Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate


I'm sure this has been covered somewhere, I just don't have the time to search for it.

I have a lamp that, no matter what I do, the wax just rises in a column from the bottom of the globe to the top without breaking up. I have tried a new bulb in the base, using a dimmer switch to control the heat, etc. No matter what I try, it will not flow properly. The only thing I haven't done is take the cap off and add anything to it. It is a 32oz USA made lamp (clear/cranberry - #18). I'm just not sure if this is a heat problem, wax problem, or some other problem I don't know about.

I thought I would ask here and hope that some of the more knowledgable people might have suggestions about it.

Anyone with suggestions, I would greatly appreciate your help!



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Wait an hour or two... And your problem will be fixed.

An hour or two? I had it on for 8 hours and it did nothing at all, other than what I described above!

Have you tried a little larger size (wattage) bulb? I know that it says not to use a larger wattage bulb due to fire hazard, but a larger watt with more heat may break up the wax. If you do plan on using a larger bulb, please DO NOT leave unattended, just in case.

What do you suggest as far as wattage? Like a 60 watt bulb? This is the only lamp I have this trouble with and thought maybe it was a wax problem. I'll give a higher wattage bulb a try and see what happens. I can always hook it up to a dimmer switch. I NEVER leave my lamps unattended. They are only on when I am in the same room with them. Thanks for the suggestion!

I would say that if it's a 40 watter now, I would go to a 60 watt. And one last thing, I have read some threads that say that a lamps lava can go bad after a while, so a goo kit would be your next adventure. 

I'm going to see if a 60 watt will work. I do have other lamps I want to try the goo kit with this summer. I'm actually looking forward to that challenge. I have a 32oz globe that will be a perfect test item. Just haven't decided which color of wax to go with yet, but I'm leaning toward a clear/orange to complete a set of rainbow colors. I also have a century globe, an aristocrat globe (same things, I know) and a china 52oz globe I want to work with. I'm also going to experiment and TRY to make a globe with gold metallic wax in it. Just too much going on right now to mess with it all with school now and a move coming in about 2-3 weeks. After spring semester is out, then I will get a chance to try some of this! 

School and housing is definitely a priority. Lamps can wait, that's for sure. When it comes to the gold metallic wax, try finding gold metallic Sharpie markers, and squeeze that into your wax. People have talked about using silver metallic Sharpie markers to color their wax on this site.

I've seen that. From what I understand, the markers need to be water-based. I did find some gold water-based markers, but not Sharpies, so I hope they will work. It will at least interesting to try it.

Thanks again for the suggestion!

Ask Dr. What about your marker idea as he was the one to do this..he will put you on the right track.  I just asked a question on another thread about adding highlighter yellow marker to water to make the water UV reactive..looks cool on youtube.  No answer yet.  Michael, you know lava lamps do have their own personalities, as far as, flow etc.  You could always pop that bad boy open and add some sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS, which is a surfactant or a drop or two of liquid dish soap to the lava and watch it change the flow.  I have done this several times with great results.  Hope some of this helps.

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