Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Trying to crack the original formula- why was kerosene used?

In my quest to figure out exactly what the original formula is, one thing I haven't figured out is why they used Kerosene in the mixture.  It seems like it was a very small part of the mixture, something like 7% by volume.

But what was the point?  Did it act as a preservative, or enhance the flow, or help to bind everything together?

Speculations?

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Three can be surfactant, with water and oil balance, to ensure emulsion stability. It can also be for the raising of cloud point (HLB) value.

Magnesium laureth sulfate is the magnesium salt of laureth sulfate, which is in turn the ester of laureth and sulfuric acid. It is used mainly in the chemical industry for the preparation of specialized shampoos for people of delicate skin. It works even in hard water.

EXOsoft MG is a mild anionic surfactant that belongs to the group of alkyl ether sulphates with the name defined by INCI as Magnesium Laureth Sulfate. The commercial product is offered as an approx. 25% solution of active substance in the form of colourless or light yellow liquid. EXOsoft MG shows high solubility in water. The product is preserved with MIT.

EXOsoft MG has foaming, cleaning and emulsifying properties. The product is widely used in the cosmetics industry to produce cleaning and body care preparations. As it is more gentle to skin than SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), the product may be a perfect alternative to hair shampoos, products for washing face, body and hair, bath foams, hand washing liquids and showers gels. The preparations including EXOsoft MG are especially recommended for people with sensitive skin.

When compared with sodium salt, EXOsoft MG generates more stable foams and ensures better solubility in oils. The product is applied in the formulations characterized by neutral or slightly acidic pH. It may be concentrated using sodium chloride. The product is biodegradable.

The cloud point of a nonionic surfactant (triton x-100, C10-C12 Alcohol) or glycol solution is the temperature at which the mixture starts to phase-separate, and two phases appear, thus becoming cloudy. ... The cloud point is affected by salinity, being generally lower in more saline fluids.

A sharp rise in cloud point of aqueous solutions of Triton X-100 occurs with increasing surfactant concentration beyond 4%.

The hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) number is used as a measure of the ratio of these groups. It is a value between 0-60 defining the affinity of a surfactant for water or oil. HLB numbers are calculated for nonionic surfactants, and these surfactants have numbers ranging from 0-20.

The nonionic surfactants Triton X 100 and Triton X 114 form isotropic micellar solutions around 25°C. One of the characteristic features of these solutions is the fact that at higher temperatures they undergo clouding and liquid-liquid phase separation.

 

SLS or SLES are anionic surfactants. Magnesium laureth sulfate same them.

 

The HLB value of SLS is 40. So, it is more appropriate to be used in oil/water emulsions.


Autumn said:

So in layman's terms I think I get the following benefits.

  1. It reduces the master fluid expansion so the density of the master fluid is more consistent at the resting and operating temperature range.
  2. It makes the master fluid react slower to changes in the external environment.
  3. It provides germicidal properties to the master fluid.

I think I'm going to iterate on my master fluid formula now that I have some sodium lauryl sulfate. I think the Triton X100(polyethylene glycol tert-octylphenyl ether) at 1/2 of a teaspoon is too much. The liquid clouds very easily when the lamp is moved around. I also noticed it does not fully prevent wax from sticking. Looking at the earlier posts it looks like maybe a combination of Triton X100 and sodium lauryl sulfate was used. Their combined properties are probably beneficial over only using one or the other.

So my next question is what is the difference between sodium lauryl sulfate and magnesium lauryl sulfate? I cannot find magnesium lauryl sulfate anywhere. Is sodium lauryl sulfate an acceptable substitute? Why are there potentially 3 surfactants in this formula?

Tev,

We are but simple enthusiasts. Let me see if I got this:

- SLS, SLES and Magnesium laureth sulfate (I will call it MLES) have similar anionic surfactant properties (IE they all work for lamps)

- MLES has got a soft touch for all your sensitive parts, but the lamp probably doesn't care

—MLES can be bought as EXOsoft MG (if anyone wants to try it. comes with a preservative)

- SLS is the best choice for avoiding cloudy water

Precisely!

BR4X said:

Tev,

We are but simple enthusiasts. Let me see if I got this:

- SLS, SLES and Magnesium laureth sulfate (I will call it MLES) have similar anionic surfactant properties (IE they all work for lamps)

- MLES has got a soft touch for all your sensitive parts, but the lamp probably doesn't care

—MLES can be bought as EXOsoft MG (if anyone wants to try it. comes with a preservative)

- SLS is the best choice for avoiding cloudy water

Tevfik,

I'm not sure I can purchase EXOsoft MG directly or any other pure form of MLES without going to a manufacturer in China and ordering it in a 55 gallon barrel drum. There is a product in the US that is easily available and has a mix of SLES and MLES and some other things.

662299: Water, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Laureth-8 Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Allantoin, Magnesium Laureth-8 Sulfate, Magnesium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Oleth Sulfate, Magnesium Oleth Sulfate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, F.I.L. # B4853/1.

Do you see any potential issues with what is listed here?

https://www.amazon.com/LOreal-Paris-Artiste-Makeup-Remover/dp/B004G...

I think what Tez is saying is to use the SLS. So thats a relief.

I think the problem is with the Triton X100.. shit is weak

Hi Autumn,

it is evening and I am finally at home.
I think there is no need to use Magnesium laureth sulfate. I think SLES is enough. I'm just using sles and I'm very satisfied. For Magnesium laureth sulfate and SLES I recommend "TEXAPON® ASV 50". Because I don't think commercially for lava lamps that I try to do as a hobby. I use what will work instead of cheap material. Most importantly, I could find in Turkey.
This weekend I will try to make a glitter lamp for the first time.

Autumn said:

Tevfik,

I'm not sure I can purchase EXOsoft MG directly or any other pure form of MLES without going to a manufacturer in China and ordering it in a 55 gallon barrel drum. There is a product in the US that is easily available and has a mix of SLES and MLES and some other things.

Attachments:

I think some of my newer no-name chinese lamps use kerosene. one of them leaked slightly a while ago and it had a very distinct sort of petroleum/gas smell that I think is kerosene.

I just started attempts to make my own lava lamp today. definitely a project best done outside or in a suitable fume hood. when heated the PERC fumes a ton, and it can get a bit messy too. 

first attempt stuck to the glass a ton, but I think i just didn't have as much SURF as i needed.

Autumn- that wax has the *exact* look I'm going for.  What white dye did you get??

You may be pouring the wax in while it is too hot. I do my pour at 130F. If you pour it while it is much hotter it has a much higher tendency to stick. I also pour some of my master fluid in the lamp before the pour and shake it up and hold it upside down to drain out the excess. So far I've had 100% success with wax not sticking.

Marco Pulone said:

I just started attempts to make my own lava lamp today. definitely a project best done outside or in a suitable fume hood. when heated the PERC fumes a ton, and it can get a bit messy too. 

first attempt stuck to the glass a ton, but I think i just didn't have as much SURF as i needed.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076CWZD1Y?ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details&th=1

For everyone else I have put every ingredient used in my research document so you can easily jump in and start experimenting as well.

Ant Bee said:

Autumn- that wax has the *exact* look I'm going for.  What white dye did you get??

I made a lamp recently with that exact same dye! 

its not perfect, and its a little imbalanced, but does fine with a dimmer. looks amazing too, i'll see if i can post some pictures of it

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