Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey guys, pretty much a newb here. Technically savvy, but missing something. My kid got an old gold metal base lamp at an antique store. Worked, but missing quite a bit of water, and not very clear. Read the directions on here, seemed easy enough to change water. Followed the "retro-basic" instructions for water change, but goo just won't come off the bottom. Oh yea, it's a 32oz. I have put probably two teaspoons of pickling salt in so far and don't want to over do it. It seems like it needs more salt, I just wanted to check here first. I can slowly stir the goo with a skewer, and when a bubble does break loose, it quickly sinks back to the bottom and rejoins the rest. This indicates to me the goo is still to heavy compared to the water.

 Am I on the right track, or doing something horribly wrong? (something in-between...hope-hope)

Thanks in advance for any tips.

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Just wanted to add, could be wrong about it being a 32oz. Just looked at the ones on Amazon. Their 17" tall lamps they are calling 52oz. Mine has a gold metal base, with the little holes in it for light to shine through, stands about 17" tall total.

i agree with your line of thinking.  i would try more salt.

I've restored a few old lamps (70s). Here's all the info I know about them:


So far, I have added AT LEAST three teaspoons of pickling salt. No change. Seems like a lot. When I play with the goo at the bottom while hot (with a bamboo skewer), still seems really heavy. I can swirl it, makes a volcano thing. Break it up a little, forms little blobs that spin around then drop QUICKLY back to the bottom. Let the whole thing settle, NO DOMING.


MORE SALT? I would think there was something wrong with ooze, 'cept it was working before I changed water.

Yea more salt is needed - 3 teaspons is not enough try adding about a tablespoon and see how it goes

There is not a set amount so just keep adding it untill it works.

Finally got her to flow. One tablespoon one day, another the second. Started to see some reaction. Started adding by the 1/2 teaspoon until it started to flow properly. Now, of course, since I been dinkin' with it for a week, the fresh water is all clouded up. Hoping it will clear back up with a few cycles. Also, the lava is FULL of bubbles. Hoping this will cure itself with running also. Time will tell. Thanks all for your tips. Never would have dreamed it would take that much salt based on what I head read previously.

glad you got it to flow, carl.  post some photos if you get a chance - would love to see it.

It will clear while running as the heat helps to disolve the salt more but while its off it will be cloudy this is due to the salt.

Cycling it should help with the bubblie wax.

Just to touch base. Flow has been great. Clearing up day by day. Will post photos soon. Lava still FULL of bubbles, and does not seem to be improving. Gonna run it a few more days. If it doesn't seem to be getting any better, I'll do something. Probably change the spring. And I think heating the wax up in a pan of water (have to for removing spring anyway) will help "reduce" it back down to original state (?). Of course I'll keep my water so I don't have to start all over again with that.

Well, bubbles wouldn't go away, was driving me crazy. Also, seemed to stop getting clearer, and actually started to cloud back up again. I read on here somewhere about the spring causing bubbles. I had changed the spring with something a little bigger in wind and spacing. Found a spring that was closer to the original.

Poured out water (saved....even though cloudy)

Removed wax

Changed spring

Returned wax and water.

So, the process of heating wax to get it out of the lamp got rid of the bubbles. Whether it's the new spring or a coincidence don't know; but they haven't returned. However, water is so cloudy now it's unbearable. Really bummed cause now the goo is perfect, flow is awesome, water is HORRIBLE.

   I was stuck on this whole "keeping it original" thing. But, I think I'm just gonna do a goo-kit so I can stop messing with it and start to enjoy my lamp. I mean, I've been enjoying the process, but haven't got the results I wanted. Ya win some, Ya loose some.

thanks for the update, carl.  maybe you've considered this already, but you could re-do the water mixture again to see if that helps get rid of cloudiness.

if you decide to go with the goo kit, you won't be disappointed!

You could try using fog fluid insted of salt if you decied to have another go at the water

The cloudyness is often caused by the wax, so the wax may be on its way out

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