Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

First Lamp Rehab

I am new to all of this; I began collecting less than two months ago.  I now have 7 brand new lamps and 4 others I have acquired through Craigslist and two lamps I had from years ago.

Eventually I will try a goo kit for one of the empty globes that I have.

First, I thought I would play around with a globe I recently got off Craigslist.  It was blue liquid with white wax; it was so cloudy you could barely see the wax.  The wax looked liked it flowed ok, I was home today because the wind chill was -30 and there wasn’t much work going on, so I thought I would try to tinker around with this globe.

I have been reading through this forum on and off for the last week, but I really know next to nothing about rehabbing old globes.

First, I strained the liquid through a coffee filter, thinking it may clear it up enough to use.  It made the globe about 10% clearer.  Not good enough.  

I cooled the globe and poured out the cloudy blue liquid.  I heated the wax in the otherwise empty globe and it was disgusting.  It looked like a sewer of brown human waste.  My guess is the globe was pretty old and the wax had absorbed a lot of dirt and impurities.  It was really gross.  I almost threw it out.  

I went to the craft store and bought a $4 bottle of purple wax coloring.  It was supposed to be enough to color 4 pounds of wax.  I colored the wax in the globe and let it cool in an otherwise empty globe.

The color was not what I wanted, not pronounced enough.  

I then refilled the globe with tap water (I didn’t have distilled and the wind chill was -30 so I wasn't going out again) and I saturated a glass of epsom salt water.   Once the globe had ran for several hours and I knew it was at it’s hottest. I began to add the epsom salt water, about half a teaspoon at a time.

About doing this every 5 minutes or so for several hours, the wax began to heave and I knew I getting close to the density where it would float.  Once a tower started moving upward, I began adding teeny tiny drops of Dawn dish detergent.  The small bottle allowed me to put out drops about the size of a grain of salt.  After about 10-15 of these small drops over another hour, the lava broke apart and started flowing nicely!  I was amazed I could do this with only epsom salt and Dawn.

Once it were flowing fast and furious, I added more color and used nearly all the wax coloring.  That lava goo sucked up that coloring like it was life’s nourishment!  It is not very dark, almost black, which is what I wanted.  I am very happy with my first foray into lava lamp rehab!  

I want to try a goo kit, but am concerned about the quality.

I included some pics of the process.  

lavarehab1:  The pic from Craigslist - It didn’t look cloudy, but when it was hot, it was really cloudy. 

lavarehab4:  You can see the 2nd batch of coloring coursing through the wax.  It took more than an hour to fully mix.  I was still adding Dawn trying to get the goo to break apart.  

lavarehab6:  Finally, a little drop of this, a little drop of that, a magic spell or two, and finally, PERFECT FLOW!  I never knew you could do this with old wax, tap water, epsom salt, and Dawn.  Pretty cool.  I’ll be doing this again, for sure.  It was a lot of fun.  I felt like a mad scientist.  lol  I have another cloudy globe.  I will be trying it again with a different wax color and distilled water.

Cheers!!

Joe

Views: 132

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

"It is NOW very dark" is what I meant to say,

not "It is not very dark."  


 

It looks good!!!  I started collecting recently also and have got an older one from the thrift store and the wax is definitely shot.  This is inspiration for me to maybe start redoing it.

I had a lot of fun redoing mine.  Have fun!!!

Kristen L said:

It looks good!!!  I started collecting recently also and have got an older one from the thrift store and the wax is definitely shot.  This is inspiration for me to maybe start redoing it.

the candle wax dye turned out pretty good.
It's fun to learn and gratifying to be able to fix your own lamps.

If you ever need some colored purple goo to let me know I have several quarts for sale (overrun of redoing a colossus.)

Its deep purple color

Looks good bro, nice work.

Thank you!  I am amazed how clear the water became, considering that I just used tap water for my first try.  I never thought I would get something that would work, using a lamp's old wax, tap water, and epsom salt.  It was a bit cloudy after the dark purple Dawn I used as the serf, but it cleared after  a few cycles. 

I put it on a dimmer and it is perfect!  I like the way it flows better than my store bought ones!!!

Mr MaGoo said:

Looks good bro, nice work.

Attachments:

Hey Joe,

Sounds like you caught the lava bug :-)  You will never look at a lava lamp the same again!

You should order a gallon of glycerin or Polypropylene glycol off of Amazon as it will help you avoid potential problems associated with the salt. The glycerin has a much higher density so you need to be more careful with it, but price per density it is the best value. However, the PG is safer. I also bought some condiment dispenser plastic squeeze bottles that I use / label for my surf, PG, and glycerin. If you go with the glycerin, dilute it 33% Gly/ 66% H20 or it can end up sitting at the bottom of your lamp and messing things up. Note that I use SLES solution from ebay for my surf.

Once you start dying the fluid color you will want to snip a coat hanger around the elbow area of the straight bottom piece. This will create and L shape on each end that you can swirl around in the fluid as you are adding the food color. You want to mix the food color before it settles on the wax or it will settle in the wax as well. This L shaped tool is also good for removing coils and mixing wax that has become separated. I also use the coat hanger when the cold wax has flipped over and I want to get it flipped back in place so the coil is on the bottom of the bottle.

A mistake that I made early on was thinking that I needed to hit native wax with perc, this mistake alone probably killed 10 lamps for me. While some lamps will require some perc, it is usually "drops" and should only be pursued as a last resort IMO. Always cycle a bottle 3 or 4 times to make sure it needs to be opened before opening it. I have had some bottles look like hell the first couple times and then bam, they flow great.

One more note; start getting some fluid containers from thrift stores. I have found many bottles with bad wax but nice clear fluid - the fluid is liquid gold so do not dump it if it is "clean". Having this OEM fluid can make rebuilds much easier / quicker.

Nice job on this lamp and good luck to you!

What he said.

One word about perc, it was only used in globes before the early 90's and so normally shouldn't be needed.  Any Lava brand lamp with a bottle cap instead of a screw cap was not made with perc.

Thank you so much for the advice!

Today I am trying to make my own goo, using wax, perc, glycerin, and petroleum jelly.  

Not expecting it to work, but I have the day off and nothing planned, so I thought I would tinker and see if I can concoct my own goo.  I'll post in this thread if it doesn't work and I will start a new thread if it does!!  

Joe

Been watching

Glad to see positive progress first time out.

And,.. thanks for the tip on the lava dye, I've used liquid dyes before with reasonable success.

I found them cheaper on eBay and Amazon but quality can vary..

I've used salts before upon a clients request and it never works out right

He complained its went cloudy which wouldn't have happened with PG

Specific gravity also seems to deteriorate over time

I buy PG at the local farm supply, its used for cattle and is only $20 a gal.

if you ever need some vintage goo, let me know.

I have some left and various colors of  brands of goo sitting around

I would love some vintage goo.  Can you friend request me on FM and we can chat using messenger?



Claude J said:

Been watching

Glad to see positive progress first time out.

And,.. thanks for the tip on the lava dye, I've used liquid dyes before with reasonable success.

I found them cheaper on eBay and Amazon but quality can vary..

I've used salts before upon a clients request and it never works out right

He complained its went cloudy which wouldn't have happened with PG

Specific gravity also seems to deteriorate over time

I buy PG at the local farm supply, its used for cattle and is only $20 a gal.

if you ever need some vintage goo, let me know.

I have some left and various colors of  brands of goo sitting around

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Support Oozing Goo

By using the eBay button above, you support OG if you purchase anything. Thanks for thinking of us. Mark Goo

© 2019   Created by Mark Goo.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service