May 18, 2009

Lava Lamp 101

For years now I'd admired those cultural icons of the seventies...those dinosaurs of the disco era...those wonderfully nostalgic Lava Lamps. I can remember as a young child... marveling at the mystic bubbles rising and falling inside the conical shaped glass and found myself pondering for hours on just what caused this phenomenon. Well, the other day a friend of mine gifted me with a Lava Lamp that was old and cloudy and no longer wanted...Wow, the Lava Lamp gods had finally smiled upon me!

I eagerly grasped my spectacular new Lava Lamp and promptly whisked into my house. It was an older lamp, red goo and lavender water, in the business of bubbling for years and rather cloudy with age so I reasoned in my head that "Hey, I can just change it's water and...voila...brand new, crystal clear, groovy red Lava Lamp with a new lease on life."

Actually, it turned out to be the lamest logic known to man...and witch. I changed it's water...set it upon it's base, turned it on and proceeded to wait....and wait...and (yes you guessed it) wait some more. Nothing...absolutely, positively nothing, nada, zip, zilch. The lava just sat there in a liquid pool on the bottom of the lamp. "Hmmm, now what do I do?" I thought.... I think I broke, it couldn't be can't break goo can you?

My next epiphany was my trusty laptop with internet access...much to my joy I found a page explaining just how to freshen up tired old cloudy Lava Lamps! I read mind alert, my bum on the edge of my seat, eyes squinting to see the words...And then all of a sudden I came upon it... I found the cherished Lava Lamp secret of the ages...rubbing alcohol. Yes, I said rubbing alcohol. It seems that if your tired old lamp won't bubble (or you just plain screw up like I did) use rubbing alcohol, it makes the water less dense and therefore a better medium for the viscous red goo.

Who knew, I thought to myself. So tonight I find myself following the instructions I printed out from the Lava Lamp guru and I'm going to replace one third of the volume of water with said rubbing alcohol and's going to start sending globulous blurbs of lava in it's predictable trademark theory, I haven't added the alcohol yet...I'll keep you posted.


Gendo Ikari said...

I absolutely love lava lamps. I have a large colleciton of them in my house. I keep them on all the time. If you visit my website you can see my lava lamps.

Anonymous said...

Well? How did it go?
I'm betting it wasn't as simple as you stated.
I found out that Lava lamps are very delicate creatures.
Some dum-dum dented the metal base bad on mine, and of its not perfectly round, tiny amounts of bulb heat escape between the bottle and base, rendering it ineffective..

Liz said...

It didn't go well...I had to buy a new one! Ha, ha!