Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Trying to Replace Fluid in 1976 Century -- Goo Just Sits There

Hello Friends:

I need some advice. I recently scored a 1976 Century with gold base, white (ivory-looking) lava and clear fluid on Ebay (for $20 including shipping!). The seller stated that the cap was cracked, so I told her to seal it up, ship it as "fragile" and to put an upright arrow on the packing with the indication "This End Up". Needless to say the package arrived soaked. Although the seller had wound some very sticky and ineffective duct tape around the globe top, nearly all of the fluid leaked out. I restored the cracked cap with super glue, sanded and repainted the cap the original gold color. The remaining fluid had a strong chemical/solvent odor to it (I am assuming this was perc?). I noticed that the surface of the goo glob had a slimy consistency and tended to stick to any area of the inner globe surface that it touched.

Following the "Making The Lava Water" instructions on this website, I first rinsed out the globe and goo with distilled water several times, then filled the globe with distilled water and added the teaspoon of pickling salt, swishing it around gently to melt the salt. I let the lamp heat up for several hours and cautiously added more of the salt a bit at a time. The lamp only ran for 8 hours total on this attempt. There's quite a bit of salt in there now (2 1/2 to 3 teaspoonfuls), but the lava never "domed up" or formed bubbles. I even added a liquid detergent drop or two, but the lava just sat there. And, yes folks, I've checked to make sure that no undissolved salt accumulated on the bottom under the goo.

I'm wondering if I simply haven't added enough salt/detergent yet, or has the goo been ruined at some point in the past by overheating? I've seen a few references on here to "cooked" lava: what are the symptoms? My goal is to end up with a blue/blue globe. I see mixed reviews of Lava Louie's Gookits. Opinions on which of his formulas are best? Any members in the U.S. who would be willing to sell me a portion of their kit enough to do this job (I'll never use a whole kits worth)? Any other advice or suggestions?

Thanks in advance, Luke

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