Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi all! Did you notice that there is a lot of information at different sites about homemade lava lamps, but none about homemade glitter lamps? I think that glitter lamps use much simpler chemistry than lava lamps, which is much easier to reproduce at home. But what chemistry exactly do they use? Maybe just water and glitter? Or some kind of oil and glitter? Can anyone tell me? Thanks in advance.

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Thanks, i'll try that.
Ok, i'll tell you about the results as soon as i'll try. Btw, will adding some salt to the sugar solution work as an antiseptic? I do not know chemistry well, since i am a hobbyist in the area of electronics.
Did you ever manage to get a good slow flowing glitter formula? I have an empty astro baby bottle and would love to try :)

I, too, have been wanting to try slow glitter. The problem is, I can't find pure propylene glycol; "fog machine juice" is diluted with water. The Florence Art and MasterCrafters slow glitters used aluminum leaf-- like gold leaf, of microscopic thickness (actual shreds or filings of aluminum are much too thick and heavy!) The original Lava Corp. Glitterlites used, in some cases, leaf, in others, aluminum dust.

try your farm supply stores , it is used for digestive problems in cattle .

Just found 99+% MPG propylene glycol (pharmaceutical grade) on eBay (uk) £5.95 for 500ml free postage.
It lists use in lava lamps amongst its uses.
I wondered if it might be worth a go with the food glitters- there are two types, edible which will most likely be too fine or dissolve but the non toxic type which there was a big hoo ha about in the UK are in fact fine plastic, now marketed for decoration only).
The glitter may be too fine but it could be worth a go?

Hi there. I have a Mystique 750 glitter lamp that I bought in the late 1970's and its fluid level is low, so I was interested in finding a way to fill it back up. I had heard there are heavy solvents inside the lamp that are hard to replace; I wanted to find out exactly what they are or what they could be replaced with.

The first thing I did was open it up and cautiously sniff the fluid inside. It is definitely some kind of solvent. The two solvents I hear most frequently are tetrachloroethylene (PERC) and tri-chloro-tri-fluoroethane (CFC-113). I took a sample of the fluid and measured its density on an analytical balance. It weighs out at 1.413 grams/cc. I couldn't get hold of CFC-113, but I was able to get some tetrachloroethelene or PERC. It weighs out at about 1.61 grams/cc. The density of Mylar (the "glitter" in the lamp) is around 1.39 grams/cc, so that's about the density we're trying to achieve. It's clear by scent that the original liquid is NOT PERC. However, PERC is miscible in alcohol. 91% Isopropanol has a density around .8112 g/cc, so the right mix to get the right density would be roughly 75.35% PERC and 24.6% 91% Isopropanol.

I put this mix together and noticed that when thoroughly mixed, it tends to cloud. Not good. I let it sit overnight and noticed that a thin film of some contaminant settles on the top of the flask, and the balance of the liquid is perfectly clear. Yay.

My next two steps are to see if I can skim off the layer of contaminant and then try this mix with some of the glitter from the original lamp and see how it behaves.If that works out OK, then I'll try mixing up a small quantity of the original fluid with my "replacement" and see how that goes. If that works out OK, then I will refill my lamp with this mix and seal it.

Stay tuned...

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