In case my novel is too long, here is a summary:
I was afraid my new lava lamp was going to freeze so I shook it. Now it is flaky. Did I wreck it? How do I fix it? I didn't know anything about lava lamps when I bought it.
I work at Spencer's, and we're currently shutting down our store because the mall won't let us renew our lease. Since everything is heavily discounted, I decided to pick up a 52 oz blue/clear lava lamp before they were all gone.
It was -30 degrees celcius (no exaggeration) the night I took it home on public transit, and I spent around one hour outside between transfers and walking home. I was absolutely terrified that my new lamp was going to freeze and break, so I did something I've now learned you should never do.
I shook it. Often. I also had to run for one of my buses, and during the run it got shaken very violently. I didn't know! I wish I had, though.
It didn't freeze, luckily, but it seems like the wax has broken into little particles that won't heat up, since it is full of little floating flakes, and when the wax heats up it is full of bubbles to the point of being annoying and ugly. I'm "cycling" it, which seems to be helping with the bubbles, but the flakes just settle on top of the wax when it hardens, and then float around the globe when it is on.
I haven't left the lamp on longer than four hours yet. Should I? Would that help the flakes? If I buy a timer to cycle it while I am not around to do it, would that help? Has anyone else dealt with a lamp that has been violently shaken while it was off?
I've since bought two other lamps (returned as defects -- one was missing a piece, which I just took from an actually defective lamp, and the other one "didn't work", which as it turns out the coil was just on the side... oh silly, angry people) and neither of them have bubbles or flakes, nor did any of the lamps we had on display in the store. I've never had a lamp returned for this reason, so I'm assuming I ruined it. This lamp isn't cloudy, it's just flaky. I really hope it isn't permanently ruined, though, since my store will be gone in 9 days, so I can't just exchange it for a new one like most people who break things that they buy from Spencer's. :P