Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Well I finally took the plunge and decided to open and repair a few lamps. It was actually not hard at all. I had just found a lamp at a thrift store that was in bad shape, but for $4.00, i figured if I couldn't fix it, at least I would have another base and a globe to work with in the future.

First thing to do is get all of your tools and supplies ready! Flat bottle opener, clothes hanger, container to hold liquid, bowl to rinse coil, toothpick, screwdriver, screw clamp.

Use a flat bottle opener so that you don't bend the cap out of shape

Lift edge slightly, then turn globe. I turned it less that 1/8th of a turn each time.

It won't take long before the cap is loose enough to remove and it can be reused.

I drained (and saved) the liquid to make working with the coil easier

Now to remove the coil. I used a wire clothes hanger to snag the coil, any stiff wire with a small hook will work. Since the coil was easy to get to, I didn't have to melt the wax.

A little bit of junk stuck to the top of the globe, I cleaned it before continuing with the coil.

Dirty coil

I cleaned the gunk off of the coil, then rinsed the coil in hot water. I continued cleaning with a toothpick to remove all of the gunk. Sadly, no wax was able to be saved. And FYI, the coil has an adhesive holding it together, I found this out after I had cleaned it off and the coil came apart. But by pressing the coil ends together it holds together just fine.

Then I refilled the globe with the saved liquid

and then replaced the coil

Now to replace the cap. Put the cap in position and place screw clamp around it.

I held the clamp centered on the cap and tightened. Then I placed the clamp lower around the crimped edges and tightened again. Then because the clamp left a small pinched area, I loosened the clamp and turned it about 1/3rd, tightened again, and repeated. Whether I needed to do all that or not, it worked.


Globe on the right. It is not as yellow as the picture shows, it's more of a cream color. The cap has rust on it so I will need to find some bottle caps and redo it, maybe add color to the water also.

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Comment by Claude J on May 27, 2023 at 12:25am

We carry a full line of lava restoration supplies at  lavalabcreations.com

Comment by Eileen Ferrone Roth on May 28, 2013 at 6:11pm

Help! I have about a dozen lava lamps that bad lava flow if any at all! Most have a problem with wax globbed

at the top. This is really frustrating.How do I melt the wax so that it rejoins the rest of the wax at the bottom with the coil? I would really appreciate help and would be thrilled if I could get these beautiful lamps back in fascinating,working order.

Thank you,Eileen

Comment by Don Souliere on November 28, 2010 at 3:58pm
Yeah after digging around it is different, harder to do =(
Comment by Keith on November 28, 2010 at 3:51pm
I don't have any experience with that type of cap
Comment by Don Souliere on November 28, 2010 at 12:20pm
does this also work for grande caps?
Comment by Keith on June 11, 2010 at 12:21pm
Well, Charles, since I haven't filtered any lamps I'm not the one to write that tutorial. lol If you search the discussions you will find a lot if information about filtering though. From what I have read the MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter is the one to use.
Comment by Charles on June 11, 2010 at 11:14am
excellent step by step ! I actually originally thought the one in the middle was the one you did..based on the color of the wax in all but the last photo.

Now...how bout a filtering tutorial?


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