Balloon Basics 12 – How to Prevent Balloon Oxidisation

Welcome to this Balloon Basics show where Mark Drury joins us to talk about oxidisation of balloons. This is where latex balloons will react to the UV light produced by the sun and will start to break down over time. You can tell when a balloon has oxidised as it will lose its shine and go “velvety”. You can see in the image below how the balloon has a matte or cloudy finish.


Some people like this look and can use it to their advantage. However, it is important to note that the oxidisation process causes the latex to break-down and become more brittle. An oxidised balloon won’t last as long and is more prone to bursting.

So what can you do about it? Balloon shine! This is a silicone based spray that you apply to the surface of the latex and it protects the balloon from degrading. Apply it when you have just inflated your balloon if you know the balloon is going to be displayed outside in sunlight. You can also apply balloon shine to an already oxidised balloon to give it a bit more shine. We left both of these balloons in exactly the same conditions, one with balloon shine and one without. You can see the difference is staggering.


It is also interesting to point out that modern glass will usually filter out UV light. Inside decorations can be fine without balloon shine but it does depend on the conditions. When making this video, we left these balloons in direct sunlight inside our office for over 12 hours and we didn’t notice any oxidisation. We then put them outside in direct sunlight and they went cloudy within minutes!


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