Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I need to pour out all of the wax in one of my jets to clean the globe.. The last time i did this was to one of my grande and i lost a whole lot of wax as it stuck to the side of the globe while i poured it out.. The reason it did this was because the globe it self was cold at its top while it was hot at the bottom. So while i poured it out it cooled down the wax and therefore it stuck to the sides.

So im afraid the same will happen if i do it this time to my jet, which made me think about a way to have minimal loss of wax.

Would it be possible to put the globe inside my oven and heat it up to a minimal temperature to make the wax melt without damaging the globe? This way the wax will not cool down on its way out of the globe ..

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Once the wax has hardened, can you work the solid mass of wax to the top of the bottle? Then just pick at it with a stiff wire or other implement to break it up and remove it in chunks. That's what I do when I need to remove the wax from a bottle.

won't breaking the wax will remove some chemical in it ?

I have that problem too.

Actually I should think you'd lose more perchloroethylene manipulating hot wax than when it's cold.

Either way, you can minimize perc loss by keeping your wax in an airtight glass or metal container when it's not in the lamp. And I always remelt the wax and add some extra perc before putting it back in the bottle anyway. If you add too much, you can run the lamp with the cap off until some of the excess works its way out and it starts flowing properly again.

Where I run into trouble is how to get the wax back INTO the bottle without making a mess. Any suggestions there?

If you hold it upside-down with an oven mit, then hit the glass on low, with a steady sweep down with a heat gun...that'll get it out!

uze a looong straw taped to your funnel...no splatters

good luck-

what exactly is  perchloroethylene?

how do I know if i need it?

where should I buy it?

and how much should i use?


I have a 32 ounce american globe that the coil has broken on.  I have been reading here for several days and have decided to open the top and pour out the liquid into a clean container.

then i will boil the globe in a pot setting on a plate and pour the wax into another clean container

then i will remove the coil

i will clean the globe good with alcohol and distilled water

then install a new coil, re-melt the wax and pour in with a funnel and straw, and pour the liquid back in and reseal it

i plan on getting a 40W frosted appliance bulb and a dimmer.


What else do I need to consider--i am concerned that the specific gravitys wont be right or that my wax is bad,  What else do I need to know about this process


Sorry to hijack your thread---it just seemed like a good place to interject these questions---thanks all


How did the coil break inside your globe?

not sure--probably too much heat from an unfrosted bulb?---dont really know----just know that i can see one end of the spring sticking up out of the wax 2 or 3 inches

Sounds like the coil ring just sprung straight. You should still be able to heat the globe on its base until the wax melts (put it on a dimmer if you're worried about overheating the glass). Bend a little hook on the end of a long wire, and fish the coil out with that.

After you get the coil out, you should be able to push the ends back together into a ring again. It might be a little fiddly, but once you get it secure you can just drop it back into the still-hot bottle. Make sure it's sitting flat on the bottom of the globe, recap it, and you're done.

Keep in mind that the contents of Lava Lamp globes--especially American ones--are extremely fine-tuned. Unless you have a specific problem you're trying to fix, you're liable to do more harm than good by simply draining and refilling it. You probably won't ruin it, but it definitely won't flow the same afterward.

well  maybe thats what i will try first-----only thing is    ,,, is that the spring looks corroded and there seem to be some black flecks of corrosion kind of setting on top of the blob of wax


i had planned on getting a stainless steel spring of the appropriate size and making a new coil


but what can i do about those flecks of rust---if it is rust????---

I'd be VERY surprised to find rust in an American-made lava lamp, but I suppose it's possible. If it's just sitting loose in the bottle, you should be able to pour the cold liquid through a coffee filter to remove the foreign solids. If you don't get all the gunk the first time around, you can put the liquid back in the bottle, swirl it around, and then filter it again.

Then just put the water back in the bottle, heat it, and remove the coil. Once you have the coil out of the bottle you can  inspect it for rust, and replace it with a stainless steel coil if necessary. Whatever you do, don't heat the wax in the globe without at least some liquid in it, or you'll NEVER get the wax unstuck from the glass.

Oh, and if you don't get all the rust flecks out of the bottle, I wouldn't worry about it; once the wax melts the heavy flakes should settle to the bottom of the globe and stay there.

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