Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey guys, pretty much a newb here. Technically savvy, but missing something. My kid got an old gold metal base lamp at an antique store. Worked, but missing quite a bit of water, and not very clear. Read the directions on here, seemed easy enough to change water. Followed the "retro-basic" instructions for water change, but goo just won't come off the bottom. Oh yea, it's a 32oz. I have put probably two teaspoons of pickling salt in so far and don't want to over do it. It seems like it needs more salt, I just wanted to check here first. I can slowly stir the goo with a skewer, and when a bubble does break loose, it quickly sinks back to the bottom and rejoins the rest. This indicates to me the goo is still to heavy compared to the water.

 Am I on the right track, or doing something horribly wrong? (something in-between...hope-hope)

Thanks in advance for any tips.

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A couple of pictures of the 52 oz lamp used in the experiment above. This is the before. Blue pea soup, straight out of the box...

And the after. Switched to a green. The bottle still has my fingerprints all over it. Big and lazy lava action.... :)

And the wax? Is that just plain white? Hard to tell in photo. I like it.

Holy crap!! Had just decided to order a GooKit, just to have it. Then I could do it whenever I decided, if I decided. Then I saw the $18.49 shipping! What, are they high? Makes the kit almost twice what the lamp cost in the first place. Not to mention more than I could buy a brand new lamp for anyway. Will definately be experimenting with making my own wax first!!

They do look nice though. They got ya over a barrel there. Dangit!!



Carl Rishel said:

And the wax? Is that just plain white? Hard to tell in photo. I like it.

The wax was white. I'm thinking of coloring it as well, as soon as I find a stable and reliable oil based dye. That's what's required for the wax. And if you get the colors wrong, you can't start over, like you can with the water :)

I would like to know about dying the wax as well. I've heard people mention things that DON'T work. But so far, only thing that gives you the option of coloring wax (that I've seen) is Gookit w/their colors.

There are other options. Google for "candle making supplies". They have dyes for coloring candle waxes. It comes in liquids (very concentrated, 1 oz for 2 pounds of candle wax!) and they also have it in "blocks" which are basically wax tablets you drop in the wax you wish to color. However, all dyes will and do fade when exposed to UV. That is why it is not a good idea to leave your lava lamp in direct sunlight, for long.

At the moment, I am investigating just how much UV light actually passes through plain glass. Candles exposed to the sunlight will fade, but those are not encased in glass (and water) like the wax in lava lamps. As soon as I find a suitable dye, I will post about it in here. The bigger problem will be toning down the concentration, if one ounce of the dye can color 2 or more POUNDS of wax...

Just add the dye using a dropper

I am sure that all of the UV light passes through the glass as if it dident then why would a UV reactive lamp work and also if a lamp left in a window fades.

UV light has a higher wave lengh then visual light so more UV will pass through the glass compared to visual light

It also depends where you place the lamp and if the windows in front of it have a UV protective coating on them



Tim Gill said:

I am sure that all of the UV light passes through the glass as if it dident then why would a UV reactive lamp work and also if a lamp left in a window fades.

UV light has a higher wave lengh then visual light so more UV will pass through the glass compared to visual light

It depends on the type of UV light. It's broken down in 4 different types of UV light. UV, UVA, UVB and UVC. I'm looking into which kind(s) cause the dye to fade, under what circumstances and  what effect does (plain) glass and water have on their transmission rates.

More info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet

"Ordinary glass is partially transparent to UVA but is opaque to shorter wavelengths, whereas silica or quartz glass, depending on quality, can be transparent even to vacuum UV wavelengths. Ordinary window glass passes about 90% of the light above 350 nm, but blocks over 90% of the light below 300 nm.[12][13][14]"

http://www.smartskincare.com/skinprotection/uv-indoors.html

"Clear glass allows up to 75% of UVA to pass. Tinted and reflective glass absorbs more of the UVA but still allows about 25-50% to pass; they also have the shortcoming of blocking more of the visible light than clear glass."

 

Now it's a matter of determining which type of UV light bleaches the wax, and whether  any of it is blocked, (at all, partially or completely) by plain glass and/or water. Once I can determine which type of UV is responsible for the dye degradation, I can figure out what type of dye will work best under the lava lamp conditions, (glass and water). It will probably turn out to be a type of dye which includes UV absorbing materials. Then I will have to find who, if anyone, actually makes the stuff, if it is reasonably priced and where to get it from. Will post on the findings, soon.

 

I still find it interesting that you can find 30 or 40 year old lava lamps, with dyed lava, which have not faded much, over the years...

Intresting

I still find it interesting that you can find 30 or 40 year old lava lamps, with dyed lava, which have not faded much, over the years...

I guess people have been treating the lamps well and not leaving them in windows - if they were left in windows then why didn't they fade??

   A couple of updates regarding making your own wax, coloring it and protecting it from UV damage, once colored.

Here is the UV inhibitor:

http://rusticescentuals.com/Ultra-Violet-Light-Inhibitor-for-Soap-W...

"Recommended usage in wax is 0.2% per lb. (of wax), which is approximately 1/8th of a teaspoon."

Here are the dyes for coloring the wax:

http://rusticescentuals.com/Candle-Dye-Liquid/

WARNING:  ONE OUNCE of this stuff will color 150 POUNDS of wax. Manufacturer suggests using the tip of a toothpick to add the dye to your melted wax, until the desired color is achieved.

  I am still not convinced that the UV inhibitor is really required, if the wax is encased in a glass and water container, however in such minute quantities, it does not harm to add it to your wax, to extend its life.

  Will test it soon, for myself, and post the results.



Tim Gill said:

Intresting

I still find it interesting that you can find 30 or 40 year old lava lamps, with dyed lava, which have not faded much, over the years...

I guess people have been treating the lamps well and not leaving them in windows - if they were left in windows then why didn't they fade??

Wax will fade from usage and light exposure, but it takes a LONG time.  Heavily used lamps from the 60's and 70's definitely show fading.

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