Will an Air Compressor Make Balloons Float?

Air compressors are portable devices and can work for multiple things daily. You can inflate balloons and your vehicle tires with them quickly. The process will take less than seconds, and you will be ready to go.

However, today’s article is about will an air compressor make balloons float? Usually, you can inflate balloons of any size with the air compressor. You need to attach a nozzle to the balloon, and it will inflate quickly.

You can use helium balloons and latex balloons to inflate. However, keep in mind that they are not helium balloons, so they will not float. In our article today, we will deep dive into detailed information about how you can use an air compressor to make a balloon inflate, how your balloons can float without helium, and many more. Let’s start.

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. There is nothing like magic here. The science behind it is pretty simple. When a lighter gas diffuses into a heavier gas, the lighter gas will float over it.

Hydrogen and helium are two mediums that have lighter density than the air. So if you fill the balloon with helium or hydrogen, the inside density of these mediums will be lower than air. As a result, you will see such balloons floating in the air. It would be best to keep in mind here that helium and hydrogen balloons can also float in the air.

How do balloons float without helium gas?

Helium is not the only medium that we can use for balloons floating. 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 that can be used for floating balloons. Hydrogen density is ½ to the mass of helium balloons.

To make hydrogen gas, you need to bring sodium hydroxide and aluminium together. But from where you can get both of these. You can find a source of aluminium in your kitchen aluminium foils easily. On the other hand, you can easily find sodium hydroxide in nearby grocery stores.

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

  • Put the sodium hydroxide and aluminium mixture in a water bottle and fill it with water.
  • You will see a reacting process inside the bottle; now 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 in the balloon and inflate automatically.
  • After the maximum inflation, tie your balloons with thread.
  • Everything is done now; it’s time to see your floating balloons.

Method 2: Normal air

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

However, if you have balloons with confetti, do not fill them with air by using your mouth. The reason behind it, your breath can create condensation, and you may have your confetti in a balloon sticking together. To do so, we will 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 different sizes. So before filling them with air, hydrogen, or helium, read the instruction manual once. For instance, 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 going to choose any medium, 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 gloat. 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, then first inflate at the beginning with your mouth. 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, 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. It would be best if you were careful and a little skilful. For instance, always inflate the balloons on the same day of the event. The reason is that balloons leak air and deflate with time. For accurate results, get someone to help you. First of all, fill some air in the balloon with your mouth and after that use the balloon pump. 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. So what do you need to do? Attach the balloons with the nozzle and turn on the compressor, and it will inflate automatically.

Can you blow up foil balloons without helium?

It is not recommended to use helium or hydrogen to blow up the 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.


In this section, we will try to give an answer to the frequently asked question about will an air compressor make a balloon float?

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.

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 there will be a reaction to this mixture that will produce helium.

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

How long do garland balloons last?

Garland balloons last for one week. Garlands and balloons usually have air inflation, and if done correctly, they can last more than one week. Garland balloons look aesthetically beautiful. It would help if you used them for your wedding or birthday events. However, getting them ready a day before an event is always good as they will 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 such issue. However, if you use any regular balloon, they can quickly deflate and shrink in size. The reason behind this is the cold air makes helium molecules get closer to each other, and helium volume will decrease inside the balloons. As a result, the balloon will be small and will 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 before the day of the event. So it can depend on your personal choice here. But it is recommended to don’t do this on the same day as your event.


Thanks for reading till; the end. If you have an event in the next few days, we hope you will find our article information helpful. Balloons are always the best idea to make your event more beautiful. You can use different colors and balloons according to the theme of your party.

Furthermore, we will recommend always using a lighter gas than the outside air density for proper floating of your balloons. Last but not least is to use an air compressor or balloon air pump for better results.