Coating the Outside of Air-Filled Balloons After Inflation

A diluted ULTRA HI-FLOAT coating may be applied to the outside of the latex balloon after it is inflated to keep it from oxidizing (turning chalky). This is especially useful for clear balloons with items such as stuffed animals placed inside. Treating the outside of an air-filled clear balloon will keep it bright and clear for several weeks if it is cared for properly.

This photo shows a bear in a balloon, with half of the balloon coated with HI-FLOAT and the other half uncoated. The treated half remains clear even after several weeks, while the uncoated half starts turning chalky after a few days.

Coating the Outside of Air-Filled Balloons After Inflation

Warning: Air-filled balloons with an external coating of HI-FLOAT must be kept in a climate-controlled location. Heat and/or high humidity can cause the balloon to burst or deflate prematurely.

This dilute coating method does not work well on helium-filled balloons, since it can cause streaking.

To coat the outside of an air-filled balloon:

Stuff and inflate the balloon.

Attach the stuffed balloon to a cup and stick to provide a handle.

Mix 1 cup of HI-FLOAT with 2 cups of warm water. Stir gently to avoid making foam.

Place the balloon in a large pan, and gently pour the liquid over it while slowly rotating the balloon as shown the figure below. Make sure the entire outside surface of the balloon is wetted.


Hang the coated balloon up by the handle so that it can drip dry. Under normal conditions, drying takes about 30 minutes.

Other Tips:

Using a handheld hair dryer can quicken drying. Do not aim the dryer at one spot for too long, as that could burst the balloon.

The excess liquid in the pan may be placed in a capped bottle and saved for reuse. Refrigerate to keep mold from forming.

Any bubbles in the coating will collect at the lowest point. Wipe that spot gently with a damp sponge after drying for about 15 minutes. After drying, touch up any missed spots with a small brush.

Do not dilute the HI-FLOAT by more than two parts water to one part HI-FLOAT. Never dilute HI-FLOAT for coating uninflated balloons, since that will drastically reduce float life.

This outside coating will also remove oxidation that has already occurred.

This technique will keep balloon animals looking big and shiny for several days. Simply place the animal in the pan, pour the diluted mixture over it and hang it by the knot until dry.