Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

used retro-basic formula from web site and:


need some help, melted wax, put perc in as directed, let cool then ran into problem


wax floated in both 20% antifreeze and 40% antifreeze,  however wax sank in just plain distilled water???


what should I do??


need some advice right away,



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Comment by Crazy Native on January 5, 2012 at 8:06pm

HI there!  I saw this post and thought it the perfect opportunity for my first post.  I too am a newb at making lava but I hafta say that in the past few weeks I've gotten pretty dang good at making Lava with this RETRO formula. And balancing the wax solution to plain water without the need to use any measuring for SG (specific gravity at all) is getting easier and easier.  as well I think I found a solution this afternoon to another post on this site as to how to make Lava more opaque...  before i go ito depth I want to say MANY MANY THANKS TO THE FELLA WHO POSTED THE RETRO FORMULA!!!  I'd like to think I've perfected my Lava and soon I'll be moving onto making my own light bases.

Heres how I am balancing the lava for my units.

Okay when you mix up the wax with the perc using the basic formula online here, it is totally possible that the wax when heated with float up to the top of your container,which is perfect, thats exactly what you want, ( although I do suggest removing more water from the bottle before heating the wax.)

what i am doing is letting the melted wax float on top of the water and slowly adding the PERC drops at a time. as you add the perk you will see some wax blobs fall to the bottom, which is good.  do this until about 75% of the wax is at the bottom and 25% is at the top.  then remove the bottle to the stove top and turn up the heat in tiny increments. ( i have a glass top stove and this works very well with low heat )  as you turn up the heat the lava at the bottom with start to flow and circulate with the wax at the top.  let it flow for a bit and start to turn the heat down or return the bottle to the base.  I am working on a lamp that I picked up at a thrift store for $3 and I'm cheesin at the results.  Using this method I've made lavas using any candle I can find and have them flowing in no time.  if you add too much perc and it wont flow at lower temps, add a tad more wax and repeat the process...

Comment by Pierre Brazeau on November 8, 2011 at 1:58am

I don't know much about lava lamps,I'm a neubie to all this,but if specific gravify seems to be the problem,try

using a hydormeter, beer making & wine making stores sell them.They use it to find out precisely how much

sugar to add to the mix.It looks like thermometer tube with the bottom section being larger with small steel

balls glued to the bottom of the larger section.You place the hydrometer in a flask of similar height,larger size

filled with liquid you need to measure the specific gravity of, and the hyrometer will sink or rise depending on

the liquid's density and it will do it quite well. I've used in the past for wine making myself, oh and measuring

the salinity of my salt water aquariums so my expensive fishes wouldn't belly up on me. The aquarium

hyrometers are different looking than their booze making counterpart,their made of clear plastic,square by

width and height and narrow with a thin flat base.A dial indicator inside it with a pivot center will sink or float

depending on the liquid's density. Or you can purchase a battery hydrometer for measuring the density of

battery acid at your local automotive store.If you want to know the density of the goo wax try seeing how

much water it displaces by placing it in a graduated chemistry flask. I'm sorry for rabbling on,but if it were me

that's precisely what i'd do.That's how big companies become wealthy, knowing their liquids. Hope this helps.

Thanx a bunch for bending an ear.


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