How to make a lava lamp?

A lava lamp is a beautiful lamp, created in 1963 by British businessman Edward Creon Walker. These lamps produce comfortable soft light and are the best size for a desk or room. You can learn how to make a lava lamp with household things in this article.

let’s do a small experiment that will immediately see the reaction today. The wax droplets of different shapes moving inside it rise and fall like colorful bubbles, and change like erupting volcanic lava when violent.

The following small experiment only requires ordinary household things, it is simple and safe, but it can also bring you to feel the stimulating “lava” effects.

01 Oil and water lava lamp experiment

Oil and water lava lamp experiment

Materials you need:

  • Transparent jar or container
  • Plastic cup
  • Food coloring
  • Edible vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Effervescent tablet

Experimental method:

Pour a small glass of water, drip some food colorings, stir well, and pour into a large container. Pour three small cups of oil into a large container

Let stand oil and water

Put an effervescent tablet in the container, and then you can observe how they react to make the dripping food paint produce a volcanic lava effect.

If the effect stops, you can drop another effervescent tablet in and let the effect continue

At the end what happened?

When the effervescent tablet reacts with water, carbon dioxide gas is produced and adsorbed on the water droplets. This kind of water-air fusion is less dense than some and ran up from the bottom in time.

When they reached the surface of the water, the gas escaped into the air, leaving only dense water to sink into the bottom of the container again.

02 Make a lava lamp with soda powder

Make a lava lamp with soda powder

Materials you need:

  • Transparent container (a taller cylindrical container is easier to see the effect of bubbles)
  • Small cup
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • White vinegar
  • Edible vegetable oil
  • Pigment
  • Spoon

Experimental method:

Ready empty container and add three spoons of soda. Pour in about 2/3 of the oil in the container. Mix a little vinegar and a few drops of coloring in another small cup. After everything is ready, you can add some vinegar from the small cup into the big cup and observe the effect

To better show the “lighting” effect, you can turn off the headlights in the room and put a mobile phone flashlight on the bottom of the container

At the end what happened?

The density of oil and vinegar are also different. The vinegar used in this experiment is denser than vegetable oil, so it will sink to the bottom of the container.

Once the vinegar sinks to the bottom and meets the baking soda that we put before, their chemical reaction produces carbon dioxide gas-the bubbles you see.

Similar to the previous effervescent tablets, the usual effervescent tablets are a mixture of organic acids and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It reacts with water to produce carbon dioxide gas. The same applies to the use of baking soda and vinegar this time.

03 Make a lava lamp with salt

Make a lava lamp with salt

Materials you need:

  • Transparent container
  • Water
  • Edible vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pigment
  • Spoon

Experimental method:

Put water in two-thirds of the container and add a few drops of pigment. Put a little oil in the rest. Here we are going to use our mysterious material salt! Pour directly into the container.

Although it is not as exciting as the lava lamp with effervescent tablets before, we can still see bubbles rising from the bottom of the bottle. It is still very interesting to observe!

How to make a lava lamp with wax?

How to make a lava lamp with wax?

The wax rises within the lamp’s liquid center, it moves far away from the source of warmth at the bottom of the lamp and cools, causing it to sink backtrack toward the bottom of the lamp where it’s reheated again.

Here we share some simple and easy steps about, how to make a lava lamp with wax?

Make the Lamp Base

Step 1

Remove the tag from the unfilled whiskey bottle with hot, soapy water. Clean the bottle to get rid of any trace of the alcohol. Set the bottle aside.

Step 2

Cut a notch out of the sting of 1 side of the cut PVC pipe wide enough to suit the cord of a utility lamp.

Step 3

Position the PVC pipe in order that it sits on the table with the notched edge facing downward. Thread a utility light through the pipe in order that the corded end with the plug hangs out through the notch at the rock bottom of the pipe and therefore the socket end sits on the table, the hole facing higher. Insert the bulb. Place the bottle right-side up within the PVC pipe over the bulb.

Make the Lava Ooze

Step 1

Break several white candles into a tin can. Remove the wick.

Step 2

Fill a saucepan with 3 inches of water and place the tin can inside the saucepan therefore the water surrounds it. Set the saucepan on a burner over medium-low heat.

Step 3

Stir the wax because it melts with a wooden spoon.

Step 4

Pour the melted wax into a glass cup until it measures 2/3 cup. If you’ve got extra melted wax, set it aside for later use.

Step 5

Pour the dry-cleaning fluid into the cup until the liquid within the cup measures 1 cup all at once. That is, you’re only adding 1/3 cup of Perc to make 1 cup of lava. Quickly, before it settles, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon continuously for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Put it all at once

Step 1

Disassemble the wire clothes hanger and coil a 1/2-inch-long spring (about 1/4 inch in diameter) from the top of the wire using the needle-nose pliers. Snip the top of the wire off slightly below the spring with wire cutters.

Step 2

Use a pair of long-handled tweezers to position the spring to confront (so the coil spirals upward) at the rock bottom of the bottle.

Step 3

Warm the bottle under the predicament for about 5 minutes. While the lava remains molten, pour it into the empty bottle.

If the lava has not melted, place the cup in the saucepan after removing the tin cans and slowly heat the mixture until it becomes acidic. After flooding the lava into the bottle, let it cool until it solidifies.

Step 4

Fill the suppress to the bottom of its neck with water. Add a couple of drops of coloring to offer the water a tint. Add two teaspoons of pickling salt to the water mixture to extend the density and boiling point of the water.

Step 5

Screw the cap on the bottle and switch the utility light on at the bottom. Let the lamp remain on for a minimum of 3 hours for the wax to melt. If the lava fails to rise, add a pinch of extra pickle salt. If the lava rises and refuses to sink, let the lamp cool completely, pour out the water, refill it, and use a touch less salt.


Secure the socket inside the pipe by running the burnt rubber wire from the sides of the pipe around the socket fitting so that the bulb does not rotate inside it.

If the lava doesn’t mix with other blobs of lava once they float to the highest of the bottle, add just a pinhead-sized droplet of dishwasher detergent to the water.


When chloroethylene is added to the wax, it spreads. Make certain to wear your safety gear when making the ooze. Consult a scientist or doctor to make certain that you simply are fit to work with these materials before attempting this project.

Lava lamp material 

  • Benzyl alcohol
  • 4.8% saline solution
  • 40-60 watt light bulb
  • Glass container
  • Oil-soluble marker
  • Glass bottle
  • Tin can
  • Dimmer switch
  • Plywood
  • Tools

How to make a lava lamp?


  1. Pour benzyl alcohol into a container and place the inked felt from an oil-soluble marker or pen. Bleeding into the brine will result in a darker color if you leave it in for longer.
  2. After the inked felt is soaked in alcohol for a few minutes, you can remove it. Choosing a different type of marker instead of a Sharpie will prevent the marker from bleeding into the brine.
  3. There are 1.04 grams of benzyl alcohol and 4.8% salt-water (brine) in the glass container, each with a specific gravity of 1.03 grams. A minimum container height of 10 inches is recommended.
  4. Use a tin can and plywood to create a base for the lamp to hold the bottle. You will be able to control the amount of heat with the dimmer.
  5. The liquid may be cooled at this location by placing a fan on top of the bottle.
  6. Experiment with different distances between heat sources (light) and glass containers to determine the best distance.
  7. The rest of the liquid should be brine. You should use about 150 ml of benzyl alcohol. Make sure the bottle is sealed, but leave some breathing room.
  8. Make sure that there is about 1 inch of air space at the top so that fluids can expand. Bubble size will depend on how much air space is present.
  9. Adults must supervise children. It is not intended for young or inexperienced investors since the materials may be toxic and flammable.

Here are some tips for success:

  1. Cinnamyl alcohol, diethyl phthalate, ethyl salicylate, and nitrobenzene are some alternatives to benzyl alcohol.
  2. Instead of a marker, you could use a spot of oil-based ink.
  3. In order to make the benzyl alcohol float, add more water. Adding more salt (NaCl) will cause the alcohol to sink to the bottom.
  4. An antioxidant might be added to the liquid to add color and increase contrast, such as BHA or BHT.
  5. This procedure should be performed after reading the Material Safety Data Sheet for benzyl alcohol before attempting it. Good luck!

How to make a lava lamp without Alka Seltzer tablets?


  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Small cup
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Spoon
  • Long bottle or cup, Note: do not close the bottle or put a lid on the cup

Let’s start:

Add the baking soda

You’ll need an empty bottle or tall cup to start. In a tall container, you can better observe bubbles as they move.

Next, add three heaping tablespoons of baking soda.

Add the oil

As you fill your tall container with oil, you will fill two-thirds of it.

Please do not mix the baking soda with the oil because it will remain at the bottom of the container.

Normally we use cooking oil.

Mix the vinegar and food coloring

In the small container (the one you didn’t use in step 2), add three drops of vinegar and three drops of food coloring.

Get ready for the magic

When you have everything ready, add a few drops of colored vinegar to the container and watch your homemade lava lamp come to life.

Vinegar should not be emptied at once. On the contrary, it would be best to gradually do it for the experiment to last as long as possible.

To achieve the glowing effect, turn off the lights and use a torch to illuminate the container.