How to inflate balloons without helium and make them float - Globolandia (2023)

Most people like celebrations; and an essential element in almost all parties regardless of whether they are children or adults; it's the balloons. As we know, these are the main decorative elements in hundreds of decorations both at parties and other events, as well as in the use of arrangements or centerpieces.
However, one way to make them more striking and attract more attention is the fact that when inflated with helium they can be suspended in the air; However, it is time for you to know that helium is not really essential, that there are several alternatives that you can use and that, like helium, they will make your balloons float.

But let's start with the main thing, do you know what helium is?

Helium is a very light type of gas and among its many uses is to inflate suspended balloons, perhaps because of that it is better known.
But also, although many ignore it, helium and its uses can represent health risks and the risk is even greater if it is inhaled in excess, since helium although few people worry about it; If it is inhaled, it can have very serious consequences such as respiratory arrest if the gas is still cold when inhaled, or suffocation or hypoxia if this gas is displaced into the lungs.

To avoid these risks, the helium is sold in bottles, in specialized stores, ready to fill the balloons in an easy and fast way.
Usually we see the vendors of the fairs always with many balloons in their hands; but the sellers of these balloons usually have such a bottle to inflate them quickly.

Alternatives to inflate balloons without helium

As mentioned above, balloons are present at all celebrations and events. But we cannot forget that balloons are also used in some experiments in science classes.
We found some simple alternatives to do, as well as others that require a lot of care. Here we leave several for you to decide, depending on the purpose of the balloon to use.

1-For our first alternative; inflate the balloon with vinegar.

You should start by searching and having all the materials at hand. This alternative is the easiest and most popular and the one that you should least worry about the materials, since they are extremely easy to find even in our own home and if by chance you do not have any of the ingredients at home, you can easily find it anywhere. supermarket and at a low cost.

So get to work and start by collecting these items:

(Video) helium balloons
  • The number of balloons you want or need
  • The same number of bottles as balloons; preferably small, narrow-necked water bottles
  • Vinegar: make it from distilled wine.
  • About 2 tablespoons of baking soda per bottle

Steps to follow for a balloon to float without helium

1- The first thing you should do is pour a little white vinegar into one of the narrow neck bottles with the help of a funnel, it is necessary that you fill the bottle approximately 1/4 or 3-5 ml; the most recommended is that the bottle is plastic and that it preferably has water inside. The vinegar could end up damaging the glass and also the metal.

In addition, there may be an unpleasant taste to liquids or foods that are later placed in the same container. On the other hand, you must make sure that it is well supported on a flat surface to avoid inconveniences

2-Then take one of the deflated balloons and pour 2 tablespoons of baking soda into it, so that you can do it more easily you can do it with a funnel to help you, or with a straw if you don't have a funnel available.

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3 –Next, very carefully so that the bicarbonate does not come out; You must fit the opening of the balloon where the thread of the bottle is without the cap. Once the balloon is secure, allow the baking soda to slowly sink to the bottom of the bottle.
When the bicarbonate comes into contact with the vinegar, it will generate a reaction that will make the balloon inflate. The reaction that occurs inside the bottle when the bicarbonate and vinegar come into contact will generate an effervescence in the bottle.

This reaction is produced by the formation of carbon dioxide that causes when both products are mixed and this resulting gas is what makes it possible for the balloon to float

4 -Once you achieve the desired effect, you must perform the same operation on all the balloons you want or need.

Do not worry if you see that you do not achieve the effects you want, since most likely you did not put in the sufficient proportion of vinegar or bicarbonate; So you can solve it by repeating the previous process but adding a greater amount of both vinegar and bicarbonate and shake the bottle very slowly, trying to eliminate the bubbles that were produced in the previous reaction.

5-Now, after you have made sure that you have each balloon that floats inflated enough, you must proceed to remove them from the bottle with great care so that they are not going to explode and to tie them and check that they can really float through the air.

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Considerations and tips

The main thing and of great importance that you should know is that you cannot reuse the residues that remain in the bottle after having made the mixture of bicarbonate and vinegar, therefore, if you want to make several balloons In this way, for them to float, you must resort to using a new bottle according to each balloon that you are going to make.
A balloon inflated in this way; Lasts about the same floating time as normal balloons.

An important consideration is that when they are making this mixture, be extremely careful with young children, since without the supervision of a responsible adult, this mixture poses a terrible risk for them. However, if you wish, you can reduce the power of the vinegar by adding water, but it will take longer to do the effect.

If you cannot have distilled white vinegar for some reason, you could use any other type of vinegar, however it may take a little longer for the effects to appear.

2- Second alternative to inflate balloons and make them float without helium, with muriatic acid.

This method is less simple and with a little more risk than the previous procedure, to make the balloons float without helium. It should only be done under the supervision of a responsible adult.

To carry out this experiment we need and inflate balloons without helium:

- Hydrochloric acid or also known as muriatic acid

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There is still a third alternative, (which implies greater risks), to make a balloon fly without the help of helium, yes, for this procedure you must take the greatest care since it is about flammable materials.
This alternative should be taken as a controlled experiment and under the supervision of responsible adults, it should not be used to inflate balloons for festive purposes and less so that children can manipulate them.

The materials needed are: among other things, aluminum and caustic soda. Gloves and protective glasses.

This alternative is very delicate, so the method of preparation will not be specified, to avoid risks.
Extreme care must be taken with caustic soda or sodium hydroxide as it causes severe skin and eye burns. So we absolutely need gloves and protective glasses.

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Does baking soda and vinegar make balloons float? ›


The vinegar and the baking soda mix together to make an acid-base reaction. The reaction creates carbon dioxide gas that bubbles up from the mixture. The gas expands up and out of the bottle and inflates the balloon.

How can I make my balloon float without helium? ›

Take a big bottle and fill it with the mixture of Sodium hydroxide and pieces of aluminum foil. Add water inside the bottle. Next step is to attach a balloon to the mouth of the bottle containing the mixture. The mixture inside the container will automatically generate hydrogen gas that will rise and fill the balloons.

Will balloons filled with regular air float? ›


Latex and foil balloons can be inflated with air; however, they will not float.

How do you make homemade helium? ›

The alpha particles that are emitted from the decaying atom bond with loose electrons underground, producing helium atoms. Currently, this natural process is the only method with which helium is produced on Earth. In other words: You cannot make your own helium!

How do you make balloons float at home? ›

Floating Balloon Without Helium Ceiling Decoration Ideas - YouTube

What do balloons need to float? ›

Balloons float because they are filled with helium!

Why are my balloons not floating? ›

A common reason for a balloon not to float is when it is under inflated. Do not fill a balloon smaller than 9 inches with helium as they only float for a few hours. When the weight of the balloon exceeds the lift of the helium gas, the balloon will also not float.

How do you make helium balloons at home? ›

How to Inflate Helium Balloons | Occasions | Hobbycraft - YouTube

What else can you fill balloons with? ›

What gases other than Hydrogen or Helium can I use to fill balloons to make them float? Neon, methane, hydrogen fluoride (but only on a hot day because it boils at about 67 deg F.) Also, HF a very nasty chemical, so you really don't want to mess with it. Water could also work, but that would require a VERY hot day!

Can you use air instead of helium for balloons? ›

Most balloons can be filled with helium or air, simply check the instructions provided or on the product page for details. Some balloons can only be filled with air due to their size (like mini latex and foil balloons), and some balloons are not designed for helium (like balloon garlands).

What can I do instead of sending balloons to heaven? ›

Top 10 Alternatives to Balloon Releases
  • Plant trees. Getting together to plant trees or flowers is a lovely way to remember a loved one. ...
  • Blow bubbles. ...
  • Paint stones. ...
  • Light candles. ...
  • Fly a kite. ...
  • Throw natural confetti. ...
  • Make pin wheels. ...
  • Origami animals.

What balloons will float? ›


No, only balloons inflated with helium will float.

How long do balloons float with air? ›

In general, air-filled balloons last much longer than helium-filled balloons. Depending on the environment, balloon decor blown up with air can last several days to weeks whereas helium-inflated decorations typically last for only 10 to 12 hours.

Can regular balloons be filled with water? ›

You can use regular party balloons in place of water balloons, but they may not pop as readily as dedicated water-fight balloons. Water balloons tend to be smaller than air and helium balloons, and they are usually made from a thinner material.

What gas makes balloons float? ›

Balloons that float are typically filled with helium gas, which is less dense than the gas in our air. That means a balloon-sized ball of helium weighs less than a balloon-sized ball of air. The difference in density is the key to a balloon`s floatation.

Can you artificially create helium? ›

Helium is the second-most-abundant element in the universe, but on Earth it's relatively rare. It results from the decay of uranium, can't be artificially created, and is produced as a byproduct of natural gas refinement. Only a limited number of countries produce it, with the U.S. and Russia among top suppliers.

Can u make helium? ›

Helium is all over the universe—it's the second-most abundant element. But on Earth, it's much less common. It can't be artificially produced and must be extracted from natural gas wells.

How do you make a balloon float in water? ›


How do you make a balloon float magic trick? ›

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How do you make a balloon float with candles? ›

Make a frame out of straws, then tape the candle tray to the frame. Next, tape the opening of a thin plastic bag to the frame. When you light the candles, the bag will fill up with hot air and the balloon should fly. For tips on how to make sure your plastic bag will fly well, keep reading!

How do you bring a balloon back to life? ›

A bit like recharging a battery, you can try to recharge the helium by taking the balloon somewhere warmer. Hopefully, the heat will loosen up the helium molecules and encourage them to split apart from the clump they've formed, and start to bounce around inside the balloon again.

How do you source helium? ›

On the Earth, most helium is a radioactive decay product of uranium and thorium. It is found under the Earth's crust with other natural gases. Commercial helium is extracted from natural gas when the helium concentra on is above 0.3%.

How do you make a balloon pump? ›

How To Inflate Foil / Mylar Balloons with Air with Hand Pump - YouTube

How do you inflate a balloon fast? ›

How to blow up balloons fast - YouTube

What can I use instead of hi float? ›

STP brand "Son of a Gun" can be used on the outside of a latex balloon (instead of Hi-Float) to prevent the chalky oxidation that results from long exposure to air.

Will Oxygen make balloons float? ›

Consequently, balloons that are more dense than air will tend to sink, while balloons that are less dense than air will tend to rise, and that's why helium balloons fly while oxygen-filled balloons fall.

Will air filled balloons last overnight? ›

Air-filled latex balloons do not float, however, they have the advantage of generally having a longer life than helium-filled balloons. Air-filled balloons can last several days, even weeks, in the right conditions.

Why do people let off balloons when someone dies? ›

For many people, sending a balloon or a number of balloons drifting gently upward to the sky is a meaningful way to signify the thoughts, memories, and prayers they have for their deceased loved ones. It tends to give people a sense of letting go and offers a sentimental way of expressing their grief.

Can balloons fly to heaven? ›

So, latex helium balloons don't go on space, heaven, to the moon or to the sun. They reach a point where the atmospheric pressure is less than the pressure inside the balloon itself. Finally, they burst as a result of an increase in pressure inside the balloon.

What can you release at a funeral? ›

40 Ideas to Assist a Family in Memorializing their Loved One
  • Photo Display with Balloons.
  • Memorial Tree.
  • Photo Quilt.
  • Memorial Stones for Condolence Messages.
  • Butterfly Release.
  • Balloon Release.
  • Dove Release.
  • Lantern Release.
6 Nov 2015

How do you know if a balloon will float? ›

The helium balloon displaces an amount of air (just like the empty bottle displaces an amount of water). As long as the weight of the helium plus the balloon fabric is lighter than the air it displaces, the balloon will float in the air.

Will a foil balloon float with air? ›

Air filled foil balloons do not float and smaller air-filled balloons will not float even when inflated with helium.

Can balloons stay for 2 days? ›

Bubble balloons and foil balloons (also know as Mylar balloons) can last days, weeks or even months! They have a much longer lifespan than latex balloons because latex balloons are porous and helium slowly escapes out of them. An 28cm (11 inch) balloon will generally last 10-12 hours when kept in optimum conditions.

What is the longest time to keep 1 balloon in the air? ›

Some people have tried to use helium balloons for their travels, including Jonathan Trappe, the American man who holds the world record for the longest flight duration. He set a whopping time of 13 hours, 36 minutes and 57 seconds back in 2010.

Will balloons stay up for 2 days? ›

Standard size latex balloons stay afloat for approx 8 - 12 hours when filled with helium, whereas helium filled foil balloons float for 2-5 days. The reason foil balloons float longer than latex balloons is because helium will slowly seep out of the pores in natural latex.

Why do balloons with water not pop? ›

Insist they do the same whenever bursting a balloon. Explanation: The water filled balloon does not burst because the rubber obviously does not reach a temperature sufficient for it to melt or burn. The rubber is stretched thin so that heat is quickly transferred into the balloon.

How do you fill a balloon with liquid? ›

How to Fill Water Balloons with Paint (and how not to) - YouTube

How do you fill a balloon without a pump? ›

"To blow up a balloon, start by pinching the neck of the balloon with your index finger and thumb. Then, take a deep breath and put the opening of the balloon in between your lips. When you're ready, loosen your grip on the neck and blow into the balloon opening so the balloon starts to fill with air.

› pages › how-do-i-fill-my-b... ›

Second tip. Do not use your mouth to blow up confetti balloons. The condensation caused by your breath will do weird things to the confetti. You don't want ...
Hello Friends, showing easy balloon decoration idea with just two materials (Balloons & Lace). Hi everyone, this Channel is mainly created to present easy h...
A hot air balloon may look very different than a helium balloon, but the principle behind how the two types of balloon work is the same. It all comes down to bu...

What happens when you put vinegar and baking soda in a balloon? ›

When the vinegar and baking soda combine there is a reaction between an acid and a base. Vinegar is the acid and baking soda is the base. This reaction between the two causes a gas called carbon dioxide to bubble and foam. This gas having nowhere else to go, expands the balloon making the self-inflating balloon happen.

How does the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment work? ›

SCIENCE: When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together, it creates a gas called carbon dioxide. The gas begins to expand in the bottle and starts to inflate the balloon. The more gas that is created, the larger the balloon will inflate.

How do you make a hydrogen balloon with vinegar and baking soda? ›

Baking Soda + Vinegar Balloon Experiment! - YouTube

What happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda? ›

When baking soda is mixed with vinegar, something new is formed. The mixture quickly foams up with carbon dioxide gas. If enough vinegar is used, all of the baking soda can be made to react and disappear into the vinegar solution.

Can soda inflate a balloon? ›

Soda and similar fizzy drinks are carbonated, which means carbon dioxide gas is dissolved into the liquid under high pressure. When you open the bottle, the pressure is relieved, gas expands into bubble formations, and the bubbles of gas begin to escape. The balloon expands with the trapped carbon dioxide gas.

What happens when you put sugar in a balloon? ›

As the yeast eats the sugar, it releases a gas called carbon dioxide. The gas fills the bottle and then fills the balloon as more gas is created.

Can lemon juice burst a balloon? ›

Can you imagine that you can pop a balloon without touching it? This experiment Pop Balloon With Lemon Peel is so amazing to try. When a spray of lemon peel juice touches the balloon, it immediately pops.

How much vinegar and baking soda do I need for a balloon experiment? ›

Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the empty water bottle. Use a small spoon and carefully add baking soda into the balloon until it's about 1/4 full.

What happens when you rub a balloon on salt? ›

What's happening here? It's not magic, it's static electricity! Rubbing a balloon gives it a negative charge, also called static electricity. When the balloon gains enough static electricity, and it is brought near the mix of salt and pepper, the negative charge polarizes the salt and pepper.

What happens to a balloon when placed in hot water? ›

When you put the bottle with the balloon into the first jar, the hot water heats up the air in the bottle and makes it expand. (Gases always expand when they're warm - the heat gives the gas energy to spread out more). The expanding gas blows up the balloon.

What happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda and hydrogen peroxide? ›

Why Vinegar and Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide is as Effective ...

How do you fill a balloon with vinegar? ›

Use the funnel to pour vinegar into the water bottle, filling about ⅓ of the bottle. Cover the top of the bottle with the bottom of the balloon. When ready, lift the balloon and let the ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda fall into the vinegar. Watch as the mixture fizzes, bubbles, and inflates your balloon!

What should you not mix with vinegar? ›

The Three Things You Should Never Mix with Vinegar
  1. Hydrogen peroxide + vinegar. You may assume that combining these two ingredients in the same bottle will boost their cleaning power, but it's more likely to increase your risk of going to the emergency room. ...
  2. Bleach + vinegar. ...
  3. Baking soda + vinegar.
8 Feb 2019

Can you combine hydrogen peroxide and baking soda? ›

Is mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda safe? Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are completely safe and are even recommended for cleaning and whitening your teeth. The combination can also conquer some of your toughest cleaning jobs including baked-on grease, dingy grout, laundry stains, and hard water buildup.

Can you mix baking soda and bleach? ›

A diluted solution of bleach, water, and baking soda is an effective combination for removing common household stains. Think stubborn wall scuffs, dingy window sills, stained baseboards, and more. Mix 4 cups of water with 4 teaspoons of bleach and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.


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