Yes, the substance is a low temperature wax and other chemical (some say brake cleaner for home-made). What type of lava lamp is it and how long do you leave the lamp on before shutting it off. do you have a picture?
The container says "The original LAVA brand Motion Lamp". Sorry, I don't have a way to give you a picture. It separates into some small pieces, which come from a larger, kinda gross-looking bumpy column of the stuff. I have the feeling it may have been left on too long, but I'm not sure. The liquid is perfectly clear.
At the begining of all lava lamps it seperates about half an hour of turning it on and then falls to the bottom to be reheated and then it starts to bubble. some make colums at first and some push up bunches of stuff making an intestine like mush at the top. after it has been on for about 45 mins. to an hour it should start bubbleling like it should. If it just seperates into mush or colums and just stays like that over a long period, then there is a problem.
The lamp has to heat the liquid inside to melt the wax to start bubbleing. It could be, that it hasn't been on long enough. try about two hours and if it doesn't start bubbleing then I would definately try to return it. I know with the first go around it takes a bit to get going and then the more you use it, the less time it takes to get going. that is just with my lamps.
I worked okay for the first few nights she used it. So I don't know. I bought it at Trget back in Spetember, so they won't take it back, and there are none left on the shelf now anyway. I paid way too much (20 bucks) fo throw it out already, so I hope Lava brand will take it back.
Or maybe I'll find a solution to the problem without having to take it apart. I'm not much for tinkering.
I bought one from target, was a 20 oz. and it tend to over heat (makes lots of bubbles and then fell to the bottom and stayed there) transfered it to my non working mt.dew and seems to be working better. In any case, there has been problems with the ones made in China and I hope lava world fixes the problem soon.