will an air compressor make balloons float

Air compressors are portable devices you can use for inflating tires, pool toys, and sports equipment. You can also inflate balloons with them quickly.

However, today’s article is about will an air compressor make balloons float. Let’s dive deep into detailed information about if and how to use an air compressor to make a balloon float, how your balloons can float without helium, and if you can blow up foil balloons without helium.

How Does Helium Make A Balloon Float?

Every time we see a balloon float, a question that comes into our minds is how to make a balloon float. The science behind it is pretty simple. When a lighter gas diffuses into a heavier gas, the lighter gas float over it.

Hydrogen and helium are two mediums that have lighter densities than the air. So if you fill the balloon with helium or hydrogen, the density inside of these mediums will be lower than air. As a result, you will see your balloons floating in the air.

How Do Balloons Float Without Helium Gas?

Helium is not the only medium that we can use for floating balloons. Here we will discuss two different methods of floating balloons without helium gas.

Method 1: Use of Hydrogen

As we already discussed, helium is not the only gas that you can use to float your balloon. Hydrogen is another medium you can use for floating balloons. Hydrogen density is ½ to the mass of helium balloons.

To make hydrogen gas, you need sodium hydroxide and aluminum. You can use aluminum in your kitchen. On the other hand, sodium hydroxide will be available in nearby grocery stores.

Now follow the simple steps to make sure your balloons float after using aluminum and sodium hydroxide.

  • Put the sodium hydroxide and aluminum mixture in a water bottle and fill it with water. You will see a reaction inside the bottle.
  • Immediately attach your balloon to the mouth of the water bottle.
  • After reacting, the mixture inside the bottle will generate hydrogen gas that will trap inside the balloon, and it will inflate automatically.
  • Tie your balloon with thread once it reaches maximum inflation.
  • It’s time to see your floating balloons.

Method 2: Normal Air

If you are not willing to use hydrogen or do not have the option to use hydrogen, use normal air. Have you ever seen your birthday balloons on the ceiling of your room? The reason is that the outside and inside air has the same density. The equal charge between both mediums repels, and the balloon float on the ceiling.

However, if you have balloons with confetti, do not fill them with air by using your mouth. Your breath can create condensation, and you may have your confetti in a balloon sticking together. To do so, we recommend using an air compressor to make the balloon float. Or you can use a balloon pump. Both these tools can work with almost all types and sizes of balloons.

Also Read: Can Air Compressor Be Used as a Pressure Washer?

Helium Or Air, Which Method Is Best To Make Balloons Float?

Balloons come in different types and sizes. So before filling them with air, hydrogen, or helium, read the instruction manual once. It is always good to use oxygen to fill foil and latex balloons instead of air.

On the other hand, garland balloons are not recommended to be filled with helium. So before choosing a source, make sure to know about the type of balloon and recommended medium for it.

How To Inflate A Foil Balloon?

Foil balloons usually come in small sizes, and they can not take enough hydrogen or helium to float. So it’s always best to fill them with oxygen. If you plan to use confetti inside the balloon and want it to stick together, inflate it with your mouth in the beginning. After that, you can use any balloon pump.

Don’t use helium if you want confetti to stick together in a balloon. Because helium does not produce static in the balloon, so confetti will not stick together. However, if you still want to fill it with helium, fill some air with your mouth.

The best method to fill the balloon with normal air is straightforward. However, inflate the balloons on the same day of the event. Balloons leak air and deflate with time, so inflating them on the same day will keep the airtight in them.

For accurate results, get someone to help you. First of all, fill some air in the balloon with your mouth. Use the balloon pump after that. In the end, tie the thread firmly and ensure no leakage.

Can I Blow Up Balloons With An Air Compressor?

Yes, you can blow up balloons with the help of an air compressor. Usually, a balloon air compressor comes with a small tank and one or two nozzles. If it comes with two, you can inflate two balloons at a time. To inflate a balloon, pair it with a nozzle and turn on the compressor, and your balloon will inflate automatically.

Can You Blow Up Foil Balloons Without Helium?

It is not recommended to use helium or hydrogen to blow up the foil balloons. Foil balloons usually come in small sizes and do not have enough capacity to take helium or hydrogen to float. Foil balloons up to 9 inches are recommended to use oxygen or air inflation. You can blow these balloons with the help of your mouth. Or you can also use a straw. However, a standard balloon pump is the best option for good results.


How do you make a balloon float in the air?

A balloon can float in the air if the air inside the balloon has a lighter density than the outside air. Hydrogen and helium both have a lighter density than air. So, You can make a balloon float in the air by using helium or hydrogen gas. You can also use oxygen to inflate and float one.

How do you make helium gas at home?

To do this:

  1. Have acetic acid and baking soda nearby.
  2. Add two teaspoons of baking soda to your balloon.
  3. Add half a cup of acetic acid to a bottle.
  4. Directly attach the balloon nozzle to the end of the bottle. The acetic acid will fall into the bottle, and a reaction to this mixture will produce helium.

This helium will automatically inflate your balloons, which will float once you tie the knot with a thread.

How long do garland balloons last?

Garland balloons last for one week. Garland balloons usually have air inflation, and if done correctly, they can last more than one week. These balloons look aesthetically beautiful and are mostly useful for your wedding or birthday events. However, getting them ready a day before an event is always good as they take time in inflation and decoration.

Do helium-filled balloons deflate in colder temperatures?

If you use a latex balloon filled with helium, you will not face any issues. However, if you use any regular balloon, it can quickly deflate and shrink in size. This is because the cold air makes helium molecules get closer to each other, and helium volume decreases inside the balloons. As a result, the balloon is small and does not float.

How advanced can you inflate helium balloons?

You can inflate helium balloons a few days before an event. Many professionals recommend a week or a day before the day of the event.


We hope you find this guide on will an air compressor make balloons float useful.

Let us again say that you can use an air compressor to float your balloons. To do so, just connect your balloon with the nozzle of your air compressor and turn it on. Set pressure, so the balloon starts inflating. Once inflated, detach it from the nozzle and tie it using a thread.

Inflating balloons with an air compressor will save a fraction of your time and fill your balloon perfectly.

So, if you have an air compressor at home that you use for tire inflation or inflating pool toys, use it to inflate your balloons for the event as well.