Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello - Just a bit of an appeal for information for anyone who has experience of lamp bottle ‘transplants’ (particularly Mathmos)

Have never been much of a 'tamperer', but having recently received a couple of fairly disappointing Astro bottles, I thought I might attempt to salvage the situation a bit by looking at them as potential ‘candidates’ for a fluid swap

In theory this should be straightforward enough, but having never attempted attempted it before am a bit nervous about it, just wondered if anyone may be able to offer advice, tips, etc.

In particular, does anyone know what they use to glue down the caps, as I want to ensure they are properly sealed afterwards, and hopefully kept as close to original condition as possible.

Any input is much appreciated!

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Disappointing as in not a fan of the colours, or there is an issue with them?

If you are in the UK don't forget Mathmos have a guarantee, you can ask for an exchange if there is something wrong with them.

Main 'offender' is a blue/pink bottle, already had one return/ exchange so wasn't sure if they would do another, but the bottle they sent has issues aswell, dark 'lumps' in the wax that seemingly don't melt, and weird smudges/ smears to the inside of the bottle/glass (i thought the 'lumps' might dissipate with use but they haven't done so far)

Bottle seems particularly bad for air bubbles in the glass as well, but they have a 'disclaimer' on their site about that, though it is noticeably worse than my other bottles.

I also received a 'dirty' bottle from Mathmos. you can check how I dealt with it here:


Thanks for that, bit more ‘invasive surgery’ than I was planning to take on though - what do you use to re-seal the bottle caps?

I didn't bother to re-seal it. In an old Mathmos factory video it looks like they are using a hot glue gun to seal the bottles.


What I sometimes do is just swap the master fluid. 

I take off the cap carefully by running it under a hot tap. Gently remove the glue residue and pour the fluid into a very clean jug. Then swap over the fluids. 

Be ultra careful that the containers are really clean or you will just contaminate the bottle. My recent swaps are a blue pink and a violet turquoise became a blue turquoise and a violet pink. 

Don't worry about the cap as they fit tightly anyway. It was the old wide caps that were always troublesome. 

I have never swapped wax though, this calls for a little more experience. 

If I were you, I would keep on at Mathmos, there is no excuse for dirty or faulty bottles. When you get a good one the blue pink is stunning, wish they would do it for the IO lamps. Let us know how you get on. 

Thanks for that,

Actually went ahead with the swap the other night, following the precautions mentioned (was only planning to swap the fluid)

 Was actually surprised how easy the caps were to remove, didn’t even need to heat it, they seem to be being pretty economical with the glue these days.

Like you now have violet/pink and blue/turquoise. 

I didn’t think the lumps in the pink wax were that bad at first, but it seems to have gotten worse - it may be that more of the debris has become dislodged from the inside the coil or, or perhaps the darker fluid has the effect of showing it up more (?) the turquoise bottle has it to some extent as well, but not nearly as bad.

Bit annoying particularly now I’ve forfeited any chance of a return - I read that the ‘debris’ that you get in the wax sometimes are actually lumps that can occur in the dye they use to colour the wax, and can apparently dissipate with more intense running in (the bottles haven’t been run much to date) the idea of it being actual dirt/grit in the wax that has previously been suggested does seem a bit far fetched.

Has anyone had a ‘gritty’ bottle that cleared with use? Removing and ‘filtering’ the wax like one of the posters above is not something I would particularly want to take on!

I have a few bottles that have been "gritty", I'm fairly certain it's dye (and Mathmos did say as much when I enquired about it with them).  My turquoise bottles have been particularly bad in this respect.

I have found that they do lessen over time.  The turquoise/violet bottle in my Neo is basically uniform now - that's the bottle I have run the most (perhaps a month? - 10 hrs a day ish).  The Neo does seem to run a little hot also (I've since added a dimmer socket), I'm not sure if that helped.  My large astro turquoise/violet has only been running for maybe a week maximum at the minute, and that still has a fair few dots in it.  That lamp is also running relatvely cool at the minute due to it's position, I may shift it to a warmer spot to see if that will speed up the process.

You do get bad bottles from time to time. I have a clear white that has some black bits floating in it. 

In older bottles the coil can degrade. I have a blue green from the late 90s where parts of the coil have a rust like appearance on it. Sometimes turquoise wax needs a good running in to mix the wax properly, but have never heard of pink wax becomimg a problem. Also glue residue can be a problem and make the wax crusty in places if contaminated. 

Keep everything super clean if opening the bottles and clean off glue deposits thoroughly. 

Run your astros for longer on a dimmer, perhaps overnight to mix wax. Also mixing yellow and blue masterfluid gives a fantastic emerald green. I have turned a blue green and a yellow orange into a green green and a really nice green orange that looks just like a crestworth original colourway. 

Will try a more intensive period of ‘running in’ and see how it goes, I like a ‘lazier’ flow so usually use lower wattage bulbs, but am now using the 40w SES golf-ball (the type with the chromed lower half that Mathmos used to do, I still have a couple from years ago) which run the lamps hotter.

Looking at the flakes in the pink bottle, shining a light directly on the wax you can see they have a sort of blue/purple hue, similar to the colour of the pink wax when it’s cold, which seems to suggest that it’s likely residual from the dye/ colouring.

Bit perplexed as to what the lumps in the clear/white bottle posted would be, since presumably they don’t use any sort of dye/ colouring.

A bit worried now

looking at the wax while the lamp is cold, the 'grit' looks different, I fear the debris might in fact be a 'foreign' contaminant, took a picture of the bottom of the bottle where you can see the 'objects'

Anyone any thoughts?



Yep, looks pretty similar to how my bottle looked like.

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