Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey All, so the telstar I ordered a couple of months ago started having sticking wax. Mathmos recommended I run it longer, submerge it in hot (not boiling) water etc... Everything I tried didn't help. They offered to send me a replacement bottle, which because I'm in the US, still cost me money to forward here. The bottle arrived upside down in the Mathmos box and it must've been shaken up in transit because it's all cloudy. I've run it a few days now, and it's cleared only the tiniest amount. 

So knowing I don't want to spend another $60 on forwarding another replacement, what can I do? Could I try filtering it, refilling it with a gookit or something? I've got no experience opening these bottles or messing with the fluids, but since I have a spare telstar bottle, I'm willing to experiment. Is there a comprehensive tutorial out there for beginners for tinkering with these? 


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Hello James.  This is very unfortunate. I cannot understand how a new Mathmos bottle would arrive cloudy.

Any new bottle should never be cloudy. They usually only go cloudy if the bottle has been shaken or disturbed whilst still hot.  Cold bottles should never turn cloudy even if they are shaken.  Try what Jezza suggested and if that doesn't work you could try buying de ionised water and propyline glycol and see if that works.  I used this to replace the liquid in a lunar bottle and it worked fine.  I cannot tell you the exact measurements of the propyline glycol as it was trial and error.

Maybe try 600mls of de ionised water and 100mls of propyline glycol and see how that goes. Then if the lava doesn't rise/flow properly then add another 5mls of the glycol periodically until you achieve a good flow.  If the wax blob floats up and doesn't come back down then that means you added too much glycol, then you need to add more water.

You may also need to add a few mls of surfactant otherwise you might only get one large bubble rising at a time.  The surfactant will break the surface tension of the wax and help achieve more blobs.  Don't add too much surfactant otherwise the wax will just go into a stringy liquid flow.  Just add 1 ml at a time.  You should be able to buy surfactant also known as SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) or SLES (Sodium lauryl ether sulphate) from ebay. Hope that helps and good luck what ever you decide.  Regards. 

Hello again James.

I forgot to mention that you can add a few drops of liquid colour to the lamp after if you want to colour the liquid. Otherwise you can just leave it clear. I found that liquid food colouring is sufficient as long as it's water based without any other additives.

Regarding the SLS, here is a link of an example on ebay.  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sodium-Lauryl-Sulfate-Solution-29-SLS-Su...  You should check with the seller if the SLS is pure and doesn't contain any colouring.  You want the SLS to be pure and uncoloured.  It's also possible to use dish washing liquid soap similar to Dawn instead of buying SLS, but this will also need to be clear without colourings added, otherwise it might make the liquid in the lamp cloudy again.  If in doubt use pure uncoloured SLS.  Other Goo fans on here should give their advice regarding SLS or dish soap alternatives.  Also try searching for it in the Problems section.  Good luck. 

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