my daughter saw a Lava Lamp in a store and got really excited. I told her I had one and would "dig it out". It had been sitting in storage for years so I expected it would need a few things. I knew it would at least need a light bulb. I added a 40w appliance bulb (old one had burned out last I had recalled and this was confirmed when I brought it out of storage). Well... now I think I am remembering why I forgot about the thing. I am not sure it ever really worked all that well. It has a 1996 date on the felt on the bottom and it has a date code of 1996 on the cap. It WAS a blue/white globe (confirmed with the 03 code) that has now gone clear (or perhaps yellowish or off-clear is a better term). In the first several runs, it would form lots of smallish balls that would mostly go to the top. I decided to try a 25W bulb. This resulted in a column effect... after several days of cycling, I noticed that there are bubbles in the goo... I switched back to a 40w bulb and it just looks pretty unimpressive. I also notice that the liquid level was about an inch below the black cap (that seems pretty low to me)... and may have always been this way (foggy memory!).
Anyway... while waiting to be confirmed to join the website, I read a lot here while waiting...
I also ordered a Goo Kit to renovate my Lava Lite. I cannot imagine it would be worse than how the lamp looks now. I am thinking of using some Krylon to paint the lamp base/cap white for my kids' room and doing purplish lava. Anyway... before I do all this, I wanted to post here to see what people think about my old lamp. I feel like there isn't much else I can do with it.
I am posting a couple photos as well as some video of how it looks after being on for a couple hours. It really only gets worse after more time.
Please let me know what you think. Definitely impressed by the Goo Kits I have seen posted here. I am looking for more lamps to recondition!…
nt know if it will work, and even if it does, and I put this cleared-up liquid back in with the
lava wax, will it just get cloudy again!?
Do you know where LL is located? I am in Maryland USA, so Eastern Daylight Savings Time here.
I am wondering a good time to call Paula.
I also want to ask her about these rumors of new Grande colors and a revised formula.
Is it not possible that the formula is the same as it always was, but now adays, there is much more package
shipment and they (all the carriers) are "rougher" then they used to be?
I wonder if they shipped it "registered and insured" if that would work (though it would be expensive)
Both my LL orders from Amazon did not even have "fragil" on the box!
Oh, did you say U have some Mathmos LL's 4 sale?WeeboTech said:
>>If my GooKit comes in, I can better analyze what this stuff is actually composed of (I know its a trade secret, but when you have a nosy chemist on the trail, you can forget about that!! :)
This is cool news!
>>Thanks, I tried to order one of these but could not find a US base for Electric Planet.
>> There are a few other websites who sell them, but they are UK standard and you would need a UK plug
>> to US outlet adapter (which I actualy do have) and it will work provided it has about the same voltage.
FYI, I sent you a friend request, I have some Mathmos lamps here in the US I'm looking to part with.
>>I think something in the lava is seperating out into the liquid upon shaking (in shipping).
>> If its petrolium base, I should be able to remove it buy diatome filtration.
The older amercian lamps used to cloud up during shipment, but after running a while they would clear up.
I think with the more recent formula and production, there is something out of balance causing them to cloud up the way they do. I know you could filter some lamps, but some of them do not work with the filtering.
I'm interested to read about your experiments. Perhaps starting a new thread so that one can be followed individually.
rosene 7%; and microcrystalline wax, 6%.http://oozinggoo.ning.com/forum/topics/lava-reverse-engineering Lava lamps flow optimally at 45-50 C.The wax contains paraffin wax, a mineral oil such as ondina 17, carbon tetrachloride, and petroleum jelly.The liquid contains glycerol ethylene, glycol, polyethylene glycol or propylene glycol(30% of total volume).
There are copies of the patents at the bottom of the post.
Stanley Post said:
I am going to follow your advise and call Paula today.
As for the smaller globe, it is colorless liquid w/ red lava and I bought it for experiment.
I figured it would be cloudy too (and it was).
I am a chemist, and love to play with a new challange. If I can figure out what is making it cloudy,
and know the composition, I can precipatate the cloudyness out of the liquid.
I have poured out about 200cc's of the liquid and have added a few different chemicals to it without
I think something in the lava is seperating out into the liquid upon shaking (in shipping).
If its petrolium base, I should be able to remove it buy diatome filtration.
If I can find a way to clear it up chemicly without blowing it up when it heats, I will just fill it back up. ;)
If my GooKit comes in, I can better analyze what this stuff is actually composed of (I know its a trade secret,
but when you have a nosy chemist on the trail, you can forget about that!! :)Bohdan said:
Do not buy anymore Grandes till Lava lite releases there new lamps with there new formula. You spend money and time on the new lamp then you have to fix it . This is not good. They said they would have a new formula in 2011 so I would wait and see. What may be happening now is they are selling the last of the old batch units to make room for there new improved ones. Give LL a call send them an Email with your problem and let us know what they said about your problem Grande.
Try this number call them. 630.315.3300 ask for Paula
that I've never had an outlet for, and I'm thinking that now's a great time to start bringing them to life.
With that being said, I have some questions. :)
1. Is there a source for actual lava lamp bottles? I haven't found anyone who consistently sells empty ones (or full ones that don't work right), and since I don't have room to buy in bulk I need to buy a few here and there as I need them instead of buying them when I see them and saving them. Lava lamps in need of redoing are rather hard to find around here as the university kids are usually bringing brand new ones in with them, and I don't find the idea of emptying a perfectly good bottle all that appealing. Waste not want not. :)
2. What else works for an alternative globe besides an alcohol bottle? Are there any qualities in particular that I should look for in a glass container, or any I should try to avoid?
3. How can something other than a properly sized, official lava lamp bottle be made to fit into a base? I've seen lamps where the top of the base has been cut and bent into a shape that can support the globe, but I'd like some other ideas too.
4. Is there anything to a lava lamp base besides a basic lamp socket for the correct light bulb attached to a pretty support structure for the globe? I'd like to try making my own sometime and need to know if there's some sorcery I'm missing... :) Some tips and ideas for this would be appreciated too.
5. How do you choose the right light bulb for a custom lamp with a completely different globe? What about something that safely provides an appropriate amount of heat with no visible light?
6. Are the coils at the bottom of the globe necessary? How can they be recreated, and what can they be replaced with?
7. Do you all have any suggestions for a recipe/formula for a beginner to follow? This one seems doable, but opinions would be appreciated.
8. Are GooKits still a thing? I can’t seem to find current information on them anywhere…
Thank you all for reading this and helping me out! I’m looking forward to (hopefully) being more active and (again, hopefully) sharing some success stories of lamps I make. :D…
I am sure these things leave the factory clear, but because of the China formula, they get cloudy in shipping,
but this seems to be limited to a particular batch. I see others have posted their pics of Grande's shipped around
the world and they are clear, they are also an older lot.
Also, LL's made from the 60's to 90's do not arrive cloudy in shipping.
My conclusion is, they are indeed making them cheaper, different formula, and attempting to cover their butts.
I think Paula now realizes she should not have let the cat out of the bag by telling me it was a manufacturing
I do not see them at this point admitting any problems, they will continue to blame shipping.
Meanwhile, one of their major and oldest distributors has discontinued selling these due to the cloudy issue.
I will go ahead and run them 10 hours a day as told, but I dont think they will ever clear up that much.
So, I will go out today and get 2 gallons of distilled water and GooKit one of these suckers ;)Stanley Post said:
Came home today from work to a surprise, my replacement purple/yellow Grande!!
Opened it up, they shipped me a whole new lamp!! I thought I would just get the globe!!??
Anyway, after setting it up, I can see it's almost as cloudy as the first one, but not as bad.
Here is the interesting part, they put a note in the box the says (in part) the following:
"Due to shipping, your new lamp's liquid may appear cloudy.
Running the lamp for 3 - 5 days should clear up this issue"
So, this is a direct contradition to what Paula told me, that it was a manufacturing issue
and they had corrected it!!
I suppose I should expect the other cloudy Grande (blue/yellow) that I also complained about to show
up soon too.
So then I will have 4 cloudy Grande's!! LOL! :\
When they say to run it 3 to 5 days, do they mean continuous? Wouldnt it overheat with that 100W flood
in there??!! I guess I should get out my dimmer switch!!
I cannot jump in the car and run back to the store!! I follow this rule with clothes, shoes, whatever. Well, I will order shoes online if I already have a pair and know the size, lol!!
2) If I can't open the tube, inspect, and have it lighted for me, I won't buy. I also do not buy lamps at Walmart, Target, or Kmart. Ok, Ok, there was the classic black for 8.79 which I totally wrecked trying to achieve some decent flow....now it's a gookit. I'm still in the 90's mode when my trip to Spencer's was the highlight of my year!!!
Now, as far as Vintage. I did purchase 2 vintage lamps off of ebay and the thrill of the win, the anticipation high waiting for the lamp to arrive was also nice too!!! The only thing with vintage that I worry about is how long will the lava last before it is totally fried?? Like my Enchantress lava is still really white, but yet my blue swirl looks to be a tad yellow as if it has been cooked. And the Enchantress is an older lamp, so obviously the swirl was ran more then the Enchantress. If you are lucky, the seller will post very little use, or only ran so many times, but with some of the vintage lamps, they have probably been passed around or estate sales or things like that, so it's anybody's guess.
My most recent goo purchase was my red clearview a few weeks ago. Gotta tell ya, digging the clearview!!! The ONE problem.....takes a good 5 hours to start up, but i'm ordering a 30 watt bulb for it instead of the 25 stock bulb. This should help. AND the a/c is constantly on, so maybe the heat in the house during the winter will also change it's habit. I do think the flow in the clearview's has improved somewhat over some of the china flows in the classics and what not. Also, I have a 52 oz pink fluid/white lava that is pretty decent. Not bad flow either. I did pull both lamps out of their tubes at spencer's and insisted that they be put on a lighted base. They have their displays up and running so it's not hard to pull the globe and stick it on a lighted base. Oh, the pink does flip coil at every start up.
Will I continue to buy new lamps? I guess the answer is yes. But ya know time will tell also if they will improve, get worse, stay the same subpar quality, it's a crapshoot, but yes, I do like taking the trip up to Spencer's and looking at the new lamps that they have to offer. I think also, it's a blast from the past for me. Kind of like walking down memory lane when I first walk into Spencer's and my hubbie and I enjoy the hour drive to our mall. …
f Dawn dish washing liquid. I ended up frying the wax and all it would do is stick to the sides of the globe and go nowhere. Wah! :(
So I bought a Goo Kit and decided to redo it.
Beforehand I ~thoroughly~ washed out the empty globe with HOT water, Simmering water and then distilled water. I was convinced that it was clean. I did not take the coil out as it looked clean as well.
I used the Goo Kit instructions and followed them to the letter. I put the new goo in, let it cool completely and then refilled the globe with distilled water and 10 milliliters of the surfactant provided.
When I fired it up, the wax half melted and then sent a huge mass of it to the top of the lamp where it sat. I let the lamp continue to heat up and started to get a normal flow of goo underneath the unmoving mass. After running the lamp for 3-4 hours, the mass at the top wasn't going anywhere so I turned the lamp off to let the whole thing cool down. The large mass cooled and fell to the bottom of the lamp with the rest of the cooled goo.
So today I start the lamp again. All I get is a large flow that sticks to the side of the globe and won't go anywhere. I put tinfoil around the glass for an hour or two and still no separation from the glass. ARGH!
I have pics attached of the ugliness...
I'm at wits end with all of this. HELP!!! What do I do next???
Questions as well:
~ Can I still save and reuse the goo?
~ I can't find a bottle brush skinny enough to fit in this bottle. How necessary is that?
~ Does anyone know if the Gookit surfactant will work with older wax? I have a red globe that I am also experiencing similar problems with.
What worked in rescuing my globes:
~ LW wax will not work with Goo Kit ingredients.
~ Clean out & rinse the globe with distilled water only! Purified water ~if~ you have a filter.
~ Dawn dishsoap only!
~ Bottle brush is a must!
~ Use a rubbing alcohol rinse toward the end if you wish. This is optional.
~ If you want translucent goo, go lightly on the amount of dye you use.
~ USE A NEW COIL NO MATTER WHAT!!!…
cleaning out the pump with distilled water alone, the wash water comes out slightly
blue for the first 200ml, then it runs clear.
However, you know all that dye has to be trapped in that filter, and the Grande's are very
saturated with dye.
Running distilled water with ethanol (which the dye is soluble in) you will see the wash water
coming out blue.
You need to continue pumping the water/alcohol solution through the pump until it runs perfectly
clear. Even when you see it's clear, if you add more alcohol to your wash water, you will see that
the dye is still there.
The dye will not desolve in plain water, but if you pump the lava lite water through it, it will be
slightly blue (or whatever color) because the surfactant is disolving the dye off the filter.
You need to keep this in mind if you have used the pump for something with alot of dye, then you
want to filter a cloudy globe with clear water because if you do not pump several liters of alcohol
and water through it from previous use, your clear water will come out slightly colored from undesolved dye from the last use.
If you filter a Grande, I would suggest putting that filter in a marked zip-lock bag, with the color labeled on it, and use a fresh new filter cartridge for filtering a clear globe.
I had washed my filter with several liters of 50/50 ethanol and water, and thought it was clean, but
when I used it on a clear/pink globe, the water was still very lighly colored from residual dye.
You can think its all cleared out, but when you run that water with surfactant in it, the residual will
I would recommend a seperate filter cartridge for each color and label them.
Keep aside the filter for clear water globes, label it, and use it only for clear, uncolored water.
Now my Astro clear/pink globe is light blue/pink!! which is not a really big deal to me, but I can see
other folks being very upset!! :(
I know there are better solvents than alcohol to remove all the dye from the filter, but you need to
be careful with the plastic parts. Alcohol will not harm the plastic.
After cleaning your filter, if you have some surfactant concentrate from you GooKit left over,you
should make a small batch of solution and run it through to check for any undissolved dye trapped
in your filter before attempting to filter a LL globe.…
as urged me to raise my own interest in the love that I have come appreciate also and have made some snooping on the web for all sorts of alternatives. I've purchased some Pearl Ex pigment also, a 12 bottle package with color ranging from bronze,silver,gold to interference violet and so on, but my reinvigerated good fortune all because of this group have stumbled upon a company's website that produce these very same product in massive amounts that supply manufacturers of cosmetics to car paint to leather to food industry, you name it. The range of pigments they produce literaly knocked my socks off, you have to see to believe it. I'm new to all this techno webbie stuff, so I just typed the web address, http://www.alibaba.com. A definate must see eye opener. I've started by setting up a make-shift studio for photography and a experimentation area so as to document everything. I'm buying enough ingredients and collected enough goodies so when there's a lampygoo run to be made, I'll have at least 6 to 10 different micro variations of a goo recipe at any time. I'm saving some of my pennies for those pigments from alibaba, they sell by minimum quantities 1kg to tons and some interesting ones are not cheap from a couple of bucks a kilo to $400 a kilo. I hope this all helps. I'm so excited I don't know where to throw myself. Man, another credit to this group, you type in the address and theres the link, just awesome everyone. I've made certain the link is good and when your there just input pigments in search area. I'm sure you'll be shazaamed. chow 4 now.Dr. WHAT?! said:
I dont think it matters that the "silver" sinks, the liquid metal motion lamps (like Rob C posted) do the same thing, It just mixes really well when flowing. I did purchase some Pearl Ex Silver Pigment from Hobby Lobby this week so I made up a 20 oz. gookit wax globe last night. And made the color a dark blue so I could see how well the silver "pops". I used 1/2 a teaspoon last night and the effect are sort of like the picture of the red one I posted at the beginning of this thread. It has a little funky glitter effect too but I have a feeling its only something you'd see with darker waxes. I'm going to see how far I can push this and see how much I can add to the wax before its too much so I'm going to add another 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
Here is a link to the stuff I bought (Silver 663) http://www.jacquardproducts.com/pearl-ex-pigments.html
I believe Lamp may have tried this brand before but if I recall he used Pearl White which may be a different substance then silver.
d. I think there are ways us as lamp luvers can really push these lamps to their max, lol!!! I know when I was new to the lava world (still new, lol), I fried 2 of my lamp's wax by over-running them. I'm realy careful now to only run them 8 hours max. Also, for my lamps that I know for a fact overheat by their flow after on for so long, I have put dimmer's on them. Not only does this bring back the "snake" like flow I like, I think it might actually help the lava's longevity (can't hurt right??). Also, I have read somewhere on here from another member (can't remember who) that if you run your lamps constantly with a higher wattage bulb, that can do your wax in also. I have put a 60 in where a 40 was called for, but that was just to melt my separated wax when the air conditioning was making my son's lamp "stubborn", but then I replaced it back with it's 40 watt again. I run my lamps every day for 8 hours, I hope I get more then a year out of my wax!! good god!!! lol!! Um, maybe I need more lamps so I can do a rotational thing!?? lol
Oh, I abuse my lamps, and I keep my grande on 24/7/365. Using a dimmer, and precisely tuning it prevents any unnecessary "wear", but that's still 61,320 hours I put the lamp through before redoing the wax, which is about what I should expect from any wax I suppose. If I just ran it for maybe 8 hours a day, then it would last for 3 years of constant use, and even longer if I weren't so picky about the flow and artifacts (they seem to start forming towards the end of the technical life of the wax). The cost of regooing it makes it about $0.11 per day to run, and I'm okay with that to have a steady lamp flowing. :)
Heat kills the wax in the end, so I think proper control resolves a lot of premature problems, and I could probably stretch out my gookits for a few years even, but the opacity looks weird eventually, and there's particles that start forming, and the color starts fading...etc. I've learned that with the color fade, you CAN add a small amount of dyes to rejuvenate it, so fading would be my absolutely least concern.
As far as older lamps working great, I will agree that sometimes they will, but I've also seen my fair amount of people that talk about how much better it looks because it is USA made, and in reality it could look terrible! I wear Dr. Martens, and I see the same thing... people saying that the british made ones were just better, but really they weren't better, just different. Now there are some really old US lamps that are absolutely amazing! My cousin has an old 20oz, and it flows as good as my grande (it's like a bonsai Grande!), and I'm sure it's from the chemicals they were allowed to use back then, because I can stare at it for hours in admiration.…