Hi folks its been a while since i was here. I have noticed a few posts where people are commenting on cloudy water. The only way Epsom salts will cloud the water is if your liquid were above "Super Saturated" and then only while it was cooling and the salt was "Precipitating" out of it. If this was the case when it was COOL you would see GRANULES " or crystals under a microscope" of salt on top of the wax and around it.and as the water got warmed again and started the convection currents flowing the salt would once again dissolve into solution. The most probable cause of clouding is the breakdown of wax caused by the surfactant which if you use soap is a phosphate. These broken down wax molecules "Settle Out" if the lamp is left off, left still, not moved at all for a couple of days. This residue is a very fine particulate evenly coated over the wax.
The secret is to use distilled water and use as little epsom salts as possible to get the wax to dome then as little soap as possible to get the wax to break into globs all of these chemical additions should be done when the lamp is hot. Dont forget when the lamp is sealed and hot it will act differently because the pressure inside the lamp has changed so you may hve to fine tune it again. Once you have it perfect Dont let it run for a long time, The more time it spends hot the faster the water will cloud. It is inevitable it is science and phosphates break down wax.
I've found that using "miracle bubble" in place of the liquid detergent to be effective...it seems to be less "intense" and broadens the "just right" to "crap I added too much and screwed up my goo" gap. Also, it doesn't cloud the water. I adde so much that it made the water look like a bottle of softsoap, but it never clouded. it probably comes with the glycerin already mixed in (your comment about bigger bubbles made me think that it might".. oh and it smells like grape.
Another great tip was to get candle dye from the craft store ($5 for 4 different colors about the size of checkers...you barely use any of it). It seems obvious and might be obvious, but I'd been trying all sorts of things like oil pastels (which only work for certain colors and even then don't work very well..they bleed into the water after a few "sessions" of heating and cooling)...and then I just figured I'd try the obvious. VERY happy with the result.
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