How to Blow Up Mylar Balloons

Written By: Jennifer Fielding

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If you’ve been placed in charge of the decorations for that upcoming birthday or workplace party, you’ll probably want to incorporate some balloons into your plans. After all, you can’t have a party without balloons, right?

Mylar Balloon

But have you thought about which type you’re going to use yet? There’s always the classic latex option, but Mylar balloons are worth considering too. They might be more expensive, but they tend to look more premium and – most importantly – they’re reusable if you look after them.

In this guide, we’ll take you through how to inflate Mylar balloons, and how you can re-use them.

How to Inflate a Mylar balloon

Mylar balloons work using a valve that is self-sealing. You need to break the valve to inflate them, using either an inflator nozzle or a simple straw. When you blow it up, just pinch the seal and it’ll stay closed, but can then be released later to deflate it.

instructions how to inflate mylar balloon

Whether using a drinking straw, air pump, or helium cylinder, you should always be careful not to overfill the balloon. You should blow it up to around 98%. The balloon should be firm but still slightly bouncy.

inflating mylar balloon using a straw

Since there are multiple ways to blow up Mylar balloons, we’ll take a look at each one separately and include easy-to-follow steps for each method. Mylar balloons are expensive – you don’t want to pop them through carelessness.

Mylar balloon considerations

While blowing up Mylar balloons is pretty simple, you’ll want to think about a couple of things before you decide on which method to use.

Size of your celebration

The size of the party will have an impact on how many balloons you need, and therefore how you inflate them.

If it’s a child’s birthday party, you probably only need a few balloons, so using a straw to inflate them manually will be easy enough.

But if it’s a big corporate event, you might need a lot more to fill the space – and that might seem pretty daunting if you’re relying on your lungs. That’s where you’ll want to go for an air pump.

Type of decoration

Where the balloons are placed/hung will also have an impact. It’s really obvious when you think about it, but for floating balloons you can’t use your lungs – you’ll need a helium tank. 

helium mylar balloon

But for a balloon archway, you might be fine with an air pump since you can create the arch by tying them together.

Can you inflate Mylar balloons at home?

You can inflate Mylar balloons at home, either using a simple straw or by using your own air pump or helium tank. You can usually buy a helium tank for home use from party stores or some superstores.

inflated mylar balloon with straw

You just need to decide how many balloons you need, and how you want to hang them, before making the call on how best to inflate them at home.

How to inflate Mylar balloons at home

As we say, when considering how to inflate Mylar balloons at home you have three options that are relatively straightforward. If you’re wondering how to blow up mylar balloons without helium, two of the methods just use air – making them really easy to do at home.

mylar balloon with straw

1. Blowing up Mylar balloons with your mouth

You can inflate Mylar balloons using your mouth and your own breath. You just need a straw, since you need a way of breaking the valve seal inside the balloon.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Gently separate the plastic layers that protect the filling tab.
  2. Insert the straw that came with the balloon (if the balloon doesn’t have a straw, you can use any thin drinking straw).
  3. Push the straw into the valve, being careful not to tear the balloon.
  4. Take a deep breath and start blowing gradually to avoid dizziness.
  5. When the balloon is firm to the touch, remove the straw.
  6. Pinch the seal to secure the air inside.

2.  Inflating Mylar balloons with an air pump

Blowing up Mylar balloons with an air pump is much easier than inflating them with a straw. You can either use a manual pump or an electric compressor, but you need to be careful not to over-inflate with any automatic pump.

You’ll need an air pump with a narrow tip attachment. This makes sure it can get inside the valve without damaging it, so there won’t be any leaks.

Point Pumps air when pumping in both directions1

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  1. Insert the pump tip inside the filling tab of the balloon between the plastic layers. 
  2. Start pumping air into the balloon. Whether you use a hand pump or an electric inflator, you should be careful not to inflate it too far..
  3. After blowing the balloon, remove the pump tip.
  4. Press the seal of the balloon to block the air from escaping.

3. Blowing up Mylar balloons with helium

Mylar balloons can be inflated with helium. Helium is lighter than air and, thus, more suitable for floating balloons. To blow up a Mylar balloon with helium, you’ll need a helium tank.

Electric air balloon pump with balloon tie tool

Portable design

2 operational modes

2 nozzle sizes

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You should remember that helium tanks are strong as they use a lot of pressure and can fill a balloon fast. You should keep a tight grip on the balloon because it may be blown away by the tank’s pressure, although this might at least be entertaining to any watching children!

  1. Insert the nozzle of the helium tank between the plastic layers directly into the filling tab of the balloon.
  2. It’s very important to keep in mind that the process is quick. You must carefully observe the balloon and stop the pump when the balloon is almost, but not completely full.
  3. When done, remove the nozzle of the helium tank.
  4. Press the valve flat to seal the balloon.

Does Walmart fill Mylar balloons?

Some Walmart stores will inflate Mylar balloons (and latex balloons) for you, but not all. You’ll need to check in advance whether your local store offers this service. It’s usually free if you buy the balloon from the store, otherwise a small charge will be incurred.

mylar balloon that still in packaging

It’s usually not worth getting the balloons inflated at Walmart if you’re planning on using air. After all, you then need to find a way of transporting all your balloons home once inflated. If you were only buying one balloon it might make sense, but then you may as well inflate it at home.

The only time it makes sense is if you want it filled with helium. Getting your Mylar balloon inflated at Walmart would then be more cost-effective since you aren’t buying an entire helium tank for a single balloon.

Suggested read: Where To Get Balloons Filled With Helium

If your local Walmart doesn’t inflate balloons, try calling any party stores that are near you – they should be able to help.

Conclusion

Honestly, inflating Mylar balloons is really easy – easier than latex balloons even, since you don’t have to struggle to tie them once they’re full. Just press the seal closed and you’re done!

sealed mylar balloon

Mylar balloons are also a good choice for people who don’t like the squeaking sound of the latex rubber. They also don’t require the same high pressure to inflate to size, and so aren’t as liable to pop.

You can usually inflate a Mylar balloon at home without any problems, unless it’s a single balloon that you want filled with helium – just check with your local Walmart or party stores to see if they can help.

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Jennifer Fielding

Jennifer Fielding is your go-to expert on all things inflatable, from pools to tents and beyond. A former owner of Deluxe Hot Tub Hire Ltd., she's experienced the ups and downs of inflatables firsthand. Nowadays, she writes practical guides on maintaining and enjoying inflatables. A mom of young enthusiasts, her family's favorite outing is the inflatable fun park!

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