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If I fill an 11 inch latex balloon to only around 5 to 6 inches of air will it deflate more quickly than if it was filled to full capacity?
Yes, if you fill an 11 inch balloon to just 5 or 6 inches, it will deflate faster than a fully inflated balloon.
In general, smaller balloons deflate more quickly than larger ones. That's because the ratio of the volume of air to the balloon's surface is lower in a 5 inch balloon compared to an 11 inch, for example.
In other words, a smaller number of air molecules in the balloon have a larger area where they can escape.
I don't think it makes any difference whether you use a 5 or 6 inch balloon and inflate it fully or underinflate an 11 inch balloon.
Here are some tips how you can make small air-filled latex balloons last longer (these tips apply to larger ones, too):
Choose high quality balloons from brands like Qualatex, Tuftex, Sempertex or Premiere.
Keep the balloons away from direct sunlight, air movements and temperature changes. When used indoors in a stable environment, an air filled balloon column or garland can last for weeks (see the video below).
Spray the balloons with a silicon compound like Balloon Shine. The spray acts as a sealant and keeps the air longer in the balloon. Some people even use hairspray to the same effect.
Bubbly Balloon Co tested how long one of her organic balloon garlands lasted. Her results are quite amazing! You'll see how the garland looked after 1 week, 2 weeks, 7 weeks and even up to 10.5 weeks.
In her video she shares tips about how to touch up the garland and what's important when you want to create long lasting air-filled balloon decorations.