Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I bought a lamp off Ebay, kind of like a rocket but wire legs. The liquid was clear but the wax would not separate or float. A bigger bulb 40w was no help. So back to the 30w. I added some epsom salt and got the balance good but I only got a large blob, so I added some dish washing liquid and it started to flow. However every time I add the dish washing liquid it starts to get cloudy. Im using Ivory clear. Any Ideas?

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Can you post a pic of the lamp?

You were doing good until you added the dish soap.

A surfactant (SLES) is what you needed to break the tension so the lave would split apart.


there are many types used for soap and cosmetics, but in the Lava world, it is called SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE

You can buy some from Magma Tower or here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sodium-Laureth-Sulfate-SLES-Cosmetic-Grade...

It will not only break surface tension, it will also guarantee the Lava will not stick to the sides of the globe if you coat the globe with the soapy solution prior to filling it.

Dishsoap (even clear Ivory or Dawn) will not remain clear and has additives that will cloud the water

Can you tell me hoe much I need. I have 2 small lamps and 1 very large one.

thank you

Not much-Average%20Surfactant%20amount%20according%20to%20globe%20size%20are...

larry williard said:

Can you tell me hoe much I need. I have 2 small lamps and 1 very large one.

thank you

I have 2 looks like 20 oz 1 = 32oz and 1 = 250oz, looks like I need max 3.2oz for all of them.

I see the link you gave was 1oz (only) and 60% the rest on ebay was approx 28%  I assume I need the 60% solution.

Could I use  SLS  instead of SLES

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a classic anionic surfactant that is considered milder than sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) but has very similar properties

thank you again.

yes you can use either one but be careful, some I have bought on ebay in the past was milky as it was used just for soap making.

here is another option if you're not in a hurry.

(takes @ 3 weeks to arrive in USA)


Always buy more than needed.

premix the amount needed in the bottle of distilled water.

I coat the bottle heavily with some additional mix first, dump it out but do not let it dry, then add 1/3 distilled water with SLES/SLS,, add hot lava, then the remainder of the water, 

it will want to float

if you get bubbles, put the globe in a water bath on stove and heat until  all the Lava floats and bubbles are gone, shut off heat and let cool 

I worked with these lamps last year and always ended up with cloudy water. Now I know why. I even made the goo and it worked. Although at least one ended up with wax stuck on the sides no matter how clean I got the bottle. finally gave up.  I found this on amazon.


All I can verify are the products I've use in the past

For $100 its worth a shot

I just used clear shampoo... worked fine in the two lamps i fixed

Ivory dish soap is clear but turns the water cloudy, must be one of the ingredients.

try the shampoo i used..  Its called Garnier Fructis.  Pure clean, silicone free fortifying shampoo..  Its a clear green bottle.  I got the normal to oily hair one.

Its a clear shampoo and 3-4 drops in my 32oz and 52oz bottles its been 2 weeks now and i have no clouding at all


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