Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I stupidly bought a Clearview from Target a few days ago. A clear/blue with the "pearl" blue base. Right out of the box, the liquid was hazy. It's been run about four times now and is not improving. I think I already know the answer to my question - but is there any chance it will clear with more running? My gut tells me no. 

It actually has decent flow, too! Dangit!

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Take it back and exchange....it is hopeless

I kinda figured as much. I thought about popping the top and re-doing the liquid, but at $25, I might as well return it. I don't suspect anyone's had one of these clear. I wonder if they're all the same...

I have cleared one Chinese lava, the tangerine/white accent thing, but my colossus is still cloudy, even after over a year of dedicated cycling. :(

You cleared it by running it? I restored a 20 oz. blue/purple a year or so ago, but I don't know that I want to pop the top on a $25 lamp.

That stinks about your Colossus. :( Ouch. I am sorry to hear it. That fear alone is why I couldn't spent $850 on a lamp - I kinda knew the potential for problems. 

Im working on clearing 2 9 month old Neon's now that I left run too long.  They look exactly like your Clearview but were not like this out of the box.  I would definitely take that back.  Because my Spencer's is an hour and a half drive, when I buy a lamp from them, I make them take it out of the box and I inspect it before I even get home.  They think i'm nuts, but after I explain they are obliged to do it for me.  They even asked me if I want to plug it in, lol!!!  I luv my Spencer's..

It's going back tonight. This is what frustrates me about today's lava lamps from Lava Lite - I don't see any sort of a future with these lamps, or resale possibilities. A lot of them will haze during shipping, never to clear up again. Even if I keep some of these lamps, I don't think I'd ever be able to sell them some day. 

Our staff at Spencer's is hit and miss. The last time I returned a lamp there, the lady scoffed at me and didn't quite understand the problem. THIS was the problem: http://oozinggoo.ning.com/photo/the-crappy-underside-of-lava-lite-l... 

I just looked at the pic of your other Spencer lamp!!!  That's horrible.  You should have told the lady she needs to educate herself on the merchandise she is selling........I go in my Spencer's armed for bear.  Like here goes ppl, I just drove 2 hours so I don't intend on coming back!!!  The only problem is you can't really tell until you do a few runs what's going to happen.  The 2 neons I purchased from them were pretty good until I left them run and overheat, but I just watched a video from when they were brand new and to me it did look a bit hazy compared to some of the lamps I've seen in the pics and vids on this site. 


Do you think the new Heritage collection will be improved?  I really want that red lava/red wizard base lamp, but am afraid to order online because of the shipping problem.  I called Sarah Richardson at Lava Lite and asked her how do they manage to keep the shipping ppl from letting the lamp shake all over?  she said it's just a hit or miss thing.  WHAT?  So now I have to ship the thing back if it's hazed or damaged?  If that's the case why are they doing online orders only?  Stupid....manybe they will eventually end up at Spencer's...


Now I keep skitzing out about my new black classic!!  I'm holding writing up in back of the lamp asking my daughter, "does it look like it's clouding up, "?  she is like "mom, take it easy", lol!!  I feel your frustration Erin.  I want a Mathmos one, but the only ones available in the US I don't like.

I have two Heritage Grandes and had one Heritage Century. I returned the Century. Both of my Grandes have crap in the coil and wax, though not as bad as that lamp I pictured above. 

I think ALL lamps from Lava Lite are hit and miss. I'd say about 80% of the lamps I've purchased in the past few years have had problems. Here's a quick rundown:

  • 2 black/orange from Spencers: Horrible wax. Sticking around base. Returned both.
  • Yellow Clearview from Target: hazy. Horrible flow. Returned. 
  • 5 little 10oz lamps from Kmart: horrible flow. Clear though. Returned all five. 
  • Red/blue 52oz. from Spencer's: horrible crap in the wax/coil after a few runs. Returned. 
  • Four Neons from Spencers: two have wax stuck around the very bottom. Otherwise no problems. I kept all four, despite the two with problems. They are all clear and mostly flow OK.
  • Rainbow "Colormax" from Spencers. Kept. Perfect lamp, though I only had it for a few months before I gifted it to someone. 
  • Green/black 52 oz. from Spencers: Good. Gifted to a friend. No problems at the time. 
  • Yellow/red Heritage Century purchased online. Stuck wax at top. Not great flow. Returned. 
  • Clear/red Heritage wizard. Kinda hazy. Uninteresting flow. Dumped and refilled with glitter. 
  • Clear/red Clearview from Target. Kinda hazy. Boring flow. Traded with a friend. 
  • Purple/yellow Clearview from Spencer's. Good. No problems. Kinda boring flow. Sold to a friend. 

So, as you can see, I don't keep most of what I buy. The common problems are cloudy/hazy liquid and the coil developing gunk after several runs. Sadly, most lamps will have at least one of these problems. 

Your best bet will always be to buy vintage or buy in person. Getting the newer ones shipped is taking a gamble. I know the temptation, believe me, but I'm just often disappointed. Always vote with your pocketbook and return lamps that are not up to your standards.

Mathmos makes great lamps. Getting them here is another issue! :)

You can see many of the lamps I've talked about here: http://oozinggoo.ning.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName...

I think the overall problem hear is that lava lamps arn't taken sersoley by the majority of people - lava lite knows that most people who buy them don't give them much thought or attention as we collectors do. People such as shop assistants see them as gimmicks so don't understand why we return them or take them out of the box to check etc etc. 

However the only company who 100% gets us is Mathmos - yes I understand that they are hard to get in the US and bordering on being a rip off getting them from the UK but they do quality which LL wont understand. 

Going back to the topic - yes take it back and if needed check every box until you find a clear globe if this fails go back when they have a new batch in.

Even if you get a clear, seemingly good Lava Lite lamp initially, there's no guarantee of future quality or performance. 

But yes Tim, you're exactly right - most people are not lava gurus like we are and don't care. 

OMG Erin!!!!  I just did a slide show of your pics!!  I'm floored!!  Are those all your lamps?  Are they mostly regooed or did they come clear at purchase?  I also want to comment on the way they are displayed.  The way you match your table tops and lamps together, wow!!  Where do you get some of the older ones?  I'm thinking ebay?  I just went through ebay and they do have some interesting lamps, but I am still afraid of the damage during shipping.  Are the fibers yours also?  God I remember dating my 2nd boyfriend and his mom had a huge fiber optic that I was just entranced with.  I also noticed that you put a brand new vintage globe up to a new china globe and I gotta say, those are hazy from the door!!  Also, I noticed between my 1990's Wizard and my new Neon the glass is of a much cheaper quality.  When I padoink it, it even makes a different sound.  I'm going to try and find something on ebay or maybe go to some flea markets.  I definitely want to work on getting some older lamps.  Hey who knows in time I may even try to regoo!!!  Again, you have quite a collection to be proud of. 

At one time, yes, they were all mine. I still have about 70% of what are pictured. I think. :) They are almost all "as they came". I didn't have much look with GooKits, and haven't done one for a few years now. 

Almost all of the lamps come from eBay. Some in trades or private sales here. I almost never have luck finding lava locally. Most vintage lamps can and will ship just fine - I've had over 100 of them shipped to my door with only 2 or 3 damaged. If you ever have questions about which lamps are good to buy on eBay, let me know. I still "watch" lamps all the time, but haven't bought anything in months. 

Yes, the fiber optics are mine as well. They are gorgeous, but I have far fewer of them. My main problem is that We have a small house, so many of them sit in the basement. 

A lot of the pics were taken on my laundry basket or dress and a white piece of posterboard behind them. Low budget photography. :)

Thanks for the compliments Carol! 

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