I am in the process of experimenting with different waxes and additives, trying to find the perfect formulation to make my own goo for lava lamps.
I know I could buy formulated goo kits, but I like melting wax, coloring it, and making them on my own.
The "usual" way of paraffin and brakleen works ok for me, but about 30% of my lamps do not last more than a few weeks, before the wax starts separating and/or sticking to the sides. Other lamps I made in January are still flowing perfectly. I make them all the same, but my mileage varies wildly. Not sure why.
I have found running them for only about 4-5 hours and then giving them an hour rest will increase the lifespan of homemade lamps exponentially, at least from what I have experienced.
I thought I would start a new thread so people can share their experiences with making their own goo and using various formulations. I have ordered a bunch of different paraffin waxes with different melting points, microcrystalline waxes, several different chlorinated paraffins, tackifiers, polyboosts, and some other additives.
It may take a while, but I am going to start experimenting with different formulations and logging my results.
Please share your own stories of making goo and what ingredients work best for you.
My lab is excited for the new stuff to arrive!
I recall reading that one of those is supposed to be for a wax with a lower temperature melting point
Vybar 260 is for waxes with a melting point below 130
Vybar 103 is for waxes with a melting point above 130
I have done experiments with both Vybar 103 and 260 and had no luck with either. Lamps deteriorated fast. A few started off great, but failed.
I have 12 lamps that I made in the 2-3 months before I tried Vybar and 11 of them are still going strong.
I was really hoping that stuff would keep wax from separating and make the goo stringier. Fail.
I wonder if Vybar is the same as the "polyboost" I have seen people refer to.
Although Polyboost may give your wax a more desired uniform effect, I don't think it is the end -all to the separation issues you are experiencing.
The problem may be the initial base product your purchasing
Are you using "Straight" paraffin wax or a blend made for candles??
All paraffin waxes are not the same
If your buying candle making supply wax, it has additives for that particular industry.
Vybar is similar to Polyboost and Steric Acid in that it "Hardens" the wax and helps with fragrance retention.
Vybar helps to increase hardness and surface gloss of your candles. It will also help eliminate bubbles and mottling, giving them a nice and uniform look. Vybar wax also gives your candle colors a creamy, pastel appearance to help match with your home's design.
Polyboost will take the vibrancy of your candles' color and the aroma of your candles' fragrance to new heights!
Polyboost 165 is intended for most mold and votive paraffin waxes. It binds the oil in paraffin and disperses color and fragrance into the wax. Will also harden the wax. Polyboost replaces the need for Vybar 103.
I have used two types of paraffin. One is a house brand of the craft chain Michaels, called Artminds. I was told it has a melting point of 99 degrees F. https://www.michaels.com/1lb-paraffin-wax-by-artminds/10349075.html
I stopped using that one and have been using gulf wax. The data sheet is attached to this post. Melting point 130 F.
That's fantastic, could be just what I'm looking for, thanks for sharing. I've gotten some good flows with recent experimental mixtures, but they all end up quite bubbly. Maybe Vybar will solve the problem.
I shall use it very sparingly though. How did yours deteriorate?
Even using only one bead, the goo became too strong and would not separate. It was just one long snake from bottom to top. Eventually, after adding a tiny amount of surf and letting it sit for hours and repeating, it would eventually break up into a million pieces and you could see the wax separating. I tried every combo of Vybar 103 and 260, 5 beads of one then the other, then 3, then 1, 1 of each, nothing worked. I did about 20 lamps with various mixtures. Wasted a ton of wax and brakleen. I then did one without Vybar and it is flowing pretty good. I wouldn't recommend Vybar, but your mileage may vary.