How to Blow Up a Balloon?

Balloons are festive additions to birthday parties and many other fun events. Blowing them up isn't always such fun though, as they usually require a good set of lungs or a balloon pump, not to mention some time and patience. Whether you need one balloon or a hundred or want them for decoration or a science experiment, though, there are several ways to make blowing up a balloon a little easier — and maybe even fun!

Method 1: Blow up by Mouth

1. Loosen the balloon by stretching it in all directions. 

If you stretch out the rubbery latex of the balloon with your hands first, it becomes much easier to blow it up by mouth afterwards. Stretching the balloon will loosen the latex, making the inflation process less resistant.

Stretch the balloon in all directions, being careful not to tear the latex. Just make sure not to stretch the balloon too much, or you risk it popping when you inflate it. A few stretches here and there will get the job done.

2. Pinch the neck of the balloon with your index finger and thumb.

This will keep the balloon in position when inflating. Grasp the end of the balloon about a quarter of an inch (1 cm) below the lip of the opening. Your index finger should be on top and your thumb on bottom.

3. Take a deep breath and “kiss” the balloon.

Use your lips to form a seal around the opening neck section of the balloon. Your lips should be just beyond the lip of the balloon opening, and pressed against your thumb and forefinger.

4. Blow air from your lungs into the balloon.

This is the same action used when puffing your cheeks with air, but the air should pass into the balloon and your cheeks should be relaxed.

  • Try to keep your lips puckered and tight as you blow into the balloon. Your cheeks will fill with some air, but they shouldn't be getting really big — the balloon should!
  • Think of how a trumpeter blows into his or her horn: Maintain good embouchure, or facial muscle tension, especially if your lungs are weak or you're having trouble getting the balloon to fill with air.
  • Keep a tight seal between the lip of the balloon and your lips to maintain pressure.

5. Work to overcome the initial resistance.

For reasons that are up to greater scientific debate than you might think,the first blow into a balloon is always the hardest.But it will gradually expand after the initial resistance. This takes some getting used to, so keep blowing until the balloon inflates, then use that experience to guide you for the next balloon.

  • If you're still having trouble blowing up the balloon after the first attempt, try tugging on the spout of the balloon gently as you blow into it for the second time.
  • If you are struggling, stretch the neck of the balloon, then seal the neck of the balloon with your thumb and index finger when breathing.

6. Pinch the balloon shut if you must take a break.

If you need a breather in between blows, seal the balloon with your thumb and index finger. Then release your grip after you place the balloon back into your mouth.

7. Stop before the balloon risks popping.

When you feel the balloon is resisting further expansion, the inflation process is complete. If the neck of the balloon inflates to a significant size, this means that you have overinflated the balloon, and you'll need to let a little air out until the neck is flat again.

8. Tie it off.

When the balloon begins to strongly resist further expansion, it is time to tie the balloon. You've officially inflated your balloon. Now you can start inflating the next one — or 99!

  • Pinch the balloon at the base of its neck between your index and middle fingers.
  • Stretch the neck and wrap it around that index finger and your thumb.
  • Feed the mouth of the balloon through the loop you’ve just created, and pull the knot tight as you pull your fingers free.

Method 2: Blowing Up a Balloon With a Manual Pump / Electric Balloon Inflator

1. Attach the opening of the balloon to the nozzle of the pump.

The nozzle should be ribbed to allow for a tight hold on the opening of the balloon.

2. Start pumping.

For a hand pump, pull out the hand lever and then press it back in. For a foot pump, step on the pedal and release it. There’s no need to stretch out the balloon latex first.

3. Tie the balloon when it’s filled.

Balloon Garland Tool

Balloon Garland Tool

Q: How to Make latex balloons to float in the air?

A: Using a Helium Tank

1. Screw the inflator onto the helium tank.

The inflator is a metal tube that is threaded at one end and has a nozzle on the other end. Screw it securely onto the threaded opening at the top of the tank.

2. Press the correct adaptor onto the end of the inflator.

Most inflators come with two attached, plastic, cone-shaped adaptors. The smaller one is for foil balloons; the larger, for latex balloons. Securely press the adaptor that suits your needs onto the inflator.

3. Open the valve.

Turn the handle on top of the helium tank counterclockwise in order to open the valve and release helium into the inflator. You’ll hear a brief “pffft” sound as the valve opens, but an ongoing hissing sound indicates a leak. Close the valve and contact the tank provider.

4. Feed the balloon onto the adaptor. 

Slide the mouth of your chosen balloon far enough over the adaptor to create a basic seal. Wrap your thumb and forefinger around the mouth of the balloon to strengthen the seal.

5. Press down on the adaptor.

Use the hand holding the balloon mouth to lightly push the adaptor downward. This will open the tip of the inflator and send a rush of helium into the balloon. Stop pressing down when the balloon is adequately filled.

  • Be prepared, because a full helium tank can fill a balloon very quickly. Don’t be surprised if you pop a few while you’re getting the hang of it!

6. Tie the balloon.

With a latex balloon, you’ll do the same maneuver as always: make the loop around your two fingers, then feed the balloon mouth through to tie it off. Most foil balloons, however, are self-sealing, so all you’ll need to do is press the mouth flat to prevent leakage.

7. Shut off the helium.

When you’re done filling balloons, use the following process to safely prepare the helium tank for return:

  • Turn off the valve on top of the tank (by turning clockwise).
  • Push down on the adaptor to release any helium left in the inflator.
  • Pop off the adaptor and unscrew the inflator.