How to replace a cloudy grande lava lamp

Updated February 21, 2017

You can replace the clear liquid in a cloudy Grande lava lamp with a few common household items. Lava lamps have been popular lighted art pieces in homes since the 1960s. Lava Lite makes the 27-inch tall Grande lamp and a larger 4 foot Colossus in a variety of stand and interior colours. A lamp that is shaken while it is hot can become cloudy. Repeated attempts to cool and restart the lava lamp may not clear the liquid and replacement fluids are often required.

Unplug the lamp. Wait for the glass bottle to cool to room temperature. Lift the bottle from the base and move it to the refrigerator for an hour.

Remove the Grande lava lamp bottle from the refrigerator. Set the flat base of the bottle on a stable surface. Pry the cap gently from all sides with a bottle opener to avoid bending it out of shape so it can be reused.

Cover the bottle opening with a fine mesh strainer. Pour the cloudy liquid contents of the bottle down the drain and return the bottle to a flat surface. The cooled blob of "lava" forms a hard mass and is held in the bottle by the narrow neck.

Insert a small funnel into the opening of the bottle. Pour room-temperature distilled water into the bottle until the level is about two inches below the opening. Return the open lava lamp bottle to the base.

Plug in the base and switch on the warming light. Wait for one hour. Condensation will appear on the interior of the bottle between the rim and the water line.

Heat a cup of water in the microwave for 20 seconds on high power. Stir a ½ teaspoon of pickling or canning salts into the warm water until it completely dissolves. Add more salt one ½ teaspoon at a time until the granules no longer dissolve.

Pour the saturated salt solution into the opening of the hot lava lamp bottle until the water level is an inch below the rim. Wait ten minutes to see if the salinity has been raised enough to allow the colourful wax blobs to float around freely in the liquid. Add more of the salt solution a few drops at a time after a 10 minute wait for results.

Drip a single drop of clear liquid dish soap into the open bottle. Soap reduces the surface tension in the suspension liquid for better movement and blob separation. Add a drop or two of liquid food colouring if you want the liquid surrounding the blobs to have colour.

Unplug the Grande lava lamp and allow it to cool to room temperature. Apply a layer of heat-resistant epoxy resin to the top rim of the lava lamp bottle with a toothpick.

Press the bottle cap back onto the opening. Gently crimp the cap onto the bottle with a pair of pliers. Wait for the adhesive under the cap to cure according to the manufacturer's instructions before using the lamp again.


Clean the glass bottle globe of a Grande lava lamp with glass cleaner and paper towels. Unplug the lamp and spray the glass cleaner directly onto the paper towel instead of on the glass.

Things You'll Need

  • Refrigerator
  • Bottle opener
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Funnel
  • Distilled water
  • Cup
  • Microwave
  • Pure canning or pickling salt
  • Teaspoon
  • High-heat epoxy resin
  • Clear liquid dish soap
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Toothpick
  • Pliers
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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.