Why Is My Lava Lamp Cloudy? And How to Fix It? (Solution)

Either your lava lamp was shaken or it has expired. These are two possible reasons that can cause a lava lamp to become cloudy.

Lava lamps are meant to create a warm and comfortable environment after a long, hectic day. But a cloudy one can only ruin your mood. 


If you have encountered the same problem, then you must be wondering why this beautiful thing turns into a total disaster like this. Why is my lava lamp cloudy?

Let’s dig into it to know more.

What Makes Your Lava Lamp Cloudy?

There are two possible reasons that could cause your lava lamp to get foggy—

1. Your Lava Lamp Is Shaken

Sometimes if your lava lamp gets knocked off, or shaken by the kids out of curiosity, it may get cloudy.

Lava lamp is made of paraffin wax and some kind of a tinted and transparent liquid solution. The mechanism of lava begins when the wax at the bottom gets heated by the incandescent light beneath the glass bottle.

The wax starts to float upwards like lava. When the lava lamp gets shaken whilst still hot, the wax particles can get dislodged from the chunk of wax at the bottom.

These dislodged particles make the solution look hazy. Otherwise, the solution looks crystal clear.

Since the wax doesn’t dissolve in the solution, it creates the cloudiness. However, if this is the reason behind your foggy lava lamp, don’t worry.

It’s called the minor clouding since it is not permanent. You can easily fix this temporary clouding of your lava lamp. 

2. Your Lava Lamp Is Expired

The second reason is the worst. A cloudy lava lamp can be a significant indicator that tells you that your lava lamp has expired.

Lava lamps don’t come with any specific expiry date. The usual lifespan of a lava lamp is 2000 hours.

So, it almost depends on how long you run your lava lamp on a regular basis. And the way you use it.

However, when a lava lamp comes to its end, the tinted solution starts to fade and the solution gets cloudy after a while.

This type of clouding is a permanent problem. Either you will have to get a replacement for the previous lava lamp, or you will need to restore the solution yourself.

Whichever you choose, it means your previous lava lamp is partly or fully discarded.

How to Fix a Minor Lava Clouding?

A minor clouding is a temporary problem for lava lamps. If you don’t know how to fix your lava lamp after shaking, then here we are.

De-clouding your lava lamp is an easy task. You only need to give it a good rest for a while. The required time will vary based on the size and model of the lava lamp. Usually, a 6-8 hours rest is enough

First, you need to turn the lamp on for about an hour. This will help the loosen wax particles to soften up and start floating back. 

Now, turn it off and make sure it doesn’t move or gets shaken up all again. Wait till the wax particles settle down at the bottom.

Now let the wax cool down completely. Leave it for at least 6-8 hours. But for a safe-play, you can wait up to 24 hours or leave it overnight.

Now turn the lava lamp back on. Hopefully, you will get your cloudy lava lamp fixed by then. But if it still seems a little cloudy, then repeat the process one or two times. 

How to Replace a Cloudy Lava Lamp?

If your warranty is still valid, then you can easily get a replacement for a cloudy or wasted lava lamp from the manufacturer. 

However, if your warranty is also expired, then you can purchase a replacement bottle for the previous lamp. 

How Can I Restore the Solution of a Cloudy Lava Lamp All Myself?

If the above-mentioned fixing method goes wrong again and again, most probably it means that your lava lamp has expired or got damaged permanently, you would need to either need a replacement or restore the solution yourself.

So, here’s how you can restore a new solution into your lava lamp and revive it.

First, you need to turn off the lava lamp and let it cool completely. Check whether the wax has hardened and set at the bottom.

Now unscrew or pry off the top cover of the lava lamp. Try to save it for later, or if it gets fully damaged, then arrange a similar size metal top cover to attach at the end.

Now carefully pour out all the liquid through the toilet or any other drain-hole. Don’t pour in the sink since the oil contents can block the sink.

Now fill the bottle gently with cold water and rinse it off. Shake lightly to clean the inside part without damaging the wax. 

Now finally refill the bottle with clean water. It would be best if you can use distilled water to make sure there’s no germs or impurities inside the water. Leave 4-5 inches from the top of the bottle.

Turn on the lamp for a few hours again.

No, you aren’t done yet. So, don’t put the lid back on.

Once the wax is heated up. Now you can add a tiny amount of clear liquid soap just to keep the wax and solution separated. Do not add more than 2-3 drops depending on the size of your lava lamp. 

Finally, make a solution by mixing a half cup of Epsom salt with a small glass of warm water. 

Now take a small teaspoon of the solution and pour it into the warm lava lamp using a dropper or a pipette. Wait for a few minutes and pour another teaspoon of the salt solution again. 

Repeat this after every few minutes until the wax starts to float in a globular shape as before. 

Once it starts floating upwards as it should be, put the lid back on. And you are done. 

Final Words

A cloudy lava lamp is nothing better than an aquarium left uncleaned for days. Just the moment your gaze falls onto your cloudy lava lamp, all the good vibe gets ruined within a second.

In this article, you have tried to explain the reasons behind a cloudy lava lamp. Moreover, we have discussed all the possible ways to fix a cloudy lava lamp. 

Try to find out the reason why your lava lamp is cloudy and apply one of these suitable solutions. Don’t forget to share your experience with us. Was it easy or hard for you?

About Annabelle B. Malcolm

Howdy, readers. This is Annabelle B. Malcolm and I’m a content curator. Don’t tell anyone but I low-key take pride in having a treasure of random knowledge. I co-manage this website with my husband Jamie who is a lighting technician by profession. The idea for this website stemmed out of boredom. Out of nowhere really, Jamie came up with the idea of having a website and since he is an authority on lighting fixtures, we decided to play to our strengths.

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