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air-filled foil balloons • inflators • heat sealers

  Air-Filled Foil Balloons

Foil balloons are available in 4" & 9" round shapes and 9"–14" shapes. These small foil balloons are designed to be filled with air, heat sealed with a heat sealer, and attached to a plastic cup and stick.

 

They may be purchased preinflated (air-filled) which means that they have already been filled with air, sealed, and include a cup and stick. Assortments are available with or without displays or certain styles can be purchased by individual product numbers.

 

When small foil balloons are purchased flat, an electric air inflator is required for inflation. Please note that most foil balloons smaller than 18" should only be inflated with air since smaller sizes will not float with helium.

 

We recommend an electric air inflator such as the Mini Cool Aire® Due Pro™ Inflator 831. This inflator has several nozzles depending on the size of the balloons, and includes a heavy-duty handle for easy carrying. It also will run continuously without overheating.

 

An electric heat sealer is needed, since the balloons do not have self-sealing valves. HS870 is 12" a model which allows more room to seal and can also be used to seal plastic bags. Curling irons, clothing irons, and other household appliances are not recommended for use in sealing balloons. Such appliances do not seal properly and can burn through the balloon stem or possibly cause serious burns.

 

How to Use a Heat Sealer

 

  1. After inflating the foil balloon, firmly hold the stem in one hand so the air cannot escape. Use your other hand to flatten the balloon stem. The stem should be free of wrinkles and creases. The heat sealer control should be set at position 2.5. If this seems too hot, set it lower.
  2. Position the flattened stem under the upper bar of the heat sealer so that the seal will be made just above the opening in the stem. Press the bar down and hold for 4–5 seconds after the red light fades to ensure proper sealing, then release the upper bar.
  3. A second seal below the first seal is best since any wrinkles or creases in the first seal will allow the air to leak out.

 

The pad protecting the element will wear thin after frequent use. When replacing with a new pad, also replace the element. Unplug the heat sealer before replacing the pad and element.

 

After inflating and sealing air-fill foil balloons, they can then be attached to a cup and stick, which are purchased separately. The type of cup and stick to use will depend on the size of the balloon and its end use.

 

Below are some of the cups available to use for mounting small foil balloons. The instructions for all cups are very similar in that they all involve twisting the stem of the balloon and then pulling it through an opening while weaving over and under and tucking the end of the stem under a clip or under the balloon.

 

Cello Cups CC101

Use with 4"–14" balloons. Connect to hollow plastic sticks of desired length.

 

  1. After sealing the small foil, tightly twist the stem about ten times. With the Cello Cup™ upside down, hold the foil balloon upside down and pull the stem up through the first slot marked by an arrow. It helps to place your finger over this first slot to prevent the balloon stem from slipping as you proceed.
  2. Wrap the exposed neck across the next slot in the direction of the arrow, then pull the stem down through that slot.
  3. Pull the stem across the underside of the cup to the next slot, then pull the stem up through that slot resembling a weaving action.
  4. Pull the stem across the top of the cup to the first slot and pull the stem down through it. This results in an over-under weaving action. Be sure to pull the stem tight at the beginning so that the balloon will sit securely in the cup. Pull the stem tight at the remaining stem and continue the over-under weaving action until the stem is hidden. The cup can then be attached to a stick.

With slight variations, these directions can also be applied to the cups listed next.

Mini Micro™ II Cups CC104

Use with 4”–9" foil balloons. Connect to hollow plastic sticks of desired length*

Foil Cups MCWB

Use with 9" mini foil balloons. Connect to hollow plastic sticks of desired length*

*Use with white 24" PS24W, 16" PS16W, and 12" PS12W

Maxi Foil Cups CC103

Use with standard air-filled foil or 16” latex balloons. Connect to hollow heavy plastic sticks of desired length. Use with 24" HPS24 white heavy plastic maxi sticks.

  Arches

The following is a sampling of the ways arches can be constructed.

 The Single Arch is made up of single helium-filled latex balloons tied directly to a monofilament line. The latex may be packed closely together or evenly spaced.

 An air-filled latex balloon can be tied directly below the helium-filled balloon creating the High-low Arch, a variation of the single arch.

 The Rainbow Arch includes several single arches of varying length that can be placed together creating a rainbow of colors.

 The Swirl Arch is composed of either a three or four cluster latex group joined by paper clips and attached directly to the monofilament line.

 The Foil Arch can be created using foil helium-filled balloons. The foil balloon can be attached to the monofilament line, using a chenille stem twisted around the stem.

 

Decorating With Arches

Decorating with balloons can be an exciting supplement to an existing business or an opportunity for a new business.

 

Typically, decorating is conducted on the actual job site. Every decorating job will differ and should be considered separately. Decorating is labor intensive and costly; thus, the following should be considered:

 

  • First, before you agree to a decorating job, make sure you have the required skills and supplies. A basic rule is keep it simple. Try more complicated decorations on your own before you attempt a professional job. Also, order any needed supplies ahead of time. Remember, your supplier is subject to stock availability too.
  • Second, decide whether the decoration is a short- or long-term exhibit. Air-filled arches will remain for several days; helium-filled arches are temporary.
  • Finally, never promise something you cannot deliver or do a shabby job. Let the customer know what you can and cannot do, and the expense involved from the start.

Building An Arch

Supplies:

  • LATEX BALLOONS-11" OR 16"
  • MONOFILAMENT LINE (AT LEAST 50# WEIGHT)
  • BALLOON SIZING TEMPLATE
  • HELIUM TANK AND INFLATOR OR ELECTRIC AIR INFLATOR

 

  1. Attach the loose end of the monofilament line to the back of a chair or a similar stationary object. Be sure to allow about four or five extra feet of monofilament line to finish the arch.
  2. Usually, two colors of latex are used. One will be called the contrasting color or the swirl.
  3. Inflate the latex balloons uniformly using a device for measuring the circumference of the balloon.
  4. Tie two inflated balloons of the same color together.
  5. Tie two inflated balloons of the contrasting color together.
  6. Twist the two sets of balloons together creating a quad.
  7. Secure quad on the line by looping monofilament line around quad several times to hold in place. Be sure to keep the line tightly stretched and quads solidly packed as you build the arch. Wrap monofilament line around two or three balloons in the quad to secure. Add another quad and repeat.
  8. Make sure each quad is exactly the same color pattern. The swirl is accomplished by moving the contrasting color one quarter turn clockwise as it is packed on the line. It is important that the quads are tightly packed together on the line. There will be a few inches between the center of each quad.
  9. Continue to build arch until desired length is reached.
  10. Wrap monofilament line four or five times around balloon quads at the end of line in looping motion in order to keep the balloon quads solidly packed on the line.
  11. Use a brick, sand-filled weight, or drapery hook (anchored to carpet) to hold each end of the arch in place.

 

Click For How To Build Balloon Arches PDF

 

Formulas

For arch that is wider than tall: Height + Length = Approximate Total Length

For arch with height and width about the same: 1.5 times Height + Width = Approximate Total Length

For arch that is taller than wide: 2 times Height + Width = Approximate Total Length

 

Number of balloons per foot in an arch (based on a spiral arch):

5 inches = 12 per foot

9 inches = 8 per foot

11 inches = 6 per foot

14 inches = 4 per foot

16 inches = 4 per foot

 

Helpful Hint

If a balloon needs replacing within the arch, simply attach a balloon replacement to the line with a paper clip. Hook it directly to the line or to another balloon in the same cluster.

 

MagicArch

 

MagicArch is a modular balloon system that allows easily created columns, wall decorations, and centerpieces. The cloverleaf design of the balloon allows the user to fill four perfectly uniform in size balloons simultaneously.

 

Advantages of using this system:

  • Balloons stay inflated much longer than latex balloons
  • It saves time
  • It expands decorating options

 

To determine the number of balloon units needed to build an arch or column with MagicArch:

  • Convert the measurement in feet to inches by multiplying 12" x the number of feet.
  • Divide the height of the column or the length of the arch by the thickness of the inflated unit. (Small units inflate to 16" x 3.875" and should only be filled with air. Large units inflate to 29.5" x 7.8" and can be filled with air or helium.)

 

MagicArch Balloon Arch Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • Ribbon or string cut to desired arch length plus 2' extra
  • Weights for arch (example: bricks)
  • Magic Arch balloons

 

Tie one end of the ribbon to a weight or tape to the floor. Inflate the balloon. Thread the ribbon through the center of the balloon. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to desired length. The arch forms automatically.

 

Important: Be sure to use only thin nylon cord, ribbon, or string with MagicArch balloons. Do not use monofilament line.

  Balloon Basics FAQ

 

What are the basics needed to start a balloon business?

Congratulations on your decision to enter into the exciting world of balloons! Balloons add joy to any store and are a profitable addition to your business. Whether you plan to sell balloons at a retail location, or will pursue work as a balloon decorator, you will need some basic equipment, including an inflator, a helium regulator, ribbon, weights, and obviously...BALLOONS!

 

What is an inflator?

An inflator is a valve attached to a helium cylinder to dispense helium into balloons. There are several types available, each with different features and benefits.

 

Proper inflation techniques using inflators are discussed later.

 

We strongly suggest using an inflator, which has an automatic shut-off for foil balloons. The Deluxe Foil + Latex Inflator RPB62HG features a brass push valve for foil balloons which automatically shuts off when the balloon is properly filled. This is an especially beneficial feature as there are no balloons lost due to over inflation.

 

For latex balloons, there is a black, rubber tilt valve. However, this valve DOES NOT automatically shut off for latex balloons. Please see the latex section for proper inflation techniques. The tilt valve should NOT be used to inflate foil balloons, as it could damage the self-sealing valve.

 

Other features of the RPB62HG are a gauge which indicates the amount of helium in the cylinder, a ribbon cutter, and a disc tyer post, which is used with sealing discs for latex.

 

Additional accessories are available which are used in conjunction with an inflator and offer even more conveniences.

 

The portable helium transfiller TR1 is used to transfer helium from a large cylinder to small cylinders. Renting small helium cylinders and regulators to your customers is another way to expand your business.

 

Helpful Hint

Never use a black rubber tilt valve to inflate foil balloons without a brass foil tip. The tilt valve can damage the self-sealing valve of foil balloons and cause a slow leak.

 

Why are balloon weights so critical?

Balloon weights should be a critical component of any balloon that leaves your shop. Properly weighted helium balloons prevent accidental releases. In the case of foil balloons, ensuring against accidental release can help prevent costly and troublesome power outages that may result from foil balloons tangling in power lines. Weights are available in many sizes, shapes, and colors. The most important concern is making sure that you choose the proper size weight for the balloon(s) you are trying to secure. (See chart for recommended weights). If a cluster of balloons is sold, each individual balloon should have a weight. Balloon weights can be purchased or made from any item heavy enough to weigh down a balloon–baskets, mugs, and gift totes make excellent weights.

 

What is HI-FLOAT®?

HI-FLOAT® is a proprietary solution that is used to coat the inside of a latex balloon to seal the microscopic pores in the balloon to reduce helium leakage. A balloon that has been properly treated with HI-FLOAT® can last up to 25 times longer than a non-treated balloon.

 

What are the smaller foil balloons?

Foil balloons are available in 4" & 9" round shapes and 9"–14" shapes. These small foil balloons are designed to be filled with air, heat sealed with a heat sealer, and attached to a plastic cup and stick.

 

They may be purchased preinflated (air-filled) which means that they have already been filled with air, sealed, and include a cup and stick. Assortments are available with or without displays or certain styles can be purchased by individual product numbers.

 

When small foil balloons are purchased flat, an electric air inflator is required for inflation. Please note that most foil balloons smaller than 18" should only be inflated with air since smaller sizes will not float with helium.

 

We recommend an electric air inflator such as the Mini Cool Aire® Due Pro™ Inflator 831. This inflator has several nozzles depending on the size of the balloons, and includes a heavy-duty handle for easy carrying. It also will run continuously without overheating.

 

An electric heat sealer is needed, since the balloons do not have self-sealing valves. HS870 is 12" a model which allows more room to seal and can also be used to seal plastic bags. Curling irons, clothing irons, and other household appliances are not recommended for use in sealing balloons. Such appliances do not seal properly and can burn through the balloon stem or possibly cause serious burns.

 

How to Use a Heat Sealer

  1. After inflating the foil balloon, firmly hold the stem in one hand so the air cannot escape. Use your other hand to flatten the balloon stem. The stem should be free of wrinkles and creases. The heat sealer control should be set at position 2.5. If this seems too hot, set it lower.
  2. Position the flattened stem under the upper bar of the heat sealer so that the seal will be made just above the opening in the stem. Press the bar down and hold for 4–5 seconds after the red light fades to ensure proper sealing, then release the upper bar.
  3. A second seal below the first seal is best since any wrinkles or creases in the first seal will allow the air to leak out.

 

The pad protecting the element will wear thin after frequent use. When replacing with a new pad, also replace the element. Unplug the heat sealer before replacing the pad and element.

 

After inflating and sealing air-fill foil balloons, they can then be attached to a cup and stick, which are purchased separately. The type of cup and stick to use will depend on the size of the balloon and its end use.

 

Below are some of the cups available to use for mounting small foil balloons. The instructions for all cups are very similar in that they all involve twisting the stem of the balloon and then pulling it through an opening while weaving over and under and tucking the end of the stem under a clip or under the balloon.

 

Cello Cups CC101

Use with 4"–14" balloons. Connect to hollow plastic sticks of desired length.

 

  1. After sealing the small foil, tightly twist the stem about ten times. With the Cello Cup™ upside down, hold the foil balloon upside down and pull the stem up through the first slot marked by an arrow. It helps to place your finger over this first slot to prevent the balloon stem from slipping as you proceed.
  2. Wrap the exposed neck across the next slot in the direction of the arrow, then pull the stem down through that slot.
  3. Pull the stem across the underside of the cup to the next slot, then pull the stem up through that slot resembling a weaving action.
  4. Pull the stem across the top of the cup to the first slot and pull the stem down through it. This results in an over-under weaving action. Be sure to pull the stem tight at the beginning so that the balloon will sit securely in the cup. Pull the stem tight at the remaining stem and continue the over-under weaving action until the stem is hidden. The cup can then be attached to a stick.

 

With slight variations, these directions can also be applied to the cups listed next.

Mini Micro™ II Cups CC104

Use with 4”–9" foil balloons. Connect to hollow plastic sticks of desired length*

Foil Cups MCWB

Use with 9" mini foil balloons. Connect to hollow plastic sticks of desired length*

*Use with white 24" PS24W, 16" PS16W, and 12" PS12W

Maxi Foil Cups CC103

Use with standard air-filled foil or 16” latex balloons. Connect to hollow heavy plastic sticks of desired length. Use with 24" HPS24 white heavy plastic maxi sticks.

Where do I get helium?

Helium is a colorless, non-toxic, non-flammable gas that is lighter than air. When balloons are filled with helium, they will float.

Helium can be obtained from a local industrial gas supplier.

Many different sized cylinders are available. In addition to the cost of the helium itself, some suppliers charge a monthly fee for the cylinder and require a security deposit. Ask about delivery charges and whether or not a regulator is included with the cylinder. Regulators are discussed in detail in another section.

Helium Safety & Precautions

  • DO NOT inhale helium. While helium is a relatively safe gas, direct inhalation can cause dizziness, fainting, suffocation, and possibly death.
  • DO NOT leave cylinders unattended in a public area.
  • DO NOT open the cylinder valve before attaching an inflator to it.
  • Store cylinders in a secured, upright position where they will not accidentally fall. Cylinders should be chained to a wall or placed on a safety stand at all times.
  • Close the cylinder valve after each use and when the cylinder is empty.
  • When transporting cylinders, always close the cylinder valve, remove the regulator, and replace the valve cap.
  • Open cylinder valves slowly and stand to one side of the cylinder when opening cylinder valves. Never stand directly in front of the cylinder valve.
  • Never use a damaged cylinder or regulator.

 

Handle with Care

Helium is stored in highly pressurized cylinders ranging from 1800–2400 pounds per square inch. A ruptured helium cylinder can be compared to a missile or the equivalent of two pounds of TNT.

 

How do altitude and temperature affect balloons?

Some foil balloons will not float in high altitudes. If you are located in a high-altitude area, please consider the following when ordering foil balloons:

 

  • Balloons that are 21" or larger are more likely than 18" to float in high altitudes.
  • 18" balloons that have detailed designs use more ink, which may cause the balloon to be heavier and less likely to float in a high altitude. This is also true for all two-sided, 18" balloons.
  • 18" round-shaped balloons generally float better than heart, star, or other shaped balloons.
  • Also, keep in mind that balloon weights and ribbons attached to balloons can affect the floating ability in high-altitude areas.

 

Temperature can also have an effect on foil or latex balloons. Warm air expands. If you fill a balloon with helium to its maximum capacity, then take that balloon outdoors on a very hot day or place it in a hot car, the helium inside of the balloon can expand and burst the balloon. The same principle can work in reverse. Bring a hot balloon inside to a very cool, air conditioned room, and the air in the balloon will condense and get heavier, causing the balloon to "shrink" and "sag" (not float as well). Always keep extreme temperatures in mind when dealing with balloons, whether air filled or helium filled.

 

If I'm just starting out, what combination of messages, themes / holiday balloons should I carry?

Great question! While it is somewhat dependent on the demographics of your area, some items are consistently good sellers. Always have Happy Birthday on hand as this will be your most requested balloon. We recommend a General Message Assortment (product # 10279) that has It's a Boy/Girl, Happy Birthday, Get Well Soon, Good Luck, I Love You, and other popular messages. Also remember important balloon holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother's Day. Order early to make sure you have balloons on hand when the rush hits.

 

What is the best way to display balloons?

Balloons have to be seen to be sold! Have balloons out and inflated and ready for purchase. Foil balloons when inflated with helium will last for weeks, and can be topped-off with more helium if they start to sag. A balloon that is inflated and has a ribbon attached makes a great impulse item or add-on sale. We offer various display stands and corrals to help you merchandise your balloons. Call and speak with one of our customer care representatives to help find the solution that best meets your needs.

 

What are Glue Dots?

As one industry professional was heard to say at one of our seminars, “Glue Dots changed my life!” Glue Dots (product # 30006) are wonderful little pressure sensitive dots of adhesive that can be used in floral design, gift basket design, or numerous other applications. Additionally, we offer floral specific spray adhesives and glues that give your designs a professional look.

 

What is a Bubble Balloon®?

These exciting see-through, plastic balloons offer increased float time and a minimum amount of labor. Be sure to display your inflated stock where customers can admire them at 360°. Inflate the Bubbles™ until the seams disappear for full impact. They are virtually pop-resistant, non-allergenic, and will not oxidize!

 

Click For Bubble Balloon® Inflation Instructions 

Click For Bubble Balloon® Cinch Knot Instructions

 

  Balloon Drops and Releases

Balloon Drops

 Balloon drops will usually be installed on the actual job site. Every job will differ and should be considered separately. Balloon drops and decorating are labor intensive and costly.

 Before agreeing to do a decorating job, make sure you have the skills and supplies required. A basic rule is to keep it simple. Try more complicated construction on your own before you attempt a professional job. Also, order any needed supplies ahead of time.

 Planning and preparation are key to every successful balloon drop. Each job will differ because of the site conditions. A job cost form will be beneficial in pricing a job.

 Considerations include theme, location, date, and time of the event; time required for set-up and completion; architectural features such as room size, dimensions, and fixtures. A sketch of the room layout is helpful later when certain features may be forgotten. Pricing is mainly an individual choice dependent upon overhead and profit margin. Balloon drops are priced per balloon, a constant multiplied times supply cost, or supplies plus labor times a constant. The majority of jobs will require bidding (setting a price before the job is started); thus, accurate estimation is required.

 

Here are a couple of standards based on prior experience, which may help beginners:

  • One experienced worker can inflate 300 balloons per hour.
  • 15–20% of total bid is generally charged as a set-up fee.

 

The majority of drops use 9" latex balloons. Drops are conducted indoors using air-filled latex balloons. Re-usable nets, tubes, and bags are available for balloon drops.

 

 Balloon Releases

Every year millions of balloons are safely released in the United States, but balloon decorators frequently face opposition to releases by an uneducated public. As long as they are executed properly, releases pose no threat to the environment.

 

Only latex balloons should be used for a release. And they should be hand-tied with no ribbon or string attached. A properly inflated helium-filled latex balloon will rise about five miles and burst into small shreds. The decomposition process will begin immediately on the small pieces of latex. The process is so safe, that the National Weather Service releases thousands of balloons every year.

 

Bags, nets and tubes are all available to achieve various methods and types of releases. Like drops, a release is something that is not overly difficult, but does require a certain degree of experience. Practice until you feel confident to handle a release for a client. And always be sure to check your local laws and regulations governing balloon releases before proceeding.

  Balloons And The Enviornment

We are committed to the protection of the environment and encourage everyone to become familiar with the facts and guidelines below.

 

  • Latex balloons are totally biodegradable
  • Latex balloons are made of 100% natural latex
  • A latex balloon will biodegrade in about the same amount of time as an oak leaf
  • Latex balloons should not be released with ribbon or any other attachments
  • A foil balloon should never be released outdoors
  • Do not tie helium-filled foil balloons together in a cluster with just one weight; rather, weight each foil balloon down separately and then tie the group together
  • Never tie metallic ribbon to a helium-filled foil balloon
  • Call the power company if balloons are entangled in power lines
  • Properly dispose of foil balloons by cutting to release air or helium and then place in a trash can
  • REMEMBER–All balloons should be weighted–ALWAYS!
  Clik-Clik

The Clik-Clik™ system uses strong neodymium magnets along with extension poles as opposed to hooks and ladders. This technology allows drapery, signage, and other displays to be hung quickly and easily. With feet on the floor, the risk of falling is eliminated. By using the convenient patented LoopLine, prep time is a cinch (cut to length and loop to item to be hung). Ceiling suspension is now as easy as 1. 2. 3!

 

Poles

MagPole (5 ft. 3 in. long with 18 ft. extension) and Monster MagPole (6 ft. 8 in. long with 23 ft. extension) allow easy rigging and keeps your feet safely on the floor.

 

Ceiling Magnets

Mini ClikMagnets 

93503 supports up to 3 lb.  

ClikMagnets

  • 94299 (white) and 94300 (black) supports up to 5 lb.

Super ClikMagnets

  • 95277 (white) and 95288 (black) supports up to 10 lb.

 

When preparing for a project in which hanging something is necessary, always be sure to test the strength of the metal to ensure the magnet will safely support the weight.

 

Ceiling Suspension Tools

Single MagMover (94290) and Dual MagMover (10402) have coiled posts that allow for easy transfer. Single MagMover is best used when a single attachment point is required. The Dual MagMover is best for items requiring two attachment points that need to be the same height.

 

Rigging Line

LoopLine (70126) is clear polypropylene 25 lb Test and 328 ft. Spool of 2 in. repeating loops forming a line that never requires knotting. Count the loops on each line to ensure signs and décor hang level. Reusable.

 

Balloon Tape

Stretchy® Balloon Tape

94297 – One-sided. 25 ft.

94298 – Two-sided. 90 ft.

The tape can be cut with scissors. It can be rolled to hold two foils and two pieces applied to both sides of two foils. Once placed, it cannot be repositioned. For good adhesion, rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip® can be used to gently remove the ink from a foil balloon leaving the silver. Some balloons adhere without alcohol.

 

Adhesive Strips

94291 Hang Tabs. 6 in. Wide. 60# tensile strength.

The adhesive strips maintain bond in warm or humid environments.

 

How to use the Clik-Clik™ System:

 

  1. With the base of the MagPoleon the floor, load the ClikMagnet onto the MagMover.
  2. Keeping the base of the MagPoleon the floor, extend the sections of the MagPole to the desired height.
  3. Lift the MagPoleand attach the ClikMagnet to metal on the ceiling.
  4. Rest the base of the MagPoleto the floor.
  5. Close the opened sections of the MagPole.

 

  Gift In A Balloon

 The Classy Wrap® is a fully automatic balloon stuffing machine. It stretches and inflates a latex balloon allowing insertion of gift items and decorative materials through its large six-inch opening. This opening will accommodate several sizes of latex, but some of the best results can be achieved by using 18" sized latex, which has a wider neck than 16" latex. Upside-down print messages and designs are available in the 18" size.

 

The sturdy heavy plastic construction of Classy Wrap® makes it very durable and long lasting. A finger-touch power switch controls the 120V industrial motor.

 

The top lifts up to allow loading of 16" to 40" latex on the fast, automatic loader. The Classy Wrap® system has wheels at the base, which make it easy to transport.

 

Latex is biodegradable and after a short time an inflated balloon may begin to oxidize or look cloudy. A product such as Balloon Shine™ can be used to reduce the effects of oxidation and keep the inflated balloon looking new. Just spray it on a soft cloth and gently wipe the exterior of the inflated balloon.

 

Classy Wrap® Gift in a Balloon® Bags (product # 6402) are guaranteed to stop oxidation of inflated balloons for fifteen days.

 

The Balloon Tree 86429 is an excellent way to display stuffed balloon creations. It will hold nine balloons.

 

  Helium, Helium-filled Balloons and Weights

 

 Helium is a colorless, non-toxic, non-flammable gas that is lighter than air. When balloons are filled with helium, they will float.

 Helium can be obtained from a local industrial gas supplier.

 

Many different sized cylinders are available. In addition to the cost of the helium itself, some suppliers charge a monthly fee for the cylinder and require a security deposit. Ask about delivery charges and whether or not a regulator is included with the cylinder. Regulators are discussed in detail in another section.

 

Helium Safety & Precautions

  • DO NOT inhale helium. While helium is a relatively safe gas, direct inhalation can cause dizziness, fainting, suffocation, and possibly death.
  • DO NOT leave cylinders unattended in a public area.
  • DO NOT open the cylinder valve before attaching an inflator to it.
  • Store cylinders in a secured, upright position where they will not accidentally fall. Cylinders should be chained to a wall or placed on a safety stand at all times.
  • Close the cylinder valve after each use and when the cylinder is empty.
  • When transporting cylinders, always close the cylinder valve, remove the regulator, and replace the valve cap.
  • Open cylinder valves slowly and stand to one side of the cylinder when opening cylinder valves. Never stand directly in front of the cylinder valve.
  • Never use a damaged cylinder or regulator.

 

Helpful Hints

Also, keep in mind that balloon weights and ribbons attached to balloons can affect the floating ability in high-altitude areas.

 Temperature can also have an effect on foil or latex balloons. Warm air expands. If you fill a balloon with helium to its maximum capacity, then take that balloon outdoors on a very hot day or place it in a hot car, the helium inside of the balloon can expand and burst the balloon. The same principle can work in reverse. Bring a hot balloon inside to a very cool, air-conditioned room, and the air in the balloon will condense and get heavier, causing the balloon to "shrink" and "sag" (not float as well). Always keep extreme temperatures in mind when dealing with balloons, whether air filled or helium filled.

 Handle with Care

Helium is stored in highly pressurized cylinders ranging from 1800–2400 pounds per square inch. A ruptured helium cylinder can be compared to a missile or the equivalent of two pounds of TNT.

 

Helium-filled Foil Balloons

 

Self-sealing Valves

The majority of 18" and larger sized foil balloons manufactured today have self-sealing valves. As soon as a balloon is filled with helium and removed from the regulator, the self-sealing valve automatically closes. Be sure to tie the ribbon below the self-sealing valve. Curling ribbon tied above the self-sealing valve could cause helium to escape quickly and would prevent proper re-inflation if the balloons should need "refreshing." Balloons that do not have a self- sealing valve must be sealed using a heat sealer.

 

Packaged Foil Balloons

Many 18" balloon designs are individually pre-packaged. Packaged balloons can be displayed on a spinner or wall rack. Your customer can choose the balloons directly from the rack and bring them to the counter for inflation.

 

Inflating Special Shapes

Special shaped balloons need extra care when inflating. Inflate slowly and do not overfill. These balloons are not as strong as round balloons.

 

Weights

 

Every helium-filled balloon should have a balloon weight attached. If a cluster of balloons is sold, each individual balloon should have a weight. Balloon weights can be purchased or made from any item heavy enough to weigh down a balloon–baskets, mugs, and gift totes make excellent weights.

 

Inflation In High Altitudes

Some foil balloons will not float in high altitudes. If you are located in a high-altitude area, please consider the following when ordering foil balloons:

 

  • Balloons that are 21" or larger are more likely than 18" to float in high altitudes.
  • 18" balloons that have detailed designs use more ink, which may cause the balloon to be heavier and less likely to float in a high altitude. This is also true for all two-sided, 18" balloons.
  • 18" round-shaped balloons generally float better than heart, star, or other shaped balloons.
  • Also, keep in mind that balloon weights and ribbons attached to balloons can affect the floating ability in high-altitude areas.

 

Proper Disposal of Foil Balloons

Encourage customers to properly dispose of foil balloons by cutting them open to release helium and then discarding them in a trash container. Unlike latex balloons, foil balloons are not biodegradable. They are, however, recyclable with plastic. Never release foil balloons into the atmosphere.

 

Float Times

Below are the average float times with helium and approximate amount of helium needed according to balloon size. These float times are estimates only. Float times will vary due to balloon shape and environmental conditions such as temperature, weather conditions, and altitude.

 

18" Foil Balloons
3–4 weeks float time. Uses approximately .50 cubic feet of helium per balloon.

 

26" Foil Balloons
3–4 weeks float time. Uses approximately .72 cubic feet of helium per balloon.

 

36" Foil Balloons
Several months float time. Uses approximately 4.00 cubic feet of helium per balloon.

 

Helpful Hints

The following are a few ways in which to attach ribbon to the foil balloon before and after inflation:

  • Before inflating a self-sealing foil, tie a balloon weight to one end of a ribbon and attach the other end of the ribbon to the foil following inflation.
  • It is important that the ribbon be tied below the self-sealing valve of the foil balloon. Attaching ribbon above the valve can cause a slow leak.
  • Once the balloon is inflated, cut the ribbon to the appropriate length and place it against the bottom of the balloon tail. Slowly wrap the ribbon up the balloon stem all the way to the base of the balloon. This is going to create a manicured look that will set your balloon arrangement apart. Next, tie the ribbon in a knot to secure.

 

By attaching the ribbon and weight, time is saved and balloons will not escape if accidentally released after inflation.

 

Never use a heat sealer on a self-sealing balloon. It could cause damage to the self-sealing valve.

 

To release helium from a self-sealing balloon, place a long straw up inside balloon through the valve and gently press down on balloon to release helium.

 

Caution

Never use metallic ribbon on helium-filled foil or latex balloons. If accidentally released into the environment, the ribbon could cause electrical failure if caught in power lines.

  HI-FLOAT

ULTRA HI-FLOAT® and SUPER HI-FLOAT® are non-toxic sealants that can be used inside latex balloons to increase the floating time. Both dry crystal clear and form a barrier to the helium inside the balloon. Only use ULTRA HI-FLOAT® and SUPER HI-FLOAT® with latex balloons.

 

*Please remember that these are estimates based on typical indoor conditions and following all of the HI-FLOAT® instructions.  Float time will be less if outdoors. Float time varies greatly due to factors such as latex quality, temperature, humidity, altitude, etc. Balloons typically last half as long in hot, humid weather. For maximum float time, hand-tie balloons. Float time estimates for ULTRA HI-FLOAT® + SUPER HI-FLOAT® are from the manufacturer.

 

Treating balloons with ULTRA HI-FLOAT® and SUPER HI-FLOAT®

 

  1. Choose the correct size restriction clip from the pump set. This will allow the correct amount of ULTRA HI-FLOAT® and SUPER HI-FLOAT® to be used for each balloon.
  2. Place the nozzle of the pump inside the balloon as deeply as possible and pump down only once.
  3. Gently twist the neck of the balloon side to side while pulling the balloon off the nozzle.
  4. Hold the neck of balloon closed and rub balloon around with fingers to completely coat the inside of the balloon. To prevent making a mess, keep the solution out of the neck of the balloon.
  5. Inflate the balloon. HI-FLOAT® is invisible when dry. Wear safety glasses when inflating balloons treated with ULTRA HI-FLOAT® or SUPER HI-FLOAT®.

 

Helpful Hint

  • Decrease the amount of the solution when treating pearlized or metallic latex balloons. These balloons are heavier due to composition and will float better if slightly less of the solution is used.
  • ULTRA HI-FLOAT® and SUPER HI-FLOAT® should not be used inside SuperAgate® latex balloons.

 

 

  Inflators

 An inflator is a valve attached to a helium cylinder to dispense helium into balloons. There are several types available, each with different features and benefits.

 Proper inflation techniques using inflators are discussed later.

 We strongly suggest using an inflator, which has an automatic shut-off for foil balloons. The Deluxe Foil + Latex Inflator RPB62HG features a brass push valve for foil balloons which automatically shuts off when the balloon is properly filled. This is an especially beneficial feature as there are no balloons lost due to over inflation.

 For latex balloons, there is a black, rubber tilt valve. However, this valve DOES NOT automatically shut off for latex balloons. Please see the latex section for proper inflation techniques. The tilt valve should NOT be used to inflate foil balloons, as it could damage the self-sealing valve.

 Other features of the RPB62HG are a gauge which indicates the amount of helium in the cylinder, a ribbon cutter, and a disc tyer post, which is used with sealing discs for latex.

 Additional accessories are available which are used in conjunction with an inflator and offer even more conveniences.

 The portable helium transfiller TR1 is used to transfer helium from a large cylinder to small cylinders. Renting small helium cylinders and regulators to your customers is another way to expand your business.

 

Helpful Hint

Never use a black rubber tilt valve to inflate foil balloons without a brass foil tip. The tilt valve can damage the self-sealing valve of foil balloons and cause a slow leak.

 

  Latex Balloons

Latex balloons are made by combining natural latex with man-made chemicals. Because latex is porous, it does not hold helium as long as foil balloons. Latex is biodegradable and will naturally break down at about the same rate as an oak leaf.

 

11" Latex balloons are typically sold in 100, 50, and 25 count bags. 3' latex balloons are sold in a pack of 2.

 

Latex balloons sized 9" and larger will float when inflated with helium. The rubber tilt valve on an inflator should be used when inflating latex balloons.

 

Remember, the inflator does not have automatic shut-off capabilities for latex balloons unless a sizing device is attached to the inflator.

 

Latex balloons should be inflated until they are oval but not in a pear or light-bulb shaped.

 

The helium capacity of latex balloons is as follows:

 

Latex balloons can be sealed by hand-tying or by using sealing discs or clips. Hand-tying is the most popular and preferred method, since it has the tightest seal and gives a finished look to the balloon. However, if there are a large number of latex balloons to inflate, using sealing discs or clips is a smart option.

 

Whether hand-tying or using sealing discs or clips, a ribbon or string can be attached at the same time the balloon is sealed. This saves time and ensures a secure attachment.

 

Latex Sealing Discs SD301 + SD302

These plastic sealing discs are used with the disc tyer post on inflators. To use, place several sealing discs onto the disc tyer post. Then, after inflating a latex balloon, wrap the balloon neck around the post and pull tight. Next, pull one disc down and over the wrapped balloon neck. The balloon can now be slipped off the post.

 

SafeTite® II Sealing Discs 55002

This disc is especially convenient for sealing large latex balloons, such as the 18" wide-neck latex balloons that are used in balloon stuffing machines. A disc tyer post is not required to use the SafeTite® II Sealing Disc.

 

KLIP’N SEAL™ Plastic Balloon Clips MC399, MC400, + MC401

Plastic balloon clips are lightweight hinged clips with a groove in the middle for the balloon neck. KLIP’N SEAL™ Clips are sold loose in a bag and are also available in a larger size, MC403, for 30" or larger latex balloons.

 

Twist Klips™ QC202

Twist Klips™ are connected together in a chain for use in the Twist Klips™ Dispenser (product # QC101), which attaches to a helium cylinder.

 

Air-filled Latex Balloons

Any size latex smaller than 9" should be air-filled. Small latex balloons cannot hold much helium and have a very short floating time. Any size latex can be filled with air.

 

Cups + Sticks

Cello-Cup® CC101

Cello-Cup® CC101 should be used with 11 in.–12 in. latex balloons. After air-inflating and tying a balloon, pull the knot through the hole in the Cello-Cup®. Attach cup to a hollow plastic stick. Fits balloon sticks: 24 in. PS24W, 16 in. PS16W, 12 in. PS12W, and 14.5 in. wooden stick 9726935.

 

MaxiCup™ CC103

MaxiCup™ should be used with 16 in. latex balloons. After air-inflating and tying a balloon, pull the knot through the hole in the MaxiCup™. Then slip the neck under the clip on the side. Attach cup to a hollow plastic stick. Fits balloon stick: 24 in. HPS24.

 

MaxiCup™ II CC107

MaxiCup™ II CC107 has an extra-large oval-shaped cup to support 16 in.–24 in. latex balloons. Fits balloon stick: HPS20C–specifically designed stem includes “Slot-N-Neck™” locking ribs to provide better, tighter fit.

 

Balloon Stuffing Latex

For balloon stuffing machines such as Gift in a Balloon®, 18" latex is recommended. The wider neck and larger size make it perfect for balloon stuffing machines. 18" latex is available in various upside-down print designs.

 

Entertainer Balloons

Entertainer balloons are long, thin latex balloons which are air-filled and then twisted to make animals and other shapes. 260 (2 in. x 60 in.) balloons are the most common size entertainer balloons. All sizes include: 160 (1 in. x 60 in.), 260 (2 in. x 60 in.), 321 (3 in. x 21 in.), 350 (3 in. x 50 in.), 360 (3 in. x 60 in.), and 646 (6 in. x 46 in.). They are usually air-filled by using a hand inflator, but can be inflated by mouth after much practice.

 

Hand Air Inflators

47509 Balloon Pump

For use with 260 + larger latex balloons.

HI795 Balloon Pump

For use with 5 in., 6 in., + 260, 321, + 350 latex balloons.

47512 Pocket Pump

For use with 160 + 260 latex balloons.

Electric Inflator

8360Z

The Z60 is an electric inflator that has a self-contained battery and strap included.

  • Inflates 160, 260, + 350 latex balloons in seconds
  • High-powered battery lasts for hours
  • Rechargeable, quiet motor