Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi all :
Thank you every one for all the Ideas and youre experiences after many readings and as many trials I have perfected my liquid and goo and I would like to share with you my tips and recipie.
While I dont agree with some directions on some of the sites I am not saying they are wrong they just didnt work for me I will start with the Safety issue. On one site they tell you to mix your melted wax and PERK in a closed container and shake it up DO NOT DO THIS The The perk will quickly expand and could EASILY blow the lid off and you will have wax and perk everywhere PERK is QUICKLY absorbed through the skin and is very bad for you!!! WHEN working with your PERK do it outside or in A VERY WELL VENTILATED AREA.
To get your PERK out of the spray can Get a plastic water bottle with a cap with a flip top and a tiny openining that you can "SQUIRT" water out of. When you buy your can of BRAKE CLEANER make sure it comes with a long skinny hard straw that you push onto the spray button Take your can of PERK OUTSIDE with your water bottle with lid Put the hard straw onto the push button spray tip on the can of perk, put the straw into the little hole in the water bottle hold the can of PERK straight up and down and press the button to spray ALL the PERK into the water bottle. Dispose of can and seal water bottle containing perk well. Next make a "Saturated Solution" all that means is dislove as much epsom salts as you can in HOT WATER make up at least 2 Litres of this soloution its cheap, if you have a gallon container make a gallon get it as strong a solution as possible if there is a little left undisolved in the bottom thats okay it means it has disolved all it can. Next is to make the GOO for this you need Paraffin Wax, Mineral Oil, and Perk. The mineral oil is very important. It does 2 things it gives the Paraffin wax a smoother flow and it lowers the melting point of the wax. To make the wax you need equal amonts of each. Perk, WAX, Mineral Oil. for example 1 cup of each. melt the1 cup of wax in a container large enough to hold 3 cups of GOO add the 1 cup of mineral oil it will cool the wax and thicken it so rewarm to a liquid but dont get it very hot just enough to completly remelt you dont want this any hotter than necessary when you add the PERK stir well, then gently add the 1 cup of perk stir gently but well this is your goo. When not working with it and when cooled store in a sealed labeled container with a poison sign on it . Next, to check your goo we need to check it for floating and sinking although with this recipie it always worked for me. I dont see any sense in making antifreeze and water to check your goo in as it will not be in either of these soloutions I check it in the fluids it is going to be in. Pure water in 1 container and your super saturated solution in another, Your GOO will SINK in PURE WATER and FLOAT in super saturated epsom salt water solution. Next you need a spotlessly clean globe a funnel and a FAT drinking straw tape the straw to the bottom of the funnel you may have to slit the starw a little to fit over funnel tip , cut the straw to length so that when the funnel rests on the top of the globe the straw ALMOST touches the bottom now with THE SPRING IN THE GLOBE and the funnel and globe positioned, slowly pour the goo into the globe. TOO MUCH GOO IS BAD TO MUCH GOO WILL RESULT IN A COLUM OF GOO FROM TOP TO BOTTOM RISING AND FALLING WITHIN ITSELF do not let it splash up the sides, when removing the funnel and straw do net let it hit the sides of the globe. let the wax solidify before HALF FILLING THE GLOBE WITH PURE WATER. Tuning the liquid TO THE WAX'S specific gravity is next and the most important. In this next step nothing good happens QUICKLY, patience and observation will pay dividends. So to start. With your globe with goo and spring in it HALF FULL OF PURE WATER let it warm up on its stand till the goo is just a puddle of COMPLETLY MELTED WAX on the bottom. So now you get your epsom salt saturated soloution, your PURE WATER container and a small bottle of glycerin start by putting 1 ounce of glycerin in the globe. I use a turkey baster for these next steps I gently squirt about 1 ounce of the supersaturated epsom salt soloution into the globe the goo will move around but still stay on the bottom add 1 more ounce of the epsom lquid the goo should be still on the bottom allow it to rewarm for a few minutes. The idea is to add just enough epsom liquid to get the goo to start to dome then add an ounce of THE PURE WATER this will make the goo settle down again you have to keep this balance untill you have a nearly full globe that the goo hasnt EVER REACHED THE TOP OF THE LIQUID YET. Let the lamp rewarm. when you get your goo to hover in the middle or top third of the globe you are ready to add the surfactant this is also important 1DROP OF DISHWASHING LIQUID IN 1 CUP OF WATER, If your globe is full by now. remove 1 ounce of liquid and add 1 ounce of the dish soap diluted soloution. repeat this step till the goo starts to narrow at the bottom into a teardrop shape you are getting close. YOU DONT WANT YOUR GO TO REACH THE TOP OF THE LIQUID TOO SOON. Because if there is goo floating at the top you cant take liquid out with youre turkey baster and also because in normal operation it will get 2 hot too soon so all of youre fine adjustments should be done after the lamp has been running for at least 2 hours. ALL GOO FLOATING TO THE TOP PROBLEMS MEAN THE WATER IS TOO HEAVY REMOVE SOLUTION IN GLOBE AND REPLACE WITH PURE WATER. ALSO for fine tuning, your lamp has to be in an under pressure state what I Mean by that is THAT WHEN THE GLOBE IS SEALED AND WARM THERE IS A SMALL air pressure inside which acts to compress the goo changing its density so the lamp operates differantly with the same liquid and goo under pressure than it does in an unsealed globe. Also the globe HAS to be SEALED or the PERK will entually evaporate out of the goo and the lamp will cease to function it will also poison you as it is relaesed into the air this fine tuning part really takes time but when done right allows your lamp to run longer without all the goo going to the top like when overheated at this point your adjustments should only be taking out the liquid and replacing with PURE WATER and maybe a little more soap soloution AS LITTLE SOAP SOLOUTION AS POSSIBLE SHOULD BE USED NEVER ADD UNDILUTED SOAP TO THE GLOBE
Materials used and what they do
WATER I use Reverse Osmosis purified water cheap $1.50 gallon
Paraffin wax used for goo but melting point too high
Mineral OIL used to lower melting point of parrafin wax it is actually a more refined parrafin wax and as such melds well with the parrafin wax
PERK used to make wax HEAVIER THAN WATER so it sinks
EPSOM SALTS used to make water heavier to balance the goo so it floats
Glycerin heavier than water but I use it to MAYBE ACT AS A SURFACTANT I have no basis for this except that it is really slippery and is used in bubble blowing to allow bigger bubbles .
I use a tall wide mouthed thermos {The Kind For Soup} to make hot or cold water baths to speed up the warming and cooling stages of wax when in the globe. cooling is done in the sink with the globe in the thermos and the cold water tap running into the thermos surrounding the globe in running cold water the same for hot or you could for melting wax to get it out of the globe is put the globe with the wax inside into a pot of pre heated water with a water level slightly higher than the level of wax in the globe till all the wax is liquified

Last words of warning as stated in other posts THE SOAP WILL RUIN YOUR GOO it is SUPER IMPORTANT you use as little as possible thats why the 1 drop in 1 cup water
Also I have used colored printer ink to tint my liquid when added when the lamp is in motion it provides a 1 time very cool visual display as it mixes with the solution do it 1 drop at a time and you get a few visual experiences

Well thats my tips. once again I would like to thank all that went before me and posted their experiences that led me along the way.In summation I would say adding
Mineral Oil to Goo and testing under warm pressure and patience patience patience
are the most important things in my post
cpu2hot

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Excellent and thorough explanation. Thanks very much. Can you tell us where you get pure glycerin? And does anyone else know what effect it has on the brew?
I have no idea what glycerin will do, but you can get glycerin at any store that sells cake decorating supplies. Michaels or Hobby lobby, etc.

http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E30D7C6-475A-BAC0-...
I get glycerin at the pharmacy it is not a restricted substance it is actually edible very sweet taste
I have also tried another surfactant called Brij35 It worked quite well but it did cloud after about 1 week of use the scientist who recomended this to me said the clouding is caused by the temperature getting to hot resulting in the surfactant breaking down the wax like soap breaks down grease in warm water better than in cold I havent tried the sodium laurel sulfate yet all my globes are full so I need to empty a few for more tests I wish you luck

PS I have another surfactant I havent tried yet it is call Witconate but it is yellow and may tint the liquid
A good Compounding Pharmacy can order chemicals for you
Wow, thanks for the quick replies and info. I'm cooking up my first batch of goo as I write this. I think I like futzing with these things even more than I like watching them.

My experimenting with surfactants has lead me to use clear liquid hand soap (diluted) rather than dish washing detergent, until I find something better. At least in my attempts, it has been less harsh to the wax.

Thanks again.
Thank you, cpu2hot!

I have been wanting to make another home made lamp but all the recipes I had tried before failed for me and I know it is because I didn't mix things right. I can't make goo. I can tweak the liquid just great, but I can't make goo. Now, with your recipe, it should be no problem now.

My only question is, where can I find paraffin wax?? I don't know where to look for it.

Thanks again!

W_J
W_J,

I would assume you can find it in most hobby shops, but if you want to order on-line, there are zillions of places. Paraffin wax is general candle wax. I've used Lone Star with very good service.

http://www.lonestarcandlesupply.com/wax.html
http://www.cajuncandles.com/candlewaxpage.html
http://www.candlewic.com/candle-wax/default.asp
http://shop.candlesandsupplies.com

Wally
I am no expert, but we used "Fuze" bottles ("Fuze" is a beverage) to mix in. They are glass, can handle high temps (we made our lamp out of one, and once I got it so hot I couldn't hold it) and have an AWESOME metal lid that screws on really tight. Brakleen actually says on the bottle not to use with plastic so we didn't use plastic anything. We found our paraffin @ hobby lobby and @ michaels. They also have little colored wax blocks @ michaels. That is what we used to color our wax with without changing the wax texture like a liquid dye would. Hope that helps some, too.
Take care,
Sondra
P.S. He is not kidding about patience, but it is all worth it!!
Glycerin is very heavy and water soluble hence it can be used to make your water "Heavier" allowing you to "Tune" your liquid just as you would with epsom salt solution, Epsom salts is much cheaper I have made 2 lamps with glycerin insead of salt and it works as well however I "think" it makes a "need to use more surfactant " situation.
Hey cpu2hot..

How long have you had your perc lamps running after you get them right? Has the perc separated from the wax? Have you noticed any other side effects over time?
Hello Cpu2hot.
I've been reading your post on making our own Lava lamps..
TY so much for it, its helped me alot,
I have a question if you don't mind taking a fews moments to answer it..
I got the Goo to flow how I like it.. but my problem is the brackish water..
the Epsom salt made the water too cloudy. I didn't have to use the diluted dishSoap liquid , thats why I think is the salty water that is making the lamp cloudy..Have you had this problem? how have you solved it?would the water clear up in a few days?
ThankYou for taking the time to read this..
Âvalanche
Why the hell didn't you put a list of steps. I would read this but it is too confusing.
Everybody else loves it Patience is very important it sounds like you have very little of it The reason it is not step by step is there are explanations and instructions and cautions So have some patience read all the post and then follow the directions and the confusion will dissapear Good Luck

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