Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I bought my first lava lamp. Got home and my wife had already plugged it in and shook it up. She had never seen one before.

Found this site, tried to cycle it. opened it dumped the water. added water and too much soap. Turned it on and I had a total emulsion.

read on a biodiesel forum to use glycerin to break an emulsion, added six ounces of glycerin to my grande and emulsion immediately broke, and wax is now settling out as it cools.

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I shook up my USA-made blue Lava Lamp back a long, long time ago when I was a teenager. Total emulsion. After a couple of hours, I could recognize that once again, bubbles were forming but I could only see them when they pressed against the glass. Time is the only way to uncloud a good lava lamp. I turned it on every morning and back off in the afternoon for a whole month. After two weeks, I could see through the lamp again, but it took nearly the whole month before it got back to its original luster.

Same thing happened as a prank to one of my roommates in high school. It eventually cleared up, but it takes forever.

I think it will eventually clear up whether you leave it on or not, but this takes time - at least that holds true for the older USA lamps. I believe that the newer China Lamps can be just as pretty, but sometimes they are not calibrated perfectly, which can be corrected by using a higher or lower wattage bulb.

You said you "dumped" the water. I hope you kept it. A cold centrifuge spin would probably decloud the lamp water very rapidly, but unfortunately you almost need to work in a research facility to access one of those behemoths. As for the glycerin, a good idea, but once you add something to the solution, you can never take it back out.
It's getting better. I used 2 drops of clear hand soap and about 1/3 drop of clear detergent to give good flow. My water is clear. I haven't added any more glycerin after changing the water three times.

I used epsom salt to adjust the water density.

Only problem now is lots of water bubbles inside of goo.

Any idea on what causes water bubbles or how to get rid of them inside the goo?

I'm thinking of using some blue food coloring in the water. My wax-goo is yellow colored. Think one drop will be enough?

Thanks.
I put a whole millileter of Kroger brand red no40 into my black/clear USA 32ozLava Lamp, and the water only passes red light, giving off this ominous glow. Red no40 is the strongest of the food dyes, and you can add a little and the solution will become solid red. Adding twice or even triple this amount will yield little noticeable change.You almost have to add copious amounts to darken it further.

Unfortunately, the other colors, like green and blue, are not as pure, so a couple of drops will make a pale blue, a few more will be a deep blue, and then with more added , it just goes dark. Green behaves the same way. Yellow, the weakest of the dyes, goes gradually from pale to strong yellow, then to orange, and finally red if you add it in ridiculous amounts.

There are much purer blues out there that won't break down under UV light, but most of those are not safe to ingest.

Place that same volume of water into a container and find out what the right level of color is, then add the same amount to the lava globe.

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