Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate


I posted about this a while back but the trail has gone a bit cold, so to speak.


Just wondered if anyone had any success in finding a ‘hands on’ approach to solving the sticking wax issue that seems to be a quite a common defect on newer Mathmos bottles, since I still have a couple of (non returnable) bottles which have this issue.



Was contemplating re-filling them using a goo/glitter kit, but with the prohibitive the cost of getting these in the UK now this is probably no longer an option.




Is there still hope or is the situation a ‘write off’.

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Yes but if the fluid is not too warm (below 20°C) it wont. If you are worried anyway drop the wax in when its cold.

There will probly be some bubbles of fluid in the wax first but after 2-3 runs it's as smooth as before.

Lately for sticky Mathmos lamps I've been pouring the melted wax into large 60ML horticultural syringes and using them to squirt the wax back into the lamps with the master fluid already in them. You could probably find bigger ones, but I had these laying around. I let it cool a bit first. The results are decent. I did that and completely eliminated sticking for dozens of runs, but the wax did eventually begin to stick again.

Example. I scooped the wax in on this one. I'd recommend pouring the melted wax right in the syringe and not do it this way.

I have two io/lunar bottles with sticking wax. A blue green which is really bad and a pink turquoise which is just slightly bad. I also have a blue pink telstar bottle which can be problematic. 

As the wax sometimes sticks on the telstar bottle and sometimes doesn't, this leads me to believe that it's the wax itself and not the bottles. 

My blue green io bottle is quite frankly a write off, so may try some of the techniques listed here as I've got nothing to lose with it. 

Mathmos seriously need to get a grip here. I mean how many dodgy bottles are there out there? 

That's exactly it. This is caused by their formula not the bottles. There is no way they aren't aware of this and I don't know why they haven't fixed it yet. 

Jezza said:

I have two io/lunar bottles with sticking wax. A blue green which is really bad and a pink turquoise which is just slightly bad. I also have a blue pink telstar bottle which can be problematic. 

As the wax sometimes sticks on the telstar bottle and sometimes doesn't, this leads me to believe that it's the wax itself and not the bottles. 

My blue green io bottle is quite frankly a write off, so may try some of the techniques listed here as I've got nothing to lose with it. 

Mathmos seriously need to get a grip here. I mean how many dodgy bottles are there out there? 

Looking at the photo I thought you had discovered a delicious recipe for Lava Tacos or Lava Enchiladas.  Yummy!

Autumn said:

Lately for sticky Mathmos lamps I've been pouring the melted wax into large 60ML horticultural syringes and using them to squirt the wax back into the lamps with the master fluid already in them. You could probably find bigger ones, but I had these laying around. I let it cool a bit first. The results are decent. I did that and completely eliminated sticking for dozens of runs, but the wax did eventually begin to stick again.

Example. I scooped the wax in on this one. I'd recommend pouring the melted wax right in the syringe and not do it this way.

OK, so had a ‘stab’ at this yesterday,



The wax poured much easier than I was expecting, so took the opportunity to filter the wax (the wax seemed to have a lot of debris or ‘grit’ which seems another fairly common issue)



Contents now re-instated and have given it a couple of runs, and though the ‘sticking’ has lessened, but the bottle still doesn’t seem to flow very well, (It wasn’t great before) with the wax mostly ‘slumping’ at the bottom of the bottle, only occasionally ‘snaking’ 



Not quite sure what’s gone wrong, perhaps I didn’t wash the bottle thoroughly enough?

 Well, back to the drawing board, I guess. At least fixed the ‘gritty’ wax

Add glycerin 99,5% in steps of about 1ml until desired flow is achieved. When doing so make sure the lamp has completely cooled down and with glycerin of about the same temperature. If you add cold glycerin to warm fluid it will cloud up...if both is at room temperature or below it doesnt.

Good to here that you succeeded with the wax removal/pouring procedure. It might sound a bit tricky but as you see it' not rocket science...Actually I really do enjoy swapping around bottles, liquids etc. as it either fixes a lamp that does odd things I dont care for (sticking, sitting at the bottom, sitting at the top, sitting around in general) or - if things like mica are added - it creates something new...either way its always nice to watch all the small flakes of wax become one again...a bit like the terminator but less lethal.

Thanks, will give this a try.

Have done the second bottle now which seems to be flowing fine, and a ‘re-refill’ of the first bottle having cleaned the glass more throughly, but now the flow issue seems to have gotten worse with the wax just continuously slumped and now not ‘launching’ at all. Not quite sure what I have done that has upset the balance so much, having followed the same procedure for the second bottle without issue.

I just did two Mathmos bottles that had sticking of the wax to the sides. One was really bad and when I ran it that wax would just creep up the sides.one of the bottles I poured the fluid out and then rinsed the inside of the bottle. I then cleaned it thoroughly with a bottle brush and rinsed it out again. I then carefully added surfactant (with the wax still solidified at the bottom. When I added the surfactant the bottle was sideways. I then added water and made sure the SURF covered the inside of the bottle.afterwards I continued to rinse the bottle and make sure that no bubbles from the SURF remained and then poured the fluid back in. Zero wax sticking and it flows better now than before.

The second bottle was actually the first one I did and poured out all the fluid and then left the globe on the heated base. The heat will melt all the wax and eventually it will all go to the base of the globe. Keep a pan with hot water and when you pour out the wax into,a Pyrex container put that in the pan to keep the wax melted. Clean the inside of the bottle with a bottle brush and then rinse thoroughly. Add the surfactant to warm water then swirl around in the inside of the globe. Rinse the globe thoroughly . Pour the wax back into the globe wiith a funnel and tubing. Let the wax cool in the globe and then add the fluid back. Zero sticking of the wax to the globe and lava is flowing nicely.


.After, by the way the lamp,isn’t hazy it’s the tv in the background and hard to get a good pict

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