Messy Oddments

Gunge Balloons
Gunge Filled Balloons

This page will cover things that don't neatly fit into the other messy categories.

Balloon Filling

Baloon Filling Rig

Complete Balloon Filling Rig

Some of the activities I have run have called for gunge filled balloons to be used as part of the game (see the messy games page for more details). Whilst at first thought this would seem to be easy, filling the baloons proves to be a challange.
Nozzle  Footvalve
Nozzle & Footvalve

The first method I used to fill balloons was to use a brewing fermentation bucket (25 litre bucket) with a tap attached. Whilst this just about worked, it needed massage of the baloons and was very slow. There was simply not enough pressure to get sufficient flow.

For another event that was going to require a lot of balloons I therefore created mark 1 of the above setup. The system is based around a hozelock garden pressure sprayer. If building your own system, I would recommend using a new sprayer, not one that has been used with any chemicals. I have seen these for as little as 8. The nozzle the unit was supplied with was removed and replaced with a 1/4 turn ball valve and a small nozzle on the end of the hose. The tank is filled with gunge, pressurised and the balloon then filled- easier said than done!

Once you have slippery hands, it is quite a challenge to get the balloon off and tied without letting it go. I have therefore rebuilt the system as above. 

All the connections are made with PCL style airline fittings to make the system easy to dismantle. The foot valve is in fact a pneumatic hand valve, removed from an old piece of industrial equipment. It is mounted on a piece of scrap polyethylene sheet and has rubber feet fitted. The output of the valve is fed up to a nozzle mounted onto a scrap piece of polypropylene which is in turn mounted onto a bracket formerly used to mount a beerpump to a bar. The nozzle was made by turning up a piece of delrin on the lathe, with a large hole bored through and a pipe fitting connected into a tapped hole on the other end.

Mixing & storage

The recipes I quote on this site generally use mass for dry ingredients as this will give more accurate and repeatable results than weighing powders by volume. If making large quantities, I will generally pre-weigh ingredients prior to the mixing so that I am not having to handle the powders with wet hands or containers, and so the mixing can be carried out quickly, which reduces the chance of lumps.

Also when mixing large volumes, it is worth bearing in mind that thickening the water slows convection significantly and so water used hot will take significantly longer to cool than normal. I would therefore recommend making up the goo the day before you intend to use it. For mixing, transport and storage I tend to use open top plastic kegs (ex mango chutney drums) of up-to around 50-60 litre capacity. These can be handled by two people and will easily fit into a car or van.

If you are anything like me, gunge gets everywhere when mixing and cleaning, so I would recommend only handling it in areas where cleanup is simple (kitchen/ bathroom or outside), and obviously where hot water and cleaning materials are readily available.

The gunge generally washes off easily, but will be easiest if it hasn’t been left to dry out. A small amount of detergent (washing up liquid or bubble bath) aids the washdown.

washdown kit
Washdown Kit

For games and challanges, please see the other pages elsewhere on the site.

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(c) M.Pantrey 2012