Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

GooKits / GooKit How-To

What used to formally known as Lava Louie, is now known as Magma Tower.

Magma Tower are known for making HUGE lava lamp displays if you check out their website you'll be amazed by what you see. They are also the makers of the Gookits which is a incredible alternative and simply the best way to revamp your lava lamp. They used to sell online directly, but have moved to ebay and can be found here. They include a short list of instructions with their kit, which is also hosted here(.PDF).



GooKit tutorial provided by Dr.WHAT?!:

Alrighty Gooheads here is the GooKit tutorial. I tried to take as many visual pictures as possible but I would recommend you follow and read each step carefully. I'll be more then happy to answer any questions you guys have. Lets get started!


Step 1: Supplies

Below is breakdown of what you'll need to get started. 

  • Globe - For this tutorial I'll be using a lava lite Grande globe.
  • The GooKit (eBay link) - When you purchase a full GooKit you'll get 1 quart of wax, 4 oz. of surfactant, one straw, one funnel, a dropper (I'm using a cough syrup measuring cup instead) 3 color dye packs (not pictured) and some screen to act as the coil. I never use the screen because I just use the coil that comes in the globe that I'm revamping. Also the kits are sized so the biggest lamp you can refill would be a Grande. And if you plan to doing smaller globes like 52 oz.., you can probably redo 5-6 globes with one GooKit. Even more when you go smaller like the 32 oz. 20 oz. etc.
  • Distilled water ONLY!! They only recommend using distilled water because there's no organics in the water. Plus when you see how crystal clear your lamp will look, you'll want to use distilled water anyway.  I got 2 gallons at Walmart for $.89 each. Worth the $2.00 investment you'll see :)
  • A big pot for boiling water. You don't need to use one as big as the one shown if you doing smaller globes obviously,


Step 2: Cleaning Your Globe

First step is opening up your globe. The newer Grande globes are sealed up pretty good so you have to remove cap using a knife or a tiny flat head screwdriver. There is also plenty pictures and topics around on the OG board that demonstrate how to do this too. After you get the metal cap off you'll come to a white rubber stopper. Remove that and dump out the lamps water so all that's left is the wax and coil. 


Once you get your globe emptied, you can now place your globe into the pot of water and put it on the stove. I would fill the pot with cold tap water and fill it to about the level of the wax when the globe sits in the pot. Too much water may cause your globe to be buoyant and possibly fall over once the water starts boiling.


Crank up the stove and keep a close eye on it, once the water starts to boil turn it down to a simmer. Having the stove cranked on high the whole time may cause you globe to crack. So we don't want it to be super hot. After some time, you'll start to notice the wax starting to melt. It'll take a good 30 minutes to completely melt down a Grande's wax. Once it's completely melted use an old water or milk jug to dispose of the wax.

CAUTION - This globe is going to be very very hot so use oven mitts or gloves when handling it.

Once you get out all the old wax, its time to clean the globe and the coil. The coil you can just use hot as possible tap water to rinse off any left behind wax. Once that's rinsed off and clean, it's time for the globe. Place the globe in the sink with the funnel in the top opening.


Now take the water that you just used to boil the globe with and pour that inside the empty globe. This will ensure that any left over wax will completely melt from the inside of the globe. Add a few drops of dish soap to it and it's martini time!!! Place the white rubber stopper back on and take 2 oven mitts, one on top and one on the bottom, and pick up the globe and shake it like you make a martini! Slosh it around throughout the entire inside of the globe. But be careful you don't shake it too hard and too fast. You might feel the top trying to pop off when the pressure builds and you may get sprinkled with some really hot water, so ease the pressure out slowly to prevent this.



After swooshing it around for a good minute, dump out the water and refill again with clean, hot-as-possible tap water and re-add a couple drops of dish soap.


** Another important note when refilling the globe with clean water, your globe will be very hot so keep it completely away from cold water. This will cause it to crack.


After you fill it with clean hot tap water, use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of the globe. You can find them for purchase on beer brewing websites maybe even local stores. Scrub as much as you can and then rinse out you globe completely with hot water until you're left with a clean empty globe.


Step 3: Preparing Your Globe For Wax

This is the most important step to take when preparing your globe.  We are now going to mix our surfactant with the (some, not all) distilled water. According to the instructions they supply with the kit, you must use 10 ml of surfactant per quart of distilled water. Now I'm not sure exactly how many quarts of water are used in a Grande because I never measured it, but this will be 7th grande I've refilled and I've always used 55-60 ml of surfactant for a Grande and always have great results. Measure out your surfactant and pour it into a water pitcher with about 4 cups of distilled water. Take that and pour that into your empty globe. And then it's martini time again! Swoosh it around a good amount making sure you coat the entire inside of the globe with water and surf. Do that for a good minute and pour the water out into your water pitcher and set that aside. Don't worry about any left over water in the globe. This will not mix with the wax, plus it keeps an important barrier the wax needs to prevent it from sticking to the globe. Make sure you have your coil in the globe as well when swooshing around the water surf mix.


Average Surfactant amount according to globe size are as follows. If your unsure of what size globe you have please check out the section on Globe Sizes.

  • 8 oz. - Don't waste your time lol
  • 20oz. - 4-5 ml
  • 32oz. - 8-10ml
  • 52oz. - 15-17ml
  • 250 oz. - 55-60ml
  • Other globes other then lava lite globes you'll have to figure out what the fluid amount is in quarts. Then from there you can decide how much surf to use.

** The more surfactant you use, the more round blobs will be produced.

** The less surfactant you use, the long stretchy type of blob you'll get.



Step 4: Pouring Your Wax

Here you can stick your quart of wax from the GooKit into a pot of boiling water like you did with the globe. Once the wax is completely melted you can now pour that into the globe using the funnel and straw they supplied. The funnel and straw help prevent the wax from splattering all on the inside of the globe when it's poured in.

When the wax is all in, pull out the funnel and straw and let it sit until completely cool and it will become solid again (about 2 hours).


Step 5: Get it Flowing

After a long 2-hour wait, your globe is ready to have the rest of the water added to it. Take the pitcher of water you set aside that has the 4 cups of water and all the surf in it and pour it into your globe. Try to pour it down the side of the globe like you would a beer (or root beer for you minors) to prevent too many bubbles to forming. You don't want the globe to look like a bubble bath - lol. After successfully pouring your 4 cups of water and surf all you do now is fill the rest of the globe up with plain distilled water until you reach the lava lamps original water level. Throw it up on a base and get it flowing!  As for recapping the globe, run it first until it's flowing and when you're ready to turn it off for the day then you can push the rubber stopper back in and put the metal cap back on and re crimp it.  If you do this while the lamp is still warming up it'll most likely turn into a flying projectile. The lamp will build up pressure as it gets hotter so the best time to recapped the globe is when it's cooling when it creates a vacuum.

I hope I covered everything, if you guys have questions ask away. Here are the final pics of it flowing. 


Step 6: Coloring Your Wax

This is a pretty easy step in the process. When you buy a gookit it naturally comes white in color. The gookit comes supplied with 3 colors packs. Yellow, Blue and Green.  They used to have a red dye pack instead of a green one that was included in the gookit but they change it for some reason. So if you want a red wax or anything that needs red in it, like orange or purple, you'd have to purchase a separate red dye pack.  And then mix that with the blue or yellow you get with the kit or you can just buy the exact color you want separately. Below is a picture taking from their website that shows you the available colors and a brief description of applying the color. They pretty much cover all the main colors and even have fluorescent dyes that look really wicked under a black light. Here is a picture of my UV white grande which is known now as UV blue and I love it! Coloring your wax can be done prior to pouring your wax into the globe or while it's flowing it doesn't matter. I prefer while it's flowing. A couple important things to remember is you must be extremely patient and add dye in small amounts. This way you have total control of the color. If you rush the coloring, you will over saturate it. This especially happens with darker colors like blue, purple or green. If you add to much, the wax will appear blackish when flowing. Whenever I color my gookits, a grande for example, I'll use about a dime size chunk of color dye and let it sit for a hour, totally flowing, until all the dye is completely dissolved in the wax. And then I see where the color sits after 2 good cycles. If it looks good I leave it if it needs more, then I just add more dye and wait another cycle or two until I get the color I want. First time runs with gookits, run almost always transparent. So what looks cool now may possible change after the 2nd or 3rd cycle. Another thing I do notice with dyed gookit wax, is when the wax is cold, green wax for example, will look light lime green. But when flowing it'll be much darker green. I've also noticed this with some dye packs like the aqua blue, when cold looks green but when running it looks purplish-greenish-blue. So the wax used in a gookit is more transparent then LL or Mathmos wax allowing more light to shine through the wax. This makes it appear as multi-colored goo.


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