Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Trying to crack the original formula- why was kerosene used?

In my quest to figure out exactly what the original formula is, one thing I haven't figured out is why they used Kerosene in the mixture.  It seems like it was a very small part of the mixture, something like 7% by volume.

But what was the point?  Did it act as a preservative, or enhance the flow, or help to bind everything together?


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I actually sent out a few sample requests to a few chemical manufacturers in the US... lets see if I get any bites lol

They probably will ignore you unless you have a business name behind your request. That has always been my experience with these kinds of requests. You may have better luck calling local supply companies in your area. They are way more likely to sell you a small amount and take interest in your project.

Ant Bee said:

I actually sent out a few sample requests to a few chemical manufacturers in the US... lets see if I get any bites lol

I'll see what I can find!  In any case I will press on with the Brakleen, because I think I'm getting really close its just not perfect.

And I sure as hell aint messing with Chlorine gas!

PG will modify the master fluid so the specific gravity will allow the lava to float

Has nothing to do with the texture of the lava wax

Ant Bee said:

Innnnnteresting info there.  I have been using PG in my own lamps for a while now, but only in the smallest amounts I can get away with.  I wonder if I need to make the wax *much* heavier, and balance that by using a lot more PG?

Safety report on the liquid part. Hope it helps you.


Tetrasodium ethylene diamine tetra acetate (EDTA) = to hold trace metal ions in water.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG 300, PEG400) = Used to balance density.

Methylparaben = Germicidal agent

Magnesium Laureth Sulfat = Anionic surfactant. It is sold as 25%.

Polyethylene glycol tert octylphenol ethoxylate = Surfactant. As far as you know, Triton ™ X is included.

Alcohols, C10-12, ethoxylated = nonionic surfactant.

Hydrochloric acid = can be pH stabilizer. It may be to prevent clouding from surfactants. But it shortens the life of the coil.

Man, y'all keep hitting me with this great info.  I sincerely hope others are taking this info and trying to work this out with me- because I'm just an ape with some household chemicals and no education.

Ok, lets have a crack at the new blue formula!  6:00, lamp on.  This stuff is also heavier than anything I have ever made, but it did solidify like normal stuff.  So that's a good sign.  I filled the lamp with roughly 30% PG and the rest distilled.  Some room left at the top for adjustment- which I am guessing will need to be PG.

I expect that this one MAY stick a bit, as I re-used a bottle and didn't scrub it as carefully as I normally do. 

t+0:13- this stuff warms up faster.  It didn't do the usual "lid flipping, burst upwards in one great glob" first time warmup that my other lamps do, instead it "tipped" and weinered a bit before resting again.  *very* 90s.  I do think I will need to add PG to this later.

t+20, warmup is very promising.  Sticking like I thought, but we're not after a perfect lamp here.  Just observing wax properties.

t+25, the weiner has fallen and is being consumed by liquid.  I noticed that before it fell, the warmth of the fluid was making the was at the top "sweat" like old stuff does.

T+40, fully re-liquified but won't rise.  It REALLY wants to.  Adding some PG and letting it settle.

Some of my works. Two different wax combinations. Same bottle and bulb.

The white one; It contains liquid paraffin, stearic acid, synthetic thinner and PERC.

The orange one; Contains paraffin (MP 46 - 48 C), petroleum jelly, beeswax, synthetic thinner and PERC.

What do they look like on the warmup?  Any spiking?

Its warming up is similar to yours. Wax rises first. Then wax sits. Then the flow begins. This process changes according to the outdoor temperature.

Ant Bee said:

Isınmada neye benziyorlar? Herhangi bir artış var mı?

You should be able to achieve the right density by simply adding more PG. Do you have a way to measure density? That might help you get an idea of what ratio to start with. You can start with a cheap floating hydrometer or maybe throw a few thousand at a digital one.

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