Coating the Outside of Balloons Before Inflation

A quick and easy way to prevent oxidation (chalkiness) on the outside of latex balloons is to apply ULTRA HI-FLOAT coating to the outside of the balloon before inflation. This method can be used for helium- or air-filled balloons.

In addition to preventing oxidation, the external coating of HI-FLOAT increases the float life by about five times. The coating usually dries in a few minutes, but can be somewhat messy.

Here’s how to do it:


Place an uninflated balloon over a pencil, and dip the balloon into a glass of HI-FLOAT to the stem as shown in the figure above. Keep the liquid out of the inside of the balloon. Make sure the entire outside of the balloon is wet except for the stem. If folds form in the balloon, withdraw it from the liquid and re-dip it to wet the entire outside.

Remove the balloon from the liquid, and let it drain for a couple of minutes.

With the helium nozzle pointed down as shown in the figure below, slip the balloon onto the nozzle and inflate it while the balloon is still wet. The balloon will stop dripping as soon as inflation begins. It will dry within a few minutes.

Coating the Outside of Balloons Before Inflation

Seal the balloon, and attach a ribbon. Try not to touch the balloon, except near the stem, until it is dry. It may be useful to attach air-filled balloons to a cup and stick while the balloon dries.

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.