Captain Morgan lava lamp

9 Oct

A friend of mine is really into Captain Morgan rum so for his birthday I decided to make him a lava lamp out of an empty bottle. I got the instructions from this website. The instructions were a little hazy and didn’t clearly mark out what results you were looking for to know you were on the right path. Nevertheless I managed to figure it out.

Here are the  materials.

I then broke the wax down and put it into a glass jar to melt it in a pot of boiling water.

When the wax was in liquid form I then added some red dye and let it dry.


I then had to figure out the specific gravity of the wax by using two different water and anti-freeze solutions, each of different ratios. I had to get the wax to float in one and sink in the other to tell me that the specific gravity of the wax was around 1.03. To do this I had to fiddle with the ratios of wax to brake cleaner in the wax.

With the wax roughly where I wanted it, I remelted it, poured it into my bottle, then filled it up with distilled water. I then had to adjust the levels of salt in the water to help the wax rise or fall. I also added a bit of dish washer fluid to break the surface tension, allowing the wax to stream apart more easily.

Next I had to construct the base to house the lamp that would heat the bottle and hold the bottle up. I came across a flower pot and thought I could modify it to my purposes.

It takes a while to warm up, but it works. It doesn’t bubble as much as other lava lamps, but it provides a nice red glow.


One Response to “Captain Morgan lava lamp”

  1. phearis January 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    The reason it doesn’t “bubble” the way it’s supposed too is because you forgot to add the spring coil at the bottom of the bottle. That allows the was to rejoin after each bubble and gives the wax something to cling too and it rises up.

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