There are few enemies to the Bouncehouse but one of the worst is Silly String. That colorful party favor has wrecked more bouncers, cars, and concrete than we can remember. You may be asking what is so dangerous about Silly String? How can this little aerosol can of fun cause so much destruction and devastation? Grab a loved one and sit back while we tell you of a true tale of horror. The story of Silly String.
Silly String was invented in 1971 by a couple of scientists (Leonard Fish & Robert Cox) looking to create a spray that will instantly create a cast for broken bones and sprained ankles. After testing a series of nozzles for the string can; the scientists discovered that one nozzle would shoot the string over 30 feet across the laboratory! Cox then suggested that they lessen the stickiness and add multiple colors and start selling it as a toy. They then took their idea to Wham-O in California and Silly String was born!
You might be asking. Why is silly string so vehemently hated by Bouncer rental companies. The answer lies in the chemical makeup of Silly String itself. It is a polymer-based, 11% polyisobutyl-methylcrylate and 0.5 to 4% sorbitan trioleate dissolved in a solvent that evaporates and acts as a foaming agent. It is the methylcrylate that is the culprit. This chemical reacts when it touches vinyl which is what most commercial bouncers are made of. The result of the chemical reaction is a scorched pattern left into the vinyl after the silly string is removed. The reaction literally eats away the bouncer right before your eyes! This type of reaction is not restricted to bouncers. It can also occur on car seats, car paint, concrete and a whole host of other vulnerable materials.
The solution is simple. Keep the silly string away from Bouncers, Cars, Concrete or anything else you would like to keep looking nice. Some bouncer companies may flat out ask you if you intend to have silly string at your event and they will steer away from any events in which silly string is used. Silly String can be a fun and unique party favor but it does not come without risk. Risk to the property in the area the string is being used and the wildlife that may potentially ingest the leftovers. If you are unlucky enough to have silly string get on something you hold dear; then spray a little WD-40 on a rag and gently wipe off the string. You can also use Goo Gone or Goof Off but those cleaners come with their own individual risks.