Cloudy Lava Lamp (Updated)

lavalamp

I have enjoyed my lava lamp since I got it for Christmas last year.  It is my very first lava lamp and I sit at my desk chair sometimes staring at it for literally 10-20 minutes.  It is that interesting to me.  What is even more interesting, or probably more disturbing, is the fact that the water used to be crystal clear, and now it’s yellow.  I don’t know why it has turned yellow, but apparently it’s a common problem with lava lamps.

Here is my lava lamp in December 2011 when I first got it, and here it is now in January 2013 a year later.

 lava lamp december 2012 lava lamp january 2013

What a huge difference.  I wonder what would cause the water to turn yellow like that?  I never thought anything of it until I was browsing through the pictures in the My Pictures folder on my computer and came across it.  I then suddenly remembered how clear it used to be.  Naturally I went to Google to research it to see if anyone else has had this issue and to see if there was anything to do about it.  I did find several websites that mentioned it and even a solution.

Update: I deleted everything I had typed out before and retyped it.  I took out those links and here is why.  I followed their instructions which seemed legit to me because more than one website mentioned the same exact thing, but all it did was mess up my lamp.  Here is what it looked like after I tried their fix.

lava very cloudy from salt

I was devastated when this happened to my lava lamp.  The instructions were to let it cool so the wax was solid and open the top of the lava lamp and dump the water out into the sink.  Then put new water from the tap in and swish it around to get all the grease off the walls of the lamp which meant doing that a couple of times.  Then they said to fill it up with tap water and add a couple drops of dish liquid and add a mixture of epsom salt and water with a straw.  Those white flakes in the image to the left is the result of the epsom salt.

I let the lamp cool down and dumped the water out and added new water and more soap, but not the epsom salt and turned it on and there was still epsom salt in the wax at the bottom, so it took several times of rinsing it out to get it back to this…

lava afterI was thrilled beyond belief when the lava lamp was back to normal and the lava was rising.  But then it stopped rising and went back down and never went back up again.  What did I do wrong?  Like an idiot I mixed a tiny amount of epsom salt with a lot of water and added an inch full from a straw and I got that image from above again.  UGH!

That blew my mind that such a tiny amount of epsom salt would do the same thing as a bunch of epsom salt in a smaller amount of water.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.  I rinsed it out again and didn’t add ANY salt at all and the lava wouldn’t go up again.  I searched for more instructions because I really want this working again.  I found one guy who made a video and said don’t use too much soap because it will ruin your lava lamp.  He also said to use 1 tablespoon of regular table salt and use the straw to add it, which I did and it still won’t rise.

I’m not sure if every time I had to rinse it out and added more soap if the soap ruined the wax or what, but it’s not rising anymore at all.  I rinsed it out again and didn’t add anything and it is just not working.  I think I screwed it up beyond repair.

Of course I have questions, like did I use the wrong dish liquid?  It’s Palmolive anti-bacterial, maybe it didn’t have enough of the right ingredient.  Maybe I used the wrong epsom salt.  The epsom salt I have is generic and it’s hard as a rock.  I assume it’s because the ziplock bag it is in wasn’t manufactured properly because the zips don’t line up right so air gets in, maybe that’s why it’s hard, maybe moisture got in.  Perhaps if I bought a brand name epsom salt then it might work, but what if I bought some and tried it and it still messed it up?  What if, what if, what if…

Another update:  It works!  Here is a brand new post with a video.

5-Hour Time Lapse – Red Lava Lamp

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BuXTJBAD2w

I have loved lava lamps since I was a kid when my parents had one.  Since I saw it every day, the novelty wore off so I kind of took it for granted.  I never had one of my own until this Christmas when Darrin bought one for me.  We watch it every night because it is so mesmerizing, so I wanted to do a time-lapse video of it so I can see it at really high speed.  Oh yes, I am enjoying my new lava lamp.

The background by the way is a pillow case because my wall is plain white.  I probably should have bought a tie dye t-shirt to put up against the wall, but this was all I had.  I think it looks cool anyway.

Chips Birthday

YAY Today is Chips birthday.  He turns 29 (hehe).  I don’t think he cares about his age but I’m just gonna leave it at 29.  Anybody who knows us knows the truth.  I gave him his present early and now I feel really bad that I did that but he wouldn’t stop shaking the box and it was glass with liquid inside it.  I don’t know if he broke one of them or if it came that way in shipping but one of them is broken.  When it’s your birthday and someone buys you something and says DON’T SHAKE IT!  You don’t shake it dammit.  Listen when you are told lol.  Sheesh.

You know those Galileo thermometers?  It’s like this tube with liquid and inside the liquid are these balls with liquid and each of the balls are a different color and the bottoms of the balls have like these little aluminum tags which have a temperature on them.  When it is cold the balls go up, when it’s hot the balls go down or vice versa I don’t know, and when it’s a nice temperature like in the 80’s 2 balls are up and 2 balls are down at the bottom.  Well, since one of the balls got broken and it had pink liquid inside it, the main tube water has a little pink inside it now instead of clear water and so it doesn’t give an accurate reading.  Instead all the balls are all the way up while the other one has 2 on top and 2 on bottom.  I decided to just keep the broken one in my room for decoration rather than function.

So I really feel bad that I gave it to him early and now he has no presents to open.  When I get some money I’m gonna buy him a lava lamp.  I love lava lamps and I think it would be really cool to look at in the living room near his TV.  This website has them for a reasonable price Cheap DJ Gear.  I don’t know what color I’m going to get him though.  Since they are fairly inexpensive I think I’m going to buy 2 of them because I love lava lamps.  My parents had one when I was a kid and I just loved watching it.  I’m going to have to find out which color he prefers.  The color doesn’t matter to me.  Although I wouldn’t mind red.  I love black but a black lava lamp just doesn’t appeal to me.