Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi guys,

I have two 32 oz lava lamps that have been running 8-12 hours a day for over 20 years. They still flow great, but their age is starting to show: they need a bit more water, and the wax is slowly losing it's color year by year.

I would like to re-color the wax, without buying a goo-kit (the $47 international shipping cost on a $29 kit is ridiculous) (I'm in Canada).

Can anyone tell me about this process of coloring the wax? How do you do it? How do you make the color mix with the wax, instead of the water? I assume it's a special kind of dye that only mixes with wax? Is there anywhere I can just buy that dye for cheap?

Any info/tips would be welcomed... 

Thanks!

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Candle wax dye has been recommended.  Voxul has used this company's liquid dye with good results.  http://www.peakcandle.com/category/Candle-Dyes/Liquid-Candle-Dyes.aspx

You may find a similar company in Canada to avoid international shipping rates. 

Thanks Keith, how do you add the dye to the wax? Is there a post somewhere around here that explains how it's done?

Check VOXul's stuff, http://oozinggoo.ning.com/profile/NickM278

But basically just adding to the wax as it is running is what I would do, especially if I used a liquid dye.  I would put a drop in the wax that collects at the top and let it mix, then add more if needed.

Michael said:

Thanks Keith, how do you add the dye to the wax? Is there a post somewhere around here that explains how it's done?

Thanks Keith, VOXul has about 58 pages of posts, I scanned through quickly but didn't see any guides about dye, anyone else got a link?  

Actually it sounds like I don't even need one, just put a few drops into the wax while it's running? is it really that simple? Anything else I need to know?

Also: they flow perfectly right now, but while I have them open I want to top-off the water levels and add some more distilled water (approx 5-10% more) - will that mean I need to adjust the chemistry to make it flow properly again; will I need 'surfactant' or whatever it's called?

You can buy candle wax dye at any well-stocked craft/hobby store. They often come in cakes that break into smaller portions. You can make small slivers of this dye and when a blob of hot wax makes it to the top of your lamp you can add small pieces gradually. Give it time to disperse. Absolutely make sure you make the flakes as thin as possible just to ensure that is incorporates into the existing wax well. I used this dye with my most recent gookit and was really really happy with the intensity of color.

What color are you looking for?  I have some left-over dye from my MagmaTower goo kits I'd be willing to sell...

By the time you get done playing with it you may ruin it and realize you should have just bit the bullet and bought a goo kit in the first place. That said, I have plenty of extra color from goo kits and you can have some of whatever color you ask for as I am pretty sure I have some of each color they carry and each lamp really does not use that much.

If you go the candle wax route, please post some before and after pics in the same light so we can see how it turns out.

Jeff

Hi all, an update:

I got candle wax dye from a Canadian retailer, it was $3.99 for a small bottle. I got one red and one blue for my two lava lamps that are 20-25 years old. It worked perfectly! Below are some pictures.

Here's me adding to the blue lamp, you can see the wax is extremely faded, almost white:

me cleaning the goop out of the top with a q-tip:

.....ooops:

good thing I had needle nose pliers....

polishing the outside:

I put a bit too much blue dye, it is very dark, but still looks good... the red looks a bit pink, but I like it too:

Another update:

So the dye worked perfectly, but I also topped off the globes with distilled water, quite a bit had evaporated over the past 25 years (maybe an inch worth).

Unfortunately, as I feared, adding a bit of water changed the chemistry of these globes and they don't flow properly now. The red one is okay and still works (but not as good) but the blue one just sits as a glob on the bottom.

Can anyone remind me what I need to adjust the chemisty again? surfactant? dish soap? I tried a couple drops of dish soap, it definitely had a reaction and the goo started moving immediately, but then stopped again a minute later.

If anyone has any links or advice on tweaking the chemistry it would be appreciated.

Can you buy surfactant (sp?) on the web? 

Cool...Thanks for sharing this.

Adding more surf (i.e. soap) wouldn't be a good idea adding Epson salts or propain glycerol would work to agust the density of the water and get the lamp flowing.

check out this thread for a rough overview http://oozinggoo.ning.com/forum/topics/wax-not-flowing-using-propyl...

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