Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-07-24 Origin: Site
You blow them up breathless, or you spend a lot of money on inflatable balloons -- and after just a few hours, your colorful decorations are starting to look cloudy. When shiny balloons take on a chalky appearance, a process called oxidation is to blame. You can't completely stop oxidation from happening, but a few simple steps can slow it down and keep the balloon shiny and bright for as long as possible.
Not all balloons oxidize. Foil and vinyl balloons are less susceptible to this process. It's just a matter of latex balloons. Most balloons you can buy at home and blow yourself up, as well as many inflatable balloons sold by retailers, are made from latex, a substance derived from rubber trees.
As an organic material, latex degrades much faster than aluminum foil or vinyl. Latex balloons are sometimes even marketed as biodegradable, although they can take months or even years to fully decompose. (That's why releasing balloons into the air poses a threat to wildlife and the environment. Fish and other creatures often die from eating balloons that fall back to Earth;Biodegradable balloons can cause damage before they start to break down. )
But while decomposition takes a long time, latex balloons may begin to oxidize within hours of inflating. Oxidation is a chemical process that occurs when molecules lose electrons. What you need to know is that oxidation can give shiny, vibrant balloons a dull, even dusty appearance. Exposure to light, heat, and oxygen accelerates oxidation.
Because oxidation is a natural chemical process, all you can do is slow down its effect on your latex balloon. The easiest way is to seal the inflated balloons in a plastic bag and store them in a cool, dry, dark place until you are ready to use them. Use plastic dry cleaning bags or large trash bags for inflating balloons.
Pay attention to oxidation when choosing balloon colors, especially if you know to inflate balloons a few hours before the event. The effect is most noticeable on clear balloons or bright ones in jewel tones. Balloons with pearly or opaque finishes do not show much oxidation.
Keeping balloons away from heat and light should help slow down oxidation, but you can extend their life by treating them with products made specifically for that purpose. Hi-float is a liquid designed to prevent balloons from rapidly deflating and oxidizing. According to the product instructions, the deflated balloon is immersed in the liquid and then blown up. Or, if you have inflated latex balloons, mix two parts of water with one part of hi-float and carefully pour the liquid over the outside of each balloon.
You can also find another product for sale, advertised as an antioxidant spray for balloons. Visit your local party store or any business that sells inflatable balloons to find these products and get expert advice.
Do not attempt any balloon sparkle hacks using products such as silicone spray or oil. They will make a mess and are unlikely to produce the results you want. It is sometimes recommended to use hairspray for balloons to prevent them from deflating too quickly, but this strategy does not have much effect on the appearance of the latex itself. Once the balloons have oxidized, you probably won't make them look as shiny as they did the first time they were inflated.