Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

All,  Has anybody looked at the different surfactants out there?  It seems that there are a few terms like non-ionic, ionic and cloud point.  If you google cloud point, it is the temperature where the non-ionic surfactant will haze up the mixture of what it is suspended in.  Can this be why some lamps cloud up?  And how can they be filtered yet still retain the correct chemicals? Will  Ionic surfactants  attach in the water and not cloud?  I saw somewhere that Dove is an ionic surfactant but I can't find it again.  What is the general consensus on these additives?  Thanks, Scott 

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Hi there Scott Im afriad I am also having trouble in the soap department. I have almost cracked the code with master fluid. I can get a lamp to work as well if not better than a Mathmos lamp with my mix but after the lamp has cooled and then is reheated the liquid goes cloudy. I am pretty sure its to do with the soap. I need to find something else that will break the surface tension of the wax. Without the soap the lamp works but the formations are like egg yokes floating around. If anyone has any ideas as to what to use to reduce the surface tension of the wax that would be fantastic as I am so close to producing a cheap and easy formula to replace old master fluid. And will be more than willing to share. Many thanks Chris.
Aim towards anti foam agents http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/etc/medialib/docs/Fluka/Datasheet/04686...

Kerosene was used in the old days http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defoamer

Polypropylene Glycol was also used as a mixture for the water to break surface tension.


LampHead
Christian, Try childrens bubble soap. I use a propylene glycol mix of 30/70 by volume. Supposedly, the cloud point occurs in such mixes but the childrens bubble soap seems not to be as harsh.
Scott
here in the uk i had no luck with fairy liquid - always clouded up.
so then i went through everything in the house before discovering that tesco own brand tea tree oil shampoo did the trick - the lamp is still cloud free a month later.
Thanks LampHead. Anti foam agents. now theres food for thought. Ooh I love a good tinker. Thanks.
Thankyou Scott. Thats kind of strange because I bought a bottle of kids bubbles the other day with this in mind, but havn't got round to trying it with my mix yet. I will let you know how it goes.
Thanks Alan. I will give the Tesco tea tree shampoo a try. Every little helps lol.

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