Mar 9, 2020

Lava Lamp Ingredients

The watery-looking base liquid is mostly a mixture of water, colored dye, and chemicals that prevent the formation of fungus. The water-based liquid is mixed with a secret combination of chemicals that give it a similar density to the wax. The other ingredient, which forms the psychedelic, slowly-changing shapes that float around the lamp, is primarily made of wax. Like a paraffin wax, a petroleum-based wax that is commonly found in candles and cosmetic products.

Because the wax and water mixtures have different densities, they do not mix with each other. When the lamp is turned off, the wax is slightly more dense than the water, and will rest on the bottom of the lamp. When you turn the lamp on, the light bulb at its base will heat the wax, causing it to expand, lose density, and rise through the lamp. By the time it reaches the top, it has cooled, contracted, and begun to fall back down to the bottom, where it will keep repeating the process until you turn it off.

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