Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

About a month ago I went to Spencer's and purchased a ChinaRed/Clear with the intent of experimenting on it for leaning purposes. Out ofthe box it was cloudy and after running it a few day the lava stopped flowingand would ball up at the bottom of the globe as soon as it warmed up. So Ipopped the cap and drained all the liquid. I added about two tablespoons ofPERC to the lava. I then created a clear liquid with a solution of distilledwater, FOG machine liquid. I had to had a good amount of salt water solution.Added very little soap solution because it really is not needed with the fogmachine liquid. Anyway, here are the results. I have been running her every dayfor eight hours for the past month and she still looks good.



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Nice!!  Well Done!!
You say it still looks good...I say it looks great. Perfect flawless job on the repair A+.

My intent of posting the pictures was to show that current Lava World lamps can be fixed fairly easily with just a bit of tweaking. So for $19.95 and some cheap liquids I ended up with a decent lamp. The lava in this globe was more transparent originally but after I added the PERC it flowed better and became more opaque. Since doing this lamp I have been experimenting with the smaller 14.5” lamps. I like the smaller lamps for experimenting because it takes less of everything, then when you get it right you can replicate it for a larger globe. I tweaked two small lamps successfully and then created one lamp’s contents from scratch. There was a lot of trial and error but they came out very good.

One tool that I have found very useful is a hydrometer to test the specific gravity of the lamp’s liquid. Knowing the original specific gravity allows you to create a replacement fluid at a starting target point closer to the original so less adjustment is needed to balance. Of course the more PERC you add to the lava the heavier you will need to make your liquid to compensate. The specific gravity of the liquidin the new Lava World lamps I’ve bought vary greatly which tells me that the lava’s specific gravity also varies from lamp to lamp.

>> I added about two tablespoons of PERC to the lava.

>> then created a clear liquid with a solution of distilledwater, FOG machine liquid. I had to had a good amount of salt water solution.Added very little soap solution because it really is not needed with the fogmachine liquid


What were the proportions or measurements of the distilled water, FOG machine liquid, salt and soap?

>> What were the proportions or measurements of the distilled water, FOG machine liquid, salt and soap?


WeeboTech, I believe where most people go wrong is thinking that there is a specific formula ratio to liquid that once found can be duplicated from lamp to lamp with the same results. If I were to post the exact proportion I used and someone duplicated it they would get different results. Why, because lamps very from batch to batch. When replacing the liquid of a lamp the starting point is the specific gravity (SG)  of the lamps old liquid. You try to mix the water and FOG to a mixture that closely matches the old liquid's SG. The SG of fog liquid is 1.044. The SG of DI water is 1.0. So for example if the SG of the old liquid were 1.022 then you could use a 1/2 water and 1/2 FOG solution to get a SG of 1.022 in the new liquid. Those numbers are just for explanation as I have found that the SG of most original liquids is much heavier, so you are forced to use a salt solution in the new liquid. Lately, if the old liquid is too heavy, instead of making the new liquid heavier with salt I have been adding a little bit of wax to the Lava to lighten it instead. That way I can use less salt. Too much salt will make liquid look odd and can cause fogging with soap. With FOG I only use about three drops of soap in a 32oz bottle. Always add the soap solution to a cool lamp. Always have the salt solution at room temp before adding to a hot lamp. I only add PERC if there is something wrong with the lava but if the lava looks good don't touch it.


With this approach you have to have a heavy liquid hydrometer and a beaker. The SG range of the hydrometer you need to mess with Lava Lamps is 1.000 to 1.070. Available on Amazon.com, of course. :-)

it works perfekt!!! Congratulation

Here are two more China lamps I created using the distilled water and fog machine liquid mix. Unlike the red lamp where I used the existing lava, with these I made the lave from scratch. One is a 52oz dark blue and the other is a 14oz orange. The lava is made of 85% container wax, 15% bees wax, Magma Tower dye and just enough Perc to sink the lava. Here are three pics, two of the 52oz and one of the 14oz.

you did just didnt notice, love the clear orange

Not around as much as i used to be....the work you have done here is INCREDIBLE. I get a little nervous about the salt tho....and have you considered adding food coloring to the liquid for more color combos?



Looks fantastic - good work.
I have the same issue with one of my LL lamps - it just sits at a blob at the bottom for ever, I will probley try your formula on it.

I understand most of the ingredients except I don't know what 'perc' is and what the soap solution is exactly also what type of fog machine fluid are you using - I have got a lode of Jem medium density fluid, what type were you using?.


If the lava just balls up and doesn't move and it is not because the lamp has over heated then it is because the specific gravity / density of the lava and liquid are equal. I have found this to be the case with most of the new China lamps I have purchased. When they heat up the lava just balls up and floats in the middle of the lamp. The red lamp above is an example. I changed the liquid and added PERC to the lava and it is now flowing well.

Do a search on PERC and you will get lots of info here on this site. Also see the retro formula.

I buy my fog machine liquid from Party City for about $16 per gallon. They are a big chain down here in South FL. Any fog machine liquid should do. The main ingredients that give it the extra weight are Glycois and Glycerin. The rest is water.
Cheers, well done sir.

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