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How To Fix (Or Change The Color Of) A Lava Lamp

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(Email address at bottom of page - and now, it's even correct!)

So you've gone and done it; you've shaken your lava lamp, and what you've got now is a cloudy mess
that you can barely see amorphous lumps moving around in.
Everyone tells you it's screwed.

I say: Not So!

My wife gave my brand new lava lamp a good shaking, and said: ooooh! Look how pretty!
I said: I don't think you're supposed to do that.

You're not. Every place on the web / person I've talked to has said that once they get cloudy, you might
as well throw them away, or order a new globe.

How To Fix It:

This will take a while, but it does work....My good old lamp is lava-ing away now.

What you do is:

#1. Turn the thing off.
#2. Let it cool completely down.
#3. Put it somewhere you can plug it in, but will not mess with it.
#4. Wait one (1) day, turn it on for 8 hours. DO NOT TOUCH IT AT ALL!!!!!
#5. Turn it off, wait a day, then repeat.
#6. Do this three times. (Three "on" periods).
#7. Let it cool completely down.

#8. Unscrew the "globe". That does it for the preparation phase.
What you do now is take the globe into the kitchen or bathtub, get a good stout knife, and
pry that metal lid right off there. I know it says not to, but enjoy being a rebel; it's for a good cause.
Be careful not to cut yourself or the rubber stopper underneath.
Now, take out the rubber stopper, and rinse it in hot water until all the lava comes off of it.
Set it aside to dry. Dump all the water out of the globe.

There should be a waxy residue around the top rim, stick your little finger in there and get it all out,
wiping your finger clean on a washcloth occaisionally to make sure you get it all out.
IMPORTANT!!! Now rinse inside the lamp with _COLD_ water, do not shake the globe while you are rinsing
A little movement is okay, but don't smear wax all over the inside
Make sure it's COLD water or you're going to do more harm than good
You should have two big chunks of lava- one big one with a coiled metal spring in it, and a smaller one that was floating (or not)
When you rinse with COLD!!! water, it gets all the little particles out that were clouding the thing up.
After you've rinsed it out well, fill it almost all the way up to the top with COLD water.
If you want to color the water, add a drops of food coloring - remember - LESS is better - you can always add more
DO _NOT_ shake it up to mix the color!

Put the rubber stopper back in, and dry the globe thouroughly. Screw it back into the base, but don't put the top on yet
Turn it on. Since you used COLD water, (you'd better have!) it will take it quite a while to start working again.
While it's warming up, it will get hot and push the stopper out, this is normal. Simply "burp" it a little, and
push it back in. After your lamp starts "lava-ing" again, give it one final "burp" and then wrap some aluminum
foil around the top and stopper. Then you can put the metal cap back on. (The big one, not that dinky "soda pop" lid)
If you've cleaned it well, it will be crystal clear. - Enjoy!

Post Script: don't shake it up again while it's turned's not good for them.

Updated: 3-Jul-3

If you go this route, make sure you start over with a 40 watt bulb.

If your lamp now just sits there, a glob on top, and a glob on the bottom, and does nothing, there are a couple of things
you can try. First, try increasing or decreasing the wattage of the bulb you are using. If that doesn't work,
try replacing about 1/3 of the liquid with either rubbing alcohol or glycerin. (Not both!)
The alcohol will make the water less dense, the glycerin will make it more dense.
The alcohol will mix instantly, it will take a little doing to get the glycerin to mix.
With your wax cooled completely, use barely warm water and mix the glycerin into it, then pour this mixture into the lamp.
Be careful not to use hot water- you don't want to melt the wax at all.
You might have to fiddle with the ratios of water to glycerin or alcohol to get it to lava again,
but I have had reports that this does work.

If it still doesn't work, I don't know what to tell you, except buy another one and don't shake this one up.
H. Shane Seckler

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