Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So this lamp:

clouded up again. I removed the fluid and am trying some experiments.

  • Tap water only. No flow.
  • Distilled water only. No flow. 
  • Distilled water with GooKit surf. No flow. 
  • Distilled water with salt...getting there, but won't detach and rise.
  • Distilled water with salt and dish soap - decent flow, but lava is now stuck to sides of glass and is very bubbly. 

Tell me about what dishsoap does and what salt (I'm using canning salt - pure salt) does. I'm trying to learn. This shouldn't be this hard!!!

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 I think regular dish soap has the tendency to break down the wax. Gookits surf seems to be liquid glycerin soap which will not attack the wax. I still think the salt should be replaced with a glycol but finding the right mixture is trial and error.

 Once the wax starts sticking I think it is beyond repair. I have a few lamps that I need to experiment on myself, if it does not work I can always Gookit.

It didn't stick until I put the dishsoap in. I still want to keep trying! 

Jim, can you confirm these are the two correct items to buy for further testing?



Propylene Glycol:


Ok, I'm still working on this lamp. Distilled water. Each time I add epsom salt, the lava domes a little higher. I eventually got it to disconnect, but now most of the time, it sits like this. 

Where do I go from here? Past experiments tell me what if I add much more salt, the wax disconnects from the coil completely and never reattaches. Keep in mind this is 60s formula lava. Not 70s. I've also added 3 drops of glycerin and a little 50/50 propylene glycol, which seemed to make no different at all. 

Use Epsom salt. Dump fluid, make sure globe and wax are rinsed clean with distilled water.  Then fill globe with approximately  70% of globe with distilled water.  Then in another glass mix up 2 Tblspoons of epsom salt in a glass of distilled water, Put glass in microwave to heat it up, this will speed up salt dissolving in distilled water in this glass.  Turn your lamp on to start warming your fresh distilled water and wax in your globe.  Once the wax is liquid (heated up) check by picking up globe and rotating it.  Now take the Epsom salt that is dissolved in the warmed distilled water in your glass and slowly start adding to your globe.  I usually use a 10 cc syringe, start to pour a little at a time until you see the lava begin to rise, then stop.  Once lava starts to rise, then I add my sodium lauryth sulfate(surfactant) to get lava to stretch or flow to ur desire. 
From what I understand PG propylene glycol make the water "heavier " same thing the Epsom salt does. Erin where your at right there on your latest pic I would add dish soap , better yet, SLS, you will see it go through the lava to bottom. Make sure your lava is at normal temperature. Let us know what happens. Fixing to post pics of crestworth lamp that I did couple days ago.

Thanks. What you have written above is basically what I've done. The ingredient I'm missing is sodium lauryth sulfate. I'll look into getting some of that. Thank you! 

Where would one find SLS?

Cool. Thanks. Do you have any of it? Maybe we could swap - light bulbs for SLS?

Mr MaGoo said:

Sure sounds good pm your address.

OMG look! One drop of dish soap. The wax is now bubbly, but it's moving... so cool. I couldn't contain my excitement and went ahead and dyed it back to it's original color.

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