How to Fix a Lava Lamp After Shaking It

A lava lamp is a great decorative item for your home, but it can be frustrating when the wax inside doesn’t move. If you’ve ever shaken your lava lamp and still nothing happened, here’s how to fix a lava lamp after shaking it. Depending on how long it’s been since it last worked, it might take some time, so be patient! Also, remember that this may void any warranty you have on your product if you bought one recently. 

How to Fix a Lava Lamp After Shaking It

If shaking the lamp isn’t working after a few minutes, then try plugging in the base and letting it heat up before trying again. This works because as the wax heats up and melts into liquid form, gravity will pull down those heavier particles towards the bottom of the container, making them separate from each other more evenly to create a beautiful effect. Read on to know more information!

Can you Fix a Lava Lamp After Shaking It?

The answer is yes. Lava lamps are filled with a mixture of oil and water, which, when heated by the lamp’s light bulb and mixed with air bubbles, create a concoction in the lamp that looks like molten lava. Unfortunately, sometimes after moving or accidentally knocking it over, the fluid in your lava lamp can get mixed up and won’t work correctly.

If this happens, don’t worry. You can fix a lava lamp with a few simple items from around your house. Below we have given some ways on how to fix a lava lamp after shaking it. So be sure to check that out if you are really interested!

10 Ways on How to Fix a Lava Lamp After Shaking It:

1. Add Distilled Water:

The water level in the lamp may have gotten too low. Fill an old lava lamp with distilled water, and it should work again.

2. Replace the Lamp’s Cap:

If it appears that your lava lamp is low on whatever goes into the base, replace the cap and try again. Once you’ve done this, shake the lamp vigorously to distribute the new fluid evenly (the solution should also go through two or three color changes).

3. Freeze the Lamp:

As a temporary fix, you can try sticking your lava lamp in the freezer for a few hours and then turning it on. The wax should start to move because it will be very cold and viscous than regular room temperature wax. Once the lamp warms up, however, the wax will become too runny to float.

4. Add Isopropyl Alcohol:

Isopropyl alcohol can be used to thin the lava in a lamp. A few drops can make it work again, but add too much, and the lamp will be more likely to leak when moving it around.

Isopropyl Alcohol Used to Thin the Lava Lamp

5. Add Water-Based Furniture Polish:

Add water-based furniture polish to the lava lamp base to thicken the wax mixture inside the lamp. A few drops of glycerin can also be added, particularly if you’re having trouble finding water-based furniture polish at your local store.

6. Replace the Wick:

Replace the wick inside the lamp and try it out to see if this solves your problem. These can be found at most hardware stores for a few bucks, but they’re often sold in bulk quantities that you’re unlikely to use up anytime soon.

7. Change the Wax:

The wax inside the lava lamp may have just melted into something else. Try adding new wax to see if this solves the problem. As a cautionary note, many types of paraffin-based candle wax can melt together and form clumps that are too big for your lamps’ wicks to handle. Also, oils burn at lower temperatures than paraffin, so it may be wise to choose oil instead.

8. Turn the Lamp Off and On:

Electrical components can sometimes become stuck or not make proper contact with each other. Therefore, your lamp may start working again if you turn it off and back on again. If this doesn’t work, try turning your lamp off and waiting for about 15 minutes before turning it back on.

9. Unplug the Lamp:

If nothing else has worked until this point, try unplugging your lava lamp and letting it sit undisturbed overnight. The wax may have become too hot and melted into something that can’t flow through your lamps’ tubes anymore. On the other hand, there’s a chance that the lamp will work again once it has cooled off.

10. Add More Alka Seltzer:

Add more Alka Seltzer and try turning the lamp on again. This solution will only work if you add just enough to get the wax mixture boiling without causing it to overflow from your lamps’ tubes, but keep in mind that this is a temporary fix at best.

Add Alka Seltzer to Turning the Lamp on

Some Tips and Suggestions:

  1. Do not touch any of the water in the lamp once it has been broken. If it is touched, you cannot put it back to its normal state and will be forced to buy a new one.
  2. Do not pour hot water into the lamp or attempt to heat it and fix it that way. It will not work.
  3. Once the lava has been broken, do not shake it. This will make matters worse and cause the oil and water to separate more than they already have.
  4. If you accidentally touch some of the water in the lamp, immediately wipe it off with a dry cloth or paper towel.
  5. When you get started fixing your lamp, do not add too much dish soap or baby oil. You want to add about a tablespoon of each.
  6. To fix your lamp, hold it in one hand and turn it upside down. Then, turn the light on and allow the water and oil mixture to settle for a little bit before turning off the lamp again. Repeat this process about 20 times.
  7. Turn the lamp back on and turn it upside down so that the water mixture is in the top chamber again. Then, add a few drops of food coloring to one chamber or the other until you get the desired look for your lava lamp.
  8. Once the water and oil mixture is back to how it should be, and you can leave your lamp on for a few hours or until the water cools down. Then, you will want to turn it off again and add a bit of dish soap or baby oil until you get the desired consistency.


It is important to remember that shaking a lava lamp can cause its contents to mix and produce bubbles. When this happens, there are some possible solutions for you to fix your lava lamp. The first solution is adding more oil; when doing so, make sure you shake well after adding the additional oil to distribute the oils throughout the liquid.

If shaking doesn’t work, try removing some of the water from inside by carefully siphoning off using a turkey baster or syringe without letting air into the container. You may also want to add food coloring if desired as well! We hope this blog post on how to fix a lava lamp after shaking it has been helpful. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Jennifer Branett
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