Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Is there anything you can add to get a flow that is more column/snakelike based ? When i have redone a few of my lamps, including the mathmos i've had problems with, im never able to get any column based flow.. Its allways just blobs, and its boring to look at.. One blob up and another down, and thats just it.. I want the columns!

What i've read here is to add surfactant, and that would give the column flow.. I usally first put around 3/4 destilled water in the lamp and let it heat up untill the wax is liquidified.. Then i start to add glycerin to change the density of the water.. When the wax starts flowing i add a few drops of SLES to get some more column based flow.. This DOES change the flow to be more column like, but not NEARLY as much as what you see on a stuck mathmos lamp or lava lite.. I tried experimenting with it, and added a very large amount of SLES to the mathmos lamp i had to repair to see what it did, and yes, it was allmost as column like flow as i would like, but when adding to much SLES the wax will begin to break up into tiny blobs, and sooner or later the globe would be filled with hundreds of those..

Isnt there anything else you can add to get this column flow other than SLES?

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Erin, the lamps where you replaced the liquid what did you replace it with?

John, that also replies to one of my other mathmos lamps.. But this lamp is the only mathmos i have where i replaced the liquid and ever since that was done the flow changed..

Yesterday proved to me, that using epsom salt instead of glycerin, has a HUGE impact on the way the wax behaves. Now its too much column/snake flow for me, which it has never been before with the glycerin solution

The lamp (only one so far) where I replaced the liquid I replaced with distilled. Then, when warm, I started added a highly-concentrated epsom salt (salt/water) mix, a few ml at a time. Then, when the lava finally detached, I added one drop of dish soap. 

Okay do you think there could be a possibilty that it has something to do with the epsom salt? Because this particular mathmos lamp im talking about here i have replaced fluid in around 5 times now.. I have never experienced bubbly wax untill i replaced the liquid with an epsom salt solution .. I've untill now not experienced any bubbles in wax at all with my Glycerin solutions, but now with epsom salt i do get a few bubbles in the wax..

If you have the time and want to do it, then i think it could be quite interesting to try out replacing the liquid with a solution that does not contain epsom salt.. Instead try Propylene glycol, which in my opinion is better than Glycerin.. In my experience Glycerin seems to not only change water density, it also changes the way the wax flow maybe because its so thick.

I didn't have any bubbles in my wax until I added the dish soap and like you, I had refilled my Century about five times. 

Since I have the lamp flowing the way I like right now, I won't be replacing the liquid in that one, but I do have another old 60s Aristocrat to experiment on. 

I just did a goo kit on a 52oz, and I filled it with more goo than it had originally and I found I got snakier shapes.

I just wanted to chime in. In my last kitted lamp, I used the coil from a different 32oz bottle, which also had a kit in it that never bonded with said coil. THIS time, I was sure that there was NO water in the bottom of the bottle when I put the kit in, and I triple-dipped the coil, just to be sure. There is STILL a small gap in the coil that the wax won't touch. It keeps sucking in water, and producing the small blobs over and over that you describe. Each one is actually half comprised of a water bubble. When these bubbles sink, they get mixed in with the wax, resulting in very bubbly wax. When I twist the globe while it's molten, temporarily (sadly) fixing the coil, I get amazing full column flow until the gap re-appears 2-3 minutes later. I think this is the problem that a LOT of my first kits had, before I had a firm grasp on what I was doing.

When you look at the bottom of your globe when it's cold, is there a spot where you can see the coil clearly?

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