Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey everyone! Long time no see. So I have had a Colossus sitting empty in my house for a few years now after it wouldn't flow when I put a Gookit in it. I finally decided it was a shame to keep it in its sorry state.
For a quick recap of the original project you can check out this uploaded picture and read the comments.
https://oozinggoo.ning.com/photo/status-update-on-the-colossus-gook...

I started this project with a call to the fine people at Magma Tower to get some advice on what went wrong when I originally tried this out. I emptied the water out most of the way to make it easier to move the lamp since I had moved a few times over the years. It turns out if you want to store their goo they suggest you store it dry so the water doesn't leech chemicals out of the wax. I was also told that chemicals can be left over from the original lamp contents that will stop the lamp from flowing. I also found out that even residue left on the cap can stop the flow once the cap starts to drip from the humidity. Finally I got the prescription for the lamp.

Scrape the top layer of wax off because it likely will have issues due to chemical leeching.
Wash it out with surfactant. 2oz should do.
Buy a 16oz bottle of surfactant and 8-9 gallons of distilled water.
Refill the lamp, add the surfactant, see if it flows.

Some stats for others going down this route.

  • The lamp needs 10ml of surfactant per quart. The lamp is 40 quarts(10 gallons) so I will need to add 13.5oz of surfactant.
  • The lamp should have a 20/80 goo to water ratio.
  • 175 watts is about what you need for a light. Bigger lava lamps are dramatically more effected by ambient temperature so you should probably use a 200 watt light and use a dimmer to maintain a stable temperature.
  • The top of the lamp should come in at 125-134 degree Fahrenheit.

I originally ordered 4 quarts of goo. I asked if that may have been my issue and I was told no, but it will have less wax at the bottom. I may end up having to buy 4 more quarts to reach. This kind of throws off the calculations slightly, but shouldn't effect anything.

I should have my surfactant next week, but I'll be out of state for a business trip. I'll update this post when I get back.

Anyways... picture time.

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Bulk Apothecary sells gallons of pure SLS for very cheap.  12 bucks a jug.

https://www.bulkapothecary.com/raw-ingredients/other-ingredients-an...

I'd just grab that and saturate it with distilled water yourself.  You will literally never run out of that stuff- I've made probably 30 or so (more if you count ones that were complete trash as I was learning) and I've gone through like a tiny fraction of that bottle.

There's somebody on Reddit who added bleach to an Astro mini to change the color of the liquid. I'm sure a little bleach would help prevent growth, although I don't know how the wax would react long term. 

It absolutely would prevent growth, but bleach is a very strong oxidizer and will almost certainly cause the people who are doing that problems down the road. A much easier way to remove color from a lamp is to just leave it outside under direct sunlight. No permanent chemical changes to the formula from adding things like bleach to it.

For fun here is a 16 minute time lapse at 16x speed. This is how it has ran for months now.


BamaMatt said:

There's somebody on Reddit who added bleach to an Astro mini to change the color of the liquid. I'm sure a little bleach would help prevent growth, although I don't know how the wax would react long term. 

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