How to Make Balloons Float without Using Helium


We are familiar with floating balloons, which use helium gas as the primary fuel. But sometimes, it gets challenging to manage helium gas. The cost of helium gas is also high, so when you are in dire need of a floating balloon, then helium gas can be a problematic gas to obtain. So we have to find some alternative for helium gas.

How to Make Balloons Float without Using Helium

Besides, helium gas can sometimes harm the health of the persons who come in direct exposure. Inhaling pure helium can even cause death to certain people. For this reason, today, we will discuss a technique that will include hydrogen gas instead of helium as the primary fuel for the floating balloon. So without further adieu, let us jump into the method.

Required Materials

The first step in starting any process is gathering the necessary materials. For making a hydrogen-based floating balloon, we need hydrogen production materials. Two big bottles are needed; it is better to use bottles with two liters of volume. A drilling machine is needed for drilling holes in the bottles. Sodium hydroxide, which is commonly termed as caustic soda in the market, is also needed.

Required Materials

You will also need a funnel to pour water. The process requires a strong adhesive for a firm attachment. For this, you can use a glue gun. Besides, you will need aluminum foil paper. This is a common household material. You will need a plastic pipe, and finally, you will need some colorful balloons. After you have gathered all these materials, you can start the process.


You will need to start with a drill. As mentioned before, you will need two bottles. So, you will need to empty the bottles and then use the drill to make two holes. The first hole will be on the upper side of the bottle, and the other spot will be on the bottle’s cap.

Make Hole on Bottle

Now you have to take a plastic pipe, and then you have to cut the line with a cutter. You have to measure a safe distance between the two bottles, which should not be more than one foot. You have to insert the pipe through the holes, and then you have to use a glue gun to seal the holes. This way, there will be no possibility of air intake or outturn.

After you have sealed the pipe with glue, you have to take the aluminum foil, and then you have to cut them into small pieces and make small balls. You have to put the aluminum balls inside a bottle and then some caustic soda. Then you have to close the lid, and on another bottle, you have to pour some water using a funnel.

 the balloon will start to float

After the reaction starts inside the bottle with caustic soda, you will observe gases coming out of the other bottle as bubbles. These bubbles are hydrogen. Now you can attach a balloon to the bottle’s mouth and see the gas filling the balloon. In this manner, the balloon will start to float with the help of hydrogen gas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Way to Make Balloons Float without Helium?

Yes, there is a way to make balloons float without helium. The process involves using two metal rings and hot water.

  • Step 1: Fill the balloon with air and tie it at the top.
  • Step 2: Take one of the metal rings and dip it in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until you can handle it easily.
  • Step 3: Grab the other ring, heat up some more water, and then pour it into the balloon over the first ring.
  • Step 4: Hold both rings together tightly as you squeeze out all of the air from inside of them, making sure that they are touching each other all around their edges.
  • Step 5: After a few seconds, when you feel like your hands are starting to get too warm from holding onto these rings for so long, let go of them and allow them to cool down on their own while still attached to each other by their edges.

Will Foil Balloons Float without Helium?

Foil balloons are light and buoyant, so they float in the air. However, helium will be pulled down to the ground because it is heavier than air.

There are many reasons why foil balloons do not float without helium:

1) The lower density of helium compared to air results in a lower weight for helium. This means that if you fill a balloon with helium and let go of it, the balloon will rise higher into the sky due to its lighter weight.

2) The shape of foil balloons makes them more buoyant in water. They also have an extremely thin coating on their surface which is highly reflective. This means that when looking at a foil balloon from below, there is no reflection and no color visible through the surface as there would be with other materials such as paper or plastic.


Is There an Alternative to Helium for Balloons?

Yes, there is an alternative to helium for balloons. It is called a Helium-Neon mixture which can be used in place of helium.

It is an excellent choice because it is available in a wide variety of colors, and the cost is also cheaper than helium.

Will Argon Make Balloons Float?

There is no scientific evidence that Argon will make balloons float. This has been the claim of many websites over the past few years, but it is not true. The US Environmental Protection Agency has even confirmed this.

You may also read – How to Hang an Umbrella from the Ceiling

Jennifer Branett
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