have used rented-industry helium tanks, store-bought helium tanks, hand-held pumps, and blown them up by my mouth.
Stretch your latex balloons! Before using them, I stretch them width-wise and once or twice length-wise. I did this to prevent popping balloons. Usually a defective balloon will rip when you stretch it… So instead of having a balloon pop in your face, stretch it!
Blow up latex balloons until it is nice and round. Once it turns into a PEAR it is over-inflated. Let out some air, tie it in a knot, and add a string. OR to save time, while tying the knot, stick about 12 inches of string through the knot hole, then tie the knot. Don’t do it vice-versa, i.e tie the ribbon around the balloon opening. It does not usually keep the air in very good and it wastes time.
Latex balloons are cheaper than mylar balloons and only last 6-10 hours with helium. If you want latex balloons to last longer, but not fly, use a hand pump or blow it using your mouth. A hand pump is the quickest and least strenuous and it also doesn’t leave moisture in the balloon. You can stretch a balloon you are hand pumping, but it isn’t necessary.
Balloons are great gifts to give to new mothers or people in the hospital. However, because of latex allergies, many hospitals no longer allow latex balloons.
A new GREAT alternative to mylar and latex. It’s made of plastic (still not so good for environment) but it looks really neat and lasts a very long time. Bubble balloons are more closely related to latex balloons, in that they are clear/ sheer, and need to be inflated using a latex valve. A mylar valve will shut off too soon when inflating a bubble balloon, making your bubble balloon look under-inflated. Bubble balloons look like inflated beach balls. I’ve seen fish bowls, happy birthday, and many other bubble balloons.
Metallic Balloons that last a long time! They often come in licensed prints and all kinds of shapes! A couple of positives for Mylars, they last a long time and you can get one in pretty much any shape, size, and message that you desire. Often times, you can buy them at grocery stores/ drug stores or party stores. You can also get them online without air.
Mylar balloons typically last up to one week, although I have had mylar balloons that managed to stay afloat much longer than that. Most mylars have an automatic stop valve, so you cannot over inflate them (unlike latex). Mylars can also be re-inflated easily. When attaching the ribbon, simply tie the knot below the opening/ hole so you can easily access it. Some people will save their mylars for years (using it as decoration, storing it in scrapbooks, or just saving it to re-inflate for other events)
Mylar balloons however, are very temperamental… They do not like extreme temperature changes. I have had mylar balloons deflate during a 5 minute car drive because I bought them in an air-conditioned store and moved them to a hot car. A tip, make sure your car is cool before bringing mylars inside.
While mylar balloons are very pretty and can hold very meaningful messages, it is best not to release ANY balloons into the environment. Mylars can cause power-outages when tangled in powerlines and are also very harmful to wildlife.
It is also possible to use hand-pumps to inflate mylar balloons. The mylar will not float, but shapes, such as circles, stars, and hearts, can be attached to sticks to look like giant candy-colored lollipops. When inflating with a hand-pump, the automatic shut-off valve will not work, so… once your mylar is wrinkle-free, stop blowing it up.
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Store bought helium tanks- Often are built for latex and may not have an automatic stop valve for mylar balloons. Like the hand-pump, once your mylar is wrinkle-free, stop blowing it up, don’t wait for an automatic shut-off to indicate your mylar is full.
The store bought helium tanks provide very rough estimates on the number of balloons you are blowing up. In my experience, it is always better to err on the safe side and assume it will blow up 5-10 balloons less than it has listed. Also, since many consumers are not balloon professionals, if you over-inflate any balloon, that means even less balloons yielded by the tank.
On the bright side, store bought tanks are very portable and easy to use. Place it on a stable surface and you can blow up your balloons pretty much anywhere.
Rented/ Industry size Helium tanks- Often meant to blow up 250+ balloons and very heavy. Also, for most states Fire code and OSHA standards, the tanks need to be completely secured to a wall or station before you use it (i.e. a thick metal chain is used to hold the tank in place, fastened to a wall). The tanks, when not in use and not fastened, need to be capped.
Benefit, most have two separate valves, one for latex, and one for mylar. The latex valve does not automatically shut off once the balloon is full, the mylar valve will shut off once the mylar is full. Also, the tanks are huge, so you can easily fill up 100’s of mylars or latexes quickly for events. Some valves even come with little razors to make ribbon cutting easy.