Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Diminishing Mathmos Quality, Aristocrat Issues, Purchasing Mathmos in USA

Hello Everyone!
I am new to the ozzinggoo website. I have a few good questions/ discussion topics for you all.

1. Diminishing Mathmos Quality

I purchased a couple of violet/red Mathmos lava lamps from ebay (one for a friend and one for myself). They were new and in the box when they arrived but they are absolutely terrible in terms of quality. I placed both globes onto my aristocrat base and noticed that both of them were absolutely COVERED in air bubbles... I am not talking about one here and one there, when I say covered I mean COVERED. The darn things look like they are covered in dust or if someone sneezed on them. There is a UK Amazon review that also makes note of this problem. When I purchased these lamps I was under the assumption that they were the best money could buy. I guess I was fooled by the advertisement of the "Handmade in Britain" YouTube videos. Has anyone else experienced this poor quality in Mathmos Astro lamps? I spent a lot of money to get these lamps to my house and I feel like throwing them right in the trash! I will post pictures of them so you can see what I mean. The flow is great but they are absolutely covered in air bubbles. I am actually hoping to purchase a clear/turquoise Mathmos astro lamp. I hope that when I get it the quality of the glass is not as terrible as the violet/red ones I just got. Since I brought it up, does anyone here have any idea how I can get my hands on a turquoise one? I got lucky with the violet/red ones being posted on ebay, but I wont be as lucky for a turquoise one. I would have to purchase the base and the bottle separately so can anyone help me with that?

2. Old Aristocrat (Air Bubbles and Rust Specs in Wax)

I was given an old lava lamp a long time ago and I have always used it. The liquid is blue and the wax is yellow. The only thing printed on it is Oct 3, 1997 (on the felt at the bottom of the base). This lamp has been around for a real long time and it has been used a lot. The problems that I have with it are as follows:

There are air/oil bubbles in the wax. Even after letting the thing run for a long time, they are present. I have tried to do the "spinning technique" while it is cooling to pop the bubbles but they just come back. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this issue?

There are small black rust specs within the yellow wax itself. These are not noticeable unless a viewer gets really close to the lamp but I would like to get rid of them if at all possible. I have heard of filtering techniques??? Any ideas???

The level of the liquid is low even when running. Should I just open the top of it up and add some reverse osmosis water to it? The very top of the lamp doesn't have a cover I can just lift up to reveal a bottle cap. The whole black portion seems to be glued onto the globe, is this normal or did someone glue it on/screw it up?

The lamp overheats rapidly. I think this is probably the reasoning behind the air bubbles and rust? I only have a 40 watt bulb in it so I am sort of stumped as to why it is overheating. Is the wax just old and breaking down over time? The liquid is clear so I do not think that is the issue. Should I experiment with a dimmer? That is what I have read on here. Can I just use a lower wattage bulb?

3. Desire to Purchase a Turquoise Astro Bottle and Polished Aluminum Astro Base

Does anyone have any advise in terms of purchasing the turquoise astro bottle and the polished aluminum astro base? Can anyone help me with this? As stated stated above, it wont be as easy to find on ebay so how can I get these items to my house? How do you guys get your Mathmos lamps? Does anyone reading this have a turquoise astro?

I hope I was able to hold your attention for the entire post. I have the pictures of the Mathmos quality issue and my aristocrat air bubble problem attached. I hope to read some replies soon!

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Hello Critter,
Yes it does really look bad! These are genuine Mathmos astro bottles though, the name is on the bottom of the glass.
Why do I have to use a dimmer switch now? It seems silly to me that the properly installed bulb is too hot for the Arostocrat, is it just because it is old?
Can you tell me more about the forward2me website. Do they charge anything? Do you have to pay for their service per month or just per shipment? Have you had any experience with them?
I have heard about Mathmos going down sarcastically in terms of quality. I really hope that my turquoise astro doesn't look as bad. Any thoughts on Mathmos and their current quality control?
There is a small set up fee of a few bucks. Then when they (forward2me) ship it to you, you pay for the international shipping plus a small surcharge. Mathmos will ship it initially to your forward2me.com address for free since it is within the UK. You just pay the costs from the UK to US.

I've gotten a couple of crap bottles from Mathmos as well, and some really awesome ones.  <shrug>

I've used Forward2Me 3 times now, and been very happy.  It's expensive compared to regular shipping, but not terrible.  I've been happy with my service from them.  They charge by the parcel.  It's a lot cheaper to group items together than send separate shipments through them.  you can ship several things to them, and they will package them up into a single parcel, and send it over.

Most if those older lamps do better with a little less heat I n my experience. You just cannot get 30w bulbs any more. To me the Aristocrats get kinda hot because of the small internal area of the base. The early 2 part century bases get hot easily too for the same reason.
I just used forward2me in effort to ship a polished base, cap, and a turquoise astro bottle. I hope to God it all works out well because I just paid for it all.
I also made sure to make a note in the Mathmos order, in the area that is labeled "customer notes"; I asked them to please ensure my Astro globe doesn't have a bunch of air bubbles in it. I hope they can read this, take note of it, and ensure they don't ship me another dud! It was pure disappointment to see all those air bubbles in the Astros I just bought. I will definitly make sure to keep you guys updated in regards to the shipment I just ordered. Thank you for helping me find a forwarding address proxy. I just hope it all goes smooth.
One more note:
I see that Mathmos lamps look completely like the wax when they are lit up in the dark. The liquid is almost invisible. Why is this? The Lava Lite brand lamps don't have this issue. When it's dark the only thing that shows in my violet/red lamp is the red wax. The violet liquid just looks clear. I was thinking about getting a blue/green Mathmos lamp but decided not to because it will only look green in the dark. It won't be as neat looking as my Arostocrat which is unfortunate. Has anyone else noticed this about Mathmls lamps? It is almost as if the color of the liquid doesn't matter at all because all you see in the dark is the wax. I don't see the same issue with Lava Lite lamps do you?
Congrats on your purchase. I think the issue you mention is a function of the wax translucency. Some Lava brand lights do this too though. Some wax will allow more light to transfer through and some won't. The new Heritage Grande has wax that is not very translucent but the yellow in a Grande or Colossus is quite translucent.

Post some pics of your new lamp please.
Oh I will for sure! Good or bad you can rest assured that pictures will be up on this site! It sort of stinks that if I get a bad lamp that I will just be stuck with it though. It's so hard to ship the darn thing here, I can only imagine the nightmare of shipping it back. I'm sure Mathmos won't do anything about it either since I'm using a forwarding address service to get it to my house. Do you think I should send them pictures of the violet/red lamps that I have? Do you think it's worth the effort? They state on their website in the FAQ that air bubbles are normal :-(. I can see a few but not the whole darn thing! Do you think it is worth an email or not? I have heard that Mathmos is pretty lousy in terms of customer service so what do you think? Is it worth a shot?
Is there a way I could could get rid of those black specs on my Aristocrat yellow wax? Also, should I try to open the top of the Aristocrat and put reverse osmosis water in it to raise the fluid level? Any help would be of great benefit to me. How do I get that cap off? The whole top of it seems to be stuck as if it were glued on. Do all old Aristocrats have tops like that or is it supposed to just lift off like a midnight to reveal a bottle cap?
*Edit*
I just twisted the black top off. The whole thing twists off, there is no bottle cap at all. Also, the bottom of the lamp has Nov 14, 1997 printed on it. Is there supposed to be any kind of marking on this thing? I don't even know if it is a lava lite brand lamp. I added a little reverse osmosis water to it in effort to raise the water level. It is now just below the cap by a hair. When it warms up it will raise past the cap level nicely.
Is there any way to get rid of the black specs? How do I do this? Should I get a new coil?

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