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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.

Foil Balloon

Packaged Foil Balloons
Many 18" balloon designs are individually pre-packaged. Packaged balloons can be displayed on a spinner or wall rack. The 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.

Balloon Weights

Balloon 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.

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

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

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

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

Helpful Hints
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.

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.

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