How to Make a Permanent Lava Lamp

How to Make a Permanent Lava Lamp – DIY Project

We are all hypnotized with the beauty of lava lamps. The colors are changing and the bubbles are moving in so many different directions. How is this possible? With few simple chemical rules.  

 Here, we try to reveal how you can make your own lava lamp. The solutions are simple and the process is fun. You will have your own permanent lava lamp at home, so everyone can enjoy in the interesting bubbles.

Watch this video guide to know more:

Steps to make a permanent lava lamp

 First of all, you should have the necessary ingredients. You will need:
  • Glass container  
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Alcohol
  • Heat source

Once you get all the ingredients, you are ready to make your own lava lamp. At this point, you will see many chemical reactions and the overall experience will be more that interesting.

It is no wonder why so many kids enjoy in making their lava lamps. Permanent lava lamps a little bit more difficult to make, and that is why kids need to get help from adults. In any case, the results are amazing. Follow these steps carefully.

1. Take a glass container

In most situations, a glass container is the most suitable solution when you want to make a permanent lava lamp. It is light and portable and it can be heated to the exact temperature. This is not possible with plastic bottles, as they melt on heated surfaces.

If you want the best results, take a glass container or a jar that can be sealed properly. You will need it if you want to make a quality lamp.

2. Add some oil 

At this point, you should add some vegetable or baby oil. Both have the similar density and they will make those beautiful bubbles inside the lamp.

Next time when you watch a lava lamp, remember that the oil you put has the most relevant role in making those bubbles. It is because of oil molecules that are heavier than the rest of the liquids inside the container.

A tip:

If you want the full effect, use colored oil paints in different colors. These will help you create the most colorful bubbles inside the lamp. The more colors you put, the more interesting lamp you get.

3. Pour some alcohol

If you are not sure which kind of alcohol to use, go for the proven solutions and use the combination of 70% and 90% alcohol. You can find these kinds of alcohol in your local drugstore or at the pharmacy near you. This combination of two different alcohols will give the best results.

Mix 13 parts 70% alcohol and 6 parts 90% alcohol.

A tip:

Mix alcohol very carefully, because if you handle the alcohol near the heat sources, you can produce flammable reaction and you can make fire. For safety reason, keep the alcohol mixture away from sources of heat.

When you get the proper mixture, add the alcohol to the glass container and watch the reaction. The oil will move down to the bottom of the container and it will slightly move upwards. If the oil is not moving, you can add some more alcohol until the oil begins to move in different directions.

4. Put the container onto the heat source 

When you have the proper mixture of all ingredients, it is time for some heating. Place the container onto the heating device, such as incandescent bulb. Try to use the bulb that complements the overall size of the glass container, because you do not want to overheat the container.

When you have everything prepared, warm the lamp for at least one hour.

At this point, you will see an amazing reaction. Bubbles made of oil will start to move and some interesting shapes will appear. Smaller and bigger bubbles will move around and you will get your own permanent lava lamp. Voila! How simple it is!

How to make the lava lamp last for longer?

From the very beginning to the end of this experiment, you may need to take care of each detail, because the permanent lava lamp requires some preparation. If you combine all the mentioned steps, you will create the interesting lamp with long-lasting effect.

If you notice that the bubbles disappear or the overall structure begins to fall down to the bottom of the container, add some salt and stir the content. You will break the oil structure into smaller particles and the salt will create more bubbles.

 This way, you will have a lava lamp that last for longer. It is also important to heat up the lamp occasionally, so you can keep the bubbles moving around.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will my lava lamp work better if I add food coloring?

Yes, you can add food coloring for the better effect, especially if you like some specific color. Red, blue or pink will be ideal for your own lava lamp and the bubbles will create more interesting effect.

2. What happens when I add more alcohol? Will the bubbles be larger than usual?

If you add more alcohol, you create more bubbles inside the container, because alcohol reacts with the oil by separating small molecules. Make sure that you add alcohol in small amounts, because too much alcohol can create opposite effect where the bubbles stay at the bottom.

3. How long will I have the good effect of my lava lamp?

This is a permanent lava lamp and you can have it for few weeks, if you use it correctly. Put some salt and heat up the lamp when you want to see the interesting bubbles, and repeat the process every time you want to see the full effect of the lava lamp.

Final Verdict

As you can see, we started with the simple ingredients, and we ended up with the most interesting home-made lamp. You can create your own piece of art. Just be a little bit creative and thoughtful.

Now, you have your permanent lava lamp that will serve as a perfect detail in your home. Some bubbles around will be interesting enough to make you feel good every time you see your own permanent lava lamp. Enjoy in this beautiful lamp at your home!

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