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Showing posts from 2016

Not All Valves are Created Equal

...But that doesn't mean they can't do the same things! We get a lot of questions about inflators (valves). One of the most popular questions we're asked is if a particular valve will inflate both latex and foil balloons. Let's find out!

We sell valves with rubber tips, which are generally recognized as latex balloon inflators. We also sell metal-tipped inflators, which are known for inflating foil balloons. We even sell inflators with both kinds of tips attached.

But the fact is it's a matter of personal preference. The rubber tips will inflate both latex and foil balloons. Simply tilt the tip to release the helium and your balloon will inflate. However, you will have to stop inflating on your own. Once you see the balloon reaching an optimum size, discontinue inflating it. The metal tip, specifically for foil balloons, will stop on its own. It can tell when the balloon has been sufficiently inflated, which helps reduce the amount off popped balloons.

Many seriou…

Party Planning 101: Get Organized

If you've ever thrown a party, you know it's a lot of fun. But it's also a lot of work. And it's easy to forget even the most basic stuff when your mind is trying to keep up with several tasks and thoughts at once. Sound familiar?

Here's a tip: write things down. It's a simple tip, but very effective. Having an organized checklist will help you see the big picture without forgetting the small stuff. If you're not sure how to get started, download a copy of our party planning template. In it, you'll find a space to plan everything from a budget to your menu. And it's all yours for the price of a tweet! Or a Facebook shout-out, if you prefer.

So pay with a tweet and get your copy now!

If you find that it helps you in your planning, let us know!


Written by: Miriam E. Medellin


Helium Valves and Balloon Inflators: Use, Care and Safety

The words valve and inflator are often used interchangeably, but they are two separate (though complementary) components of balloon inflation. The valve is permanently attached to the cylinder while the inflator simply attaches to the valve to allow for inflation.

It's important to know how to safely attach and remove the inflator. However, there are other guidelines to abide by when handling helium cylinder valves and inflators - both for general safety and for promoting inflator longevity.

Using the Balloon Inflator To start, remove the cylinder cap from the cylinder and secure the inflator to the valve. In the past, wrenches were required for this step, but this is now rarely the case. Check the packaging on your specific inflator to be sure, but most inflators will specifically state "hand-tighten only" on the package.

The next step is opening the valve. Turn the handle in a counter-clockwise motion to open the valve. You'll hear and/or feel a click, which lets y…

The HX Loyalty Program

Are you someone who throws parties often? Do you often have get-togethers and gatherings at your home on weekends? Do you love decorating and find yourself being asked by others to help decorate their events as well? If so, then you'll love this!

Chances are you have a lot of fun, but you might also be spending more than you need to on balloon decorations. Disposable Balloon Time kits are popular at several retail outlets due to their portability. We think they're great for small, infrequent events and you can learn more about them here. However, if you find yourself hosting or decorating for several events throughout the year, it may be beneficial to purchase your own small cylinder.

The HX Loyalty Program How does it work? Well, in a nut shell, you buy a small cylinder from us and we'll continue to refill it at a reduced cost. If you were to bring us an outside-sourced small helium cylinder, we could fill it for $55. However, if you purchase one of our small cylinders, w…

Planning a Party (as Told by GIFs)

Planning a party can be stressful. And the bigger the party, the more stressful it is. Sometimes it's nice to look back at the journey and laugh about the moments of panic, the late night projects and the good times shared. If you're still in planning mode, remember to breath deeply and laugh. Your party will be great!

The Party Planning Process
1. The moment you find out (or remember) that a birthday is coming up and you have a spark of inspiration, you tell everyone! Much to your delight, they love the idea and even add to it, which makes you feel pretty awesome.



2. You delegate tasks and start planning. Where do you start? Online, of course! You scour the internet for all kinds of great decorating ideas to fit your theme.



3. Then, you run into your first road bump. As you begin shopping, you realize some great ideas cost much more than you thought.



4.After reviewing several DIY sites, you realize it'll be easy and fun to make some of the decorations yourself. Plus, you&…

Vinyl "Balloons"?

What are they? Well, we liken them to beach balls on a stick. They're composed of vinyl and are inflated with air. That's right, no helium required. We've seen them pop up at apartment complexes, car lots and storefronts. We get asked about these "balloons" from time to time, so let us review the pros and cons of purchasing and using these so-called balloons.

At first glance, they sound like an efficient choice. They don't require helium so you can immediately suspend that expense. And they're reusable so you don't have to replace the balloons on a regular basis. Another perk would be that employees, office managers and store owners do not have to spend time inflating balloons on a daily or weekly basis.

You can expect to spend around $30 per balloon if you're shopping from the cheaper end of the spectrum. However, this will include the pole, clamps, and other assembly items needed for that balloon. Various options are available regarding the disp…

Applications of Helium

It's no secret, in our industry, that helium is used to fill party balloons for decorative purposes. And, as we all know, balloons float as a result of helium being lighter than air. However, most people don't realize where helium comes from or how it's used outside of the party industry.

Helium is formed by decay of radioactive elements and is extracted as a byproduct of natural gas. Many may be aware of the helium shortage from a couple years ago, and it's said another 'shortage' may be around the corner. Luckily, a new helium source was recently discovered and this should help with future supply. Keep in mind that it will take time to allocate the resources and draw up contracts with different helium manufacturers.

So how is helium used? Well, besides making balloons float, helium is widely used in the medical, meteorological and laser technology sectors, to name a few. MRI machines use helium to cool the superconducting magnets. Meteorological balloons (as w…

What We Do with CO2

You may have noticed "CO2" (or carbon dioxide) floating around our website or ads for some time now. And you may have wondered what exactly it's used for. As a restaurant or bar manager, you know that CO2 is vital to fountain drinks and beer as it is responsible for the carbonation in the beverages. Currently, we supply such businesses and venues with bottled CO2 only. So if you have a bulk CO2 system, we're unable to meet your needs at this time. However, if we can help you, please let us know.

Why Helium Xpress Balloon Wholesale? Perhaps you're wondering how a helium business got mixed up with CO2. It's alright, we sometimes wonder too. As it turns out though, many businesses that use helium and balloons for promotions happen to be restaurants and night clubs. As we began receiving more requests for it, we stepped up to the plate to serve even more of our customers' needs.

Of course, there are several large companies that provide CO2, but few can provid…

Inflated Balloons

If you've looked at our information chart on helium rentals and come to the realization that you simply don't need to inflate that many balloons, then you may want to purchase them inflated. We do not deliver inflated balloons, but we can sell them to you assuming you have a vehicle that will accommodate your desired amount. Likewise, we can also inflate balloons you have purchased elsewhere. However, if you plan on buying and transporting inflated balloons. please plan accordingly. Think Float Life For starters, keep in mind that balloons have a finite lifespan, or "float life." However, as a general rule, latex balloons should not be inflated any earlier than the event date. There are exceptions such as 36" latex balloons, which will still be up from one day to the next (though smaller in size). Alternatively, foil balloons may be inflated days in advance with little to no change as they float longer. As of now, we are closed on weekends. If your event happen…

Understanding Cylinder Rental Fees

As a long-term helium customer, you likely pay rent on the cylinder(s) you keep on hand. While it's standard practice within the industry, many people who are new to renting helium are unaware of why this rent is collected. In short, there is a distinction between the contents of the cylinder and the cylinder itself.

Manufacturers produce substances, but have to purchase cylinders to contain these substances. When full helium cylinders are purchased, one must pay the cost of the helium as well as the cost of the cylinder. This enables the manufacturer to recuperate the cost of the steel (or perhaps aluminum) cylinder.

For manufacturer distributors, the up-front cost of the cylinder is waived in lieu of a cylinder rental fee. In other words, the manufacturer still owns the cylinder, but is renting the cylinder to the distributor and only actually selling the helium to the distributor. This is why, in cases of long-term helium rentals, rent is also charged to the distributor's cu…

The Miniloon: Re-Visited

As recently noted in another post, 'balloons on a stick' can be great substitutes in many situations. And while most people are familiar with the balloons, not many people know how to actually use them. It's easy to assume that they are inflated with helium, but some may be surprised to know that they are aren't intended for use with helium at all! In fact, they're quite different in a few aspects.

Inflate So how does one inflate these small balloons? Well, quite simply, with air. The means by which this is done, however, is a matter of preference. You can use one of a myriad of air inflator options, from a simple and economical hand pump to a heavy duty electric inflator. Once you determine how frequently you intend to do this and locate an suitable inflator, you'll notice that the air doesn't stay inside the balloon by itself like it does with helium foil balloons. Because they are not self-sealing, you'll also need a heat sealer.
Seal A heat sealer i…

Helium Cylinder Refills

At Helium Xpress, we can and do refill helium cylinders. However, there are certain criteria that must be met for us to legally and safely do so.

Please note if you purchased a Balloon Time kit from a store such as Party City or Walmart, these tanks are disposable and cannot be refilled. If you have an industrial cylinder, please continue to determine your refill eligibility.

Who Owns the Cylinder? This may sound like a trick question, but it's not. The answer to this question provides us with valid and important information regarding whether or not we can refill your cylinder. You might believe you are the owner of the cylinder because it's been on your property for as a long as you can remember, it has a self-made tag with your business name on it or because you personally paid for the cylinder. However, in some cases, it's still not your cylinder. This is why it's very important to purchase helium cylinders from a trusted source. Let us explain.

Business owners typi…