Tips for Filling Up Your Balloons

If you’re in need of helium inflated balloons, whether you’re a wedding organiser, a florist or own a card shop, you need helium canisters. Helium canisters are a convenient way of inflating balloons and are incredibly easy to operate and use. However, if you’ve never used a helium canister before, or you’ve been trying and it just doesn’t seem to be working quite right, you might be wondering what the trick is to getting perfect balloons.

So, with that in mind, we’ve put together a few handy tips for filling your balloons from a helium canister, so that you can create perfect floating balloons every time.

Blue Balloons

Helium Canisters

Helium canisters come in a range of sizes and are available in disposable and refillable tanks. At Fill n’Away, we sell a range of refillable helium cylinders and tanks including 2-litre, 9.4-litre and 20-litre bottles. The 2-litre bottle fills 50 9” latex balloons, the 9.4-fills 150 and the 20-litre fills 400 10” latex balloons.

We also have a range of disposable bottles that are sold with or without 50 or 30 9” balloons with white ribbons. However, these bottles are recyclable and can be safely disposed of after use. Our cylinders can be supplied in your very own branded boxes anywhere in the UK at an amazing wholesale price.

However, sometimes these guidelines just aren’t thorough enough for your needs. And if you’re new to the world of balloons, you may be a bit confused as to which size of bottle to go for. So, here’s a handy table detailing the required amount of helium for specific sizes of different types of balloons, including their expected float time:




Inflated Diameter


Capacity (Cubic Ft) Float-Time
9″ Latex 9″




8-10 hrs


11″ Latex 11″




10-12 hrs


18″ Foil 14″ x 13″




3-5 days


20″ Foil 18″ x 18″




3-5 days


Giant letter or number





3-5 days

Foil supershapes




1.5 – 2.5


3-5 days

As you can see, foil balloons tend to float for longer than latex balloons; they also have the added benefit of the air being able to be let out of them and then reused in the future. To let the air out a foil balloon, simply untie the knot and push a straw through the opening, pressing down carefully until all of the air has left the balloon. Certain factors may also affect the float time of balloons. For example, if you’re using any confetti filled balloons, be aware that this may detract the float time due to the extra weight of the confetti inside.

When you get your helium canister, ensure you read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before you begin inflating. Here’s a brief run down of the steps for using a helium canister:


Step 1: Place the balloon valve over the helium tank nozzle.

Step 2: Use the correct adaptor (different balloons require different adaptors).

Step 3: Turn the release knob.

Step 4: Attach the balloon to the nozzle – roll the mouth of the balloon a bit down the nozzle.

Step 5: Hold the balloon in place with one hand, press other hand down on the nozzle to release the helium.

Step 6: The balloon will fill quickly. Let up on the nozzle as it gets full. Pinch the end of the balloon and slowly remove from the valve.

Step 7: Tie a knot in the end of the balloon.


Tying the Balloon

Tying the knot on the end of a balloon can be a tricky business if you’re not used to it, it will be especially difficult if the balloon is too inflated, and you can’t pull the neck of the balloon loose enough to tie.

Keep the end of the balloon pinched in your fingers when you’ve removed it from the valve and stretch it out a few times to help loosen it. Aim for 3 – 6 inches of give when you stretch out the neck, if it’s too short you may need to let a little air out, too much and you may need to inflate it more.

Pinch the balloon’s neck between the index and middle fingers on one hand, pull the lip of the balloon towards you with the other hand, placing the thumb of your pinching hand against the pinching hand’s index finger. Loop the stretched length of neck over the top of the pinching fingers all the way around and then feed it beneath the loop. Slide the loop off of your fingers and pull the knot tight; the balloon has been successfully knotted.

YAY Foil Balloons

Finish with some ribbon, string or bows if desired, and you have yourself some perfectly inflated balloons!

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