Believe it or not, a lot of people are under the impression latex balloons are some sort of plastic. They’re not. Latex balloons are made from natural latex rubber, harvested from the sap of rubber trees.
The process of making a latex balloon goes something like this:
1. Harvesting and preparing the latex: Rubber trees are tapped for their latex sap and the sap is collected in containers. The latex sap is then treated with coagulating agents, such as formic acid, to solidify it.
2. Mixing and molding: The solidified latex is then mixed with pigments and accelerators, to give it color and improve its properties. The mixture is then poured into a balloon-shaped mold.
3. Heating and cooling: The mold is then heated to a high temperature, which causes the latex to vulcanize and harden. Once it has cools, the mold is opened and the balloon is removed.
4. Washing and drying: The balloon is washed to remove any residual chemicals or impurities, then it’s hung to dry.
5. Quality control: The final step before heading off to be packaged inspecting for defects such as holes, tears, or weak spots.
6. Packaging: All of the balloons that pass inspection are then packaged and sent out for distribution.
So while there are some synthetic materials used, the primary ingredient in the balloon is the natural latex pulled from rubber trees.