Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I have been tinkering around with making my own lamps for about 3 months now and have finally come up with a recipe that works consistently and flows reasonably well for my liking.  With that said, I was watching some lamps that I watched the other night and noticed a behavior that I don't see in my lamps; namely the fact that the wax blobs tend to merge with much more ease in the commercial lamps.  The wax in my lamps will merge at the bottom when they hit the coil, but merging when they are at the top occurs at a much lower rate.  The commercial lamps don't seem to have this problem and I even see the occasional blobs merge as they pass one another in the middle of the fluid column.

My question is this:  Does anyone know what mechanism allows this merging to occur more often?  A wax component? The master fluid?  Both?    My lamps use only distilled water and SLS as the master fluid. The wax is just kerosene, paraffin, micro-crystalline, and perc. 

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I only have Mathmos lamps so I can't talk about the lava lite/China lamps, but my lamps only merge at the bottom, generally when they hit the coil.  They will sit at the bottom as separate blobs for a second or two until they hit the coil

I don't think I've ever seen mine merge at the top, but then the blobs don't hang around at the top much at all.

I found out that adding one or two drops of dishwashing liquid will cause the lava blobs to merge much more easily as well as leading to overall smaller and 'stringier' blobs..

Had to replace the master fluid in a vintage mathmos jet lamp which had become extremely cloudy.

The original wax was in perfect condition after remelting it.

Just used distilled water as master fluid, about 30 ml of saturated epsom salt brine to adjust specific density and two tiny drops of dishwasing fluid as surfactant. Total master fluid capacity of mathmos jet bottle is abour 750 ml Hope this helps.

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