Make Your Own Lava Lamp!

Make your own temporary lava lamp with household materials! It’s easy, safe and looks very cool! The action you will see is a fun science experiment caused by the density and polarity of the substances inside the lamp.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

You Will Need:
– Oil
– Water
– Food Colouring
– Berocca Tablet (or something similar)

Watch our tutorial video below to make your own lava lamp!

The Science of Lava Lamps

Lava Lamps work because of the scientific principles of density and polarity. Density is the measurement of how compact a substance is. Polarity prevents the water and oil from mixing together.

If you have the same amount of water and oil, the water will weigh more than the oil. This is because water molecules are more tightly packed.

Real lava lamps use light, and polar and a non-polar liquid. The denser liquid sinks to the bottom, and the lamp uses light to heat the liquid up which makes it expand. This means it becomes less dense, causing it to rise up. When it rises, it gets further away from the light and cools down, which results in it becoming denser again and sinking back down. Once it gets to the bottom the cycle begins again.

Instead of using a light, our lava lamps uses berocca tablets. The berocca reacts with the water to produce carbon dioxide gas bubbles. The water and gas combo becomes less dense than the oil, which allows it to rise to the top. Once at the top, the gas bubble pops which allows the water to sink back to the bottom as it becomes more dense.

WANT MORE? 10 Fun Facts About the Lava Lamp

Completed this activity? We’d love to see it! Post your pics on your social with the hashtag #motatfun