Instead of blowing up balloons by mouth for your next birthday party or family event, save your lungs and blow up those balloons with an air pump. Always use a pump to inflate balloons if you have a latex allergy, need the balloons inflated quickly or even just to avoid sore lips.
Select an Air Pump
Before blowing up the balloons, decide which type of air pump will work best, depending on the location of your event, how much time you have and how many balloons you need. If you don't have very much time, or need a large quantity of balloons inflated, use an air compressor to get the job completed quickly. If you have an outdoor event that requires a lot of balloons, but you have a little more time to work with, use an electric air pump. For indoor events with fewer balloons, use a hand pump.
Inflate Balloons With an Balloon Air Compressor
Balloon air compressors feature a small tank of compressed air and one to two nozzles. Each nozzle inserts into the opening of a balloon, and once you turn on the compressor the balloons will inflate automatically. Certain air compressors also feature a timer that shuts off the air once the balloon inflates to a certain level, preventing the balloon from bursting. Once a balloon has inflated on the air compressor, remove it by squeezing the base right above the opening, lifting it off of the nozzle and tying the end into a knot.
Inflate Balloons With an Electric Pump
You might use an electric pump to inflate an air mattress, but you can also use it to inflate balloons at your next event. To inflate the balloons, you need to attach a tapered nozzle to the electric pump, a piece you can find at any sporting goods store. Plug in and turn on the electric pump; attach the tapered nozzle, and place the opening of the balloon over the tip. Hold the balloon in place on the tip of the nozzle as the balloon fills with air. Once it's filled, squeeze the opening of the balloon; remove it from the nozzle and tie it into a knot.
Inflate Balloons With a Hand Pump
With a hand pump, you'll use muscle power to inflate the balloons. Insert the tapered end of the hand pump directly into the opening of the balloon, and create a tight seal around the opening with one hand. With your other hand, move the end of the hand pump back and forth to force air into the balloon. Once you fill the balloon to capacity, squeeze the opening of the balloon closed with your fingers; remove it from the end of the pump and tie it into a knot.
Tips and Warnings
Always keep an eye on the balloons as they inflate, which can happen very quickly depending on which air pump you use. Avoid over-inflating the balloons or they could burst. Make sure you supervise small children and pets when you inflate balloons, because the balloon material can become a choking hazard if swallowed.