Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Giant lava lamp not very lava like?

So I have this lava lamp but it's not doing the taffy pull, blobby lava thing. It does work but either makes small or large balls that go to the top and fall...

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Comment by Brad on January 28, 2013 at 5:44pm

we've discussed this with jenny and agree that it's most likely a heat problem.  the wax isn't getting hot enough.  if the problem was related to the density of the water, the wax would create a dome shape at the bottom and would likely not produce any flow..  as you can clearly see in the video, the lava isn't melted completely, suggesting a heating issue.

also - i highly doubt that 1tsp. of canning salt would be enough for a GIANT lamp - my 52oz lamp took much more, and this is 250oz!

Comment by Bari on January 28, 2013 at 5:27pm

it's happening because there's to much surfactant in the liquid. Basically what's happening is that surfactant reduces the surface tension of the wax, and in this case there is so much surfactant that the wax only has enough surface tension to make tiny little blobs. 

TO fix this.

Cool, and carefully dump out only the water.

Full back up with distilled water.

Add a tea spoon of canning salt (pure salt)

Add ONE (but maybe too) drop(s) of non-scented hand/dish soap.

(the soap acts as you're surfactant, so don't add to much and be very careful, because it's easy to add to much and you'll run into the same problem with small blobs again. Also if there's to much soap it can then begin to dissolve the wax into the water turning it cloudy, and you'll have to do this all over again. sooo BE CARE)

Turn on Lava Lamp and let it warm up entirely. If the lava refuses to float, add a pinch more salt.

 

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